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.
It’s said March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. It may be late in 2013’s third month but that hasn’t stopped the weather from being cool in New York City. Cranking up the thermostat in the NY Auto Show the folks at Mercedes-Benz just revealed a 355-horsepower compact, the CLA 45 AMG.
As part of its strategy to sugar-coat what has otherwise seemed to be a bitter pill to most American consumers, the 2013 Crosstour has sharper lines, improved engines across the board and a standard six-speed automatic transmission for the V6 and five-speed automatic with the four. Though not offered on the four-cylinder, V6 customers will also get paddle shifters.
Among the other changes offered in the 2013 Crosstour, improved interior material and a new eight-inch infotainment display are meant to improve the driving experience from a comfort standpoint.
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
Fuel mileage, horsepower and overall performance are key ingredients in the recipe for any successful car these days.
Maybe that’s why GM made the announcement to reporters at the North American International Auto Show that they plan to scrap the unimpressive naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four cylinder found in the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Buick‘s Verano and Regal. In it’s place, a 2.5-liter direct injected (cue fireworks) Ecotec inline four! The new engine will be 18 horses peppier than its predecessor for a total of 190 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. It’s also going to be a lot less noisy, smoother and best of all, more efficient.
GM said they plan to make the transition between engines within the next 12 months, so look forward to a more refined American experience from GM.
We’re 75 percent there! Well not really, you can probably guess what’s hiding behind the last square in Buick‘s little puzzle-style picture of their Encore small SUV. In case you’re missing the joke, it’s a wheel.
GM hasn’t released details about the Encore yet, though we can make a couple of educated guesses to tide you over until the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where it will officially debut.
We do know that it will take advantage of the sub-compact Chevrolet Sonic‘s architecture. We are expecting to see GM’s new 1.4-liter and maybe 1.6-liter turbocharged four cylinder engines, as well as options for front- and all-wheel drive choices.
We’ll be in Detroit for the show, offering up-to-date information starting a week from today. Until then, see AutoGuide’s complete Detroit Auto Show Preview here.
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.”
There was a time, some 35-odd years ago, when the only engines found under the hood of a Volvo were four-cylinder units. Some were naturally aspirated, and some were boosted via a turbo-charger.
However, due to the demands and pressures from customers and share holders, Volvo started producing five-cylinder, six-cylinder engines. They even got Yamaha to design and build them a V8.
But that is all about to change for its future. According to industry sources, Volvo will not be employing any engine larger than a four-cylinder by 2020. Volvo is looking to develop a line of three-cylinder and four-cylinder motors. To get extra power, they will be turbo-charged, and diesels are also on the menu card.
This new engine line is dubbed VEA for Volvo Environmental Architecture. The idea is to reduce green-house emissions via smaller, lighter engines.
These new engines will start appearing by 2013 in a Volvo model near you.
[Source: Automotive News]
Fisker is interested in BMW’s new turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the “Project Nina’ mid-size premium sedan. The “Project Nina” sedan will be built at a former GM plant in Wilmington, Delaware by the end of 2012. The contract signed between BMW and Fisker allows for the supply of up to 100,000 engines per year.
“The BMW engine was an obvious choice for us, as BMW is known for producing the best and most fuel efficient gasoline engines in the world,” said Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker. “We are very pleased to have signed this agreement with BMW.”
Currently, Fisker uses a General Motors turbocharged 2.o-liter engine for the Karma, but nothing has been mentioned as to whether the vehicle will also receive BMW power in 2012.
GALLERY: Fisker Karma
Toyota has announced pricing on the all-new, seventh-generation 2012 Camry and Camry Hybrid. The all-new Camry and Camry Hybrid will be offered in four different model grades. The models will include the entry-level L, value-driven LE, premium XLE and sporty SE grades. The XLE and SE are available with four-cylinder or V6 engines. The Camry Hybrid is offered in LE and XLE grades.
The Camry L has been priced at $21,955 and comes equipped with goodies including, Bluetooth hands-free capability, air conditioning, power windows/locks, six speaker CD audio system, and iPod connectivity. The LE has been priced at $22, 500 and features and all new Display Audio System, which features a 6.1-inch touch screen. The sporty SE has been priced at $23,000 (4-cylinder) or $26,640 (V6) and features 18-inch rims, sport suspension, and unique body styling. The XLE will start at $24,725 for the four-cylinder or $29,845 (V6) and comes with the all-new Display Audio, 17-inch rims, chrome exterior accents, heated mirrors, fog lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone auto climate control with rear air vents and wood-style interior trim.
The highly revised 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine equipped with Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i) produces 178-hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The engine achieves 25 mpg city, 35 mpg highway for 28 mpg combined – best in class. The 24-valve DOHC 3.5-liter V6 employs Dual VV-i produces 268-hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. This engine achieves 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway for 25 mpg combined.
The revised 2.5-liter four-cylinder Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain produces 200-hp and achieves 43 mpg city, 39 mpg highway for 41 mpg combined. The Camry Hybrid LE has been priced at $25,900.
GALLERY: 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Toyota Camry Review and see after the jump for the video: