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.
However, the only turns most concept cars ever see are on the turn-tables at auto shows, not the turns of a road. Some concepts however, have been able to leap into the real world. Car’s like the original Audi TT, the 2002 Ford Thunderbird and the current Chevrolet Camaro started off in life as just concept cars, but strong press and customer response lead their makers to put the vehicles into production.
This has given Lexus and its parent company Toyota something to think about. So now, Lexus’ product planning chief Karl Schlicht is saying the LF-LC’s chances of making it to production are 50/50.
“A decision has not been taken,” Schlicht said. “But we’re now up to a 50 per cent chance from a zero per cent one. Every top Toyota Motor Company manager is aware of the great reception it has received and now we’re talking about how we can do it and fit it into the product plan.”
Schlicht said the only reason this vehicle is even being considered for production is because of the reaction the concept got, if it was just a drawing, it would not have gone much further.
Worth noting, the LF-LC was designed at the Calty Design Center in California and the only brief the designers were given was regarding the size of the vehicle and that it needed to be a 2+2 coupe.
Will this hybrid sports coupe concept make the leap into reality? We would certainly like to see that.
GALLERY: Lexus LF-LC
One of the features will surely excite car enthusiasts is the new “Track Apps” system. This inbuilt feature has all the performance driving telemetry you could wish for. It has an acceleration timer that lets you record your 0-60 mph, 0-100mph, 1/8th-mile and 1/4-mile times.
There is also an accelerometer which measures g-forces, so now you’ll be able to see how hard the car is working in the corners. Braking performance is another feature with Track apps, which measures your stopping time and distance.
Finally, and possibly the most fun, there is an app that mimics the lights at a drag strip, giving a count down before stomping on the gas pedal.
All these apps will be a source of great fun for Mustang owners, we just want to urge you to do your testing on the track, and not on public roads.
To learn more about this feature, watch the video below.
The original BMW 7-series made its debut in 1977 and has since been the top luxury model in the Bavarian company’s fleet.
The fifth-generation model, internally known as the F01 came out in 2009 and much to everyone’s delight, was a lot more pleasing to the eye than the outgoing E65 model.
However, just because something looks good, doesn’t mean the company should just leave it alone and not bother updating it; and BMW knows that all to well. So rumor has it that BMW will be launching an updated version of the 7-series later this year as a 2013 model.
BMW is staying tight lipped about any styling and mechanical upgrades at the moment, but expect a nip and tuck on its exterior, while under the skin it will benefit from all the newest engines and gearboxes the company has to offer.
Rumors also suggest that the ActiveHybrid 7 will be tuned to be more efficient, rather than be a greener and faster version like the current model. If BMW adopts a version of the ActiveHybrid 5, that’ll mean the big Beemer will swap its V8-hybrid powertrain in favor of a six-cylinder hybrid engine to further improve its fuel economy.
Along with the hybrid version, expect the revisions to be carried out on the rest of the range, which include the 740i, 750i and 760i. The new Alpina version, called the B7 will also likely be launched next year, based on the new, improved model.
Exact information is scarce, but expect BMW to drop some more details on the new 7-series at an upcoming motor show.
[Source: Car and Driver]
The last time Mazda offered a coupe model based on the underpinnings of its mid-size sedan, it was called the MX-6. It was quite popular in its day, and two-generation of models had been produced before Mazda pulled the plug on the
sports sporty car back in 1997.
Now a unnamed senior company source has revealed that the new Mazda6 will spawn a coupe model, which will be based on the stunning Takeri concept car, which was a hit at the recent Tokyo Motor Show.
While the new sedan model of the Mazda6 is expected to hit the market in early 2013, the coupe version might arrive a year later. The coupe will follow the principals of other new Mazda SkyActiv vehicles, while adding new technologies like i-Eloop, which is Mazda’s version of a regenerative braking system which can help improve economy by 10%.
While European markets will likely get a 2.0-liter petrol and 2.2-liter diesel engines, the North American model could also be offered with a V6 engine. Only time will tell.
For nearly two decades, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (more commonly known as just the ‘Evo’) has been the benchmark sports sedan around the world. It might have arrived a bit late in the American market, only going on sale in 2003 with the Evo VIII model, but it has well-established itself as a giant killer in the industry and is currently the only Mitsubishi product with an enthusiasts following.
However, earlier in the year there were rumors that the Evo might get killed off. Thankfully, those are not true but according to company insiders, a plug-in hybrid Evo will be launched within three-years time.
It is believed that the hybrid Evo will make do with a diesel-electric combination to further cut down on its environmental footprint. But since diesel is not very popular in markets like Japan and America, it might also very well be available with a gasoline-electric system. So the next Evo might offer different mechanical specifications for different markets.
The new Evo will also get an updated version of Mitsubishi’s S-WAC all-wheel drive system for even better handling, and like the current model, will be the halo model for the company.
Since the inception of the Subaru WRX and STI models, they have thus far been linked to the ho-hum Impreza compact sedan/hatch. While that saved Subaru a lot of money in developing a new platform in the past, and they have done a phenomenal job transforming a boring family car into a supercar hunting sportscar, for some the Impreza link is this car’s only downfall.
Subaru too wants its WRX and STI models to now be taken more seriously and hence from 2013 are going to unveil new versions which will be based on a unique platform.
We first reported on this news back in July, when this was just in a speculation stage. But now it seems the WRX and STI will form their own models, separating them from the Impreza.
So while there is a brand new Impreza being launched for the 2012 model year, the old (or shall we say current) WRX and STI will soldier on for one more year.
As for the 2013 WRX and STI models, lots is still being speculated about what powertrain this car will have. One rumor circulating the web is that it’ll be powered by a 1.6-liter, boxer four-cylinder motor with a massive turbo-charger, and it will be capable of producing 270-hp. Could the next STi sport around 350-hp? Only time will tell.
GALLERY: 2011 Subaru WRX STI
[Source: Car and Driver]
Most car enthusiasts would probably agree, that the McLaren F1 was and still is one of the most desirable supercars of all time. It stormed onto the scene with a three-seater passenger layout, a 627-hp V12, a 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 241 mph. It had not only beaten its competition, it had annihilated them. The records it set were so impressive, it took over a decade to beat them, by cars sporting much more power. However, since the top speed crown has been taken from McLaren, many have been waiting to see what this Woking, U.K. based car company will do next.
According to the latest rumor mill, McLaren is already working on just such a car. No, it won’t be a more powerful version of the MP4-12c, but an all new car that is expected to debut in 2014. Internally, the project is known as ‘Mega Mac’ and it is rumored to be limited to 500 units, with a price-tag of less than $1-million, which would make it a bargain compared to Bugatti or Koenigsegg’s latest offerings.
This new car will feature active-aerodynamics to keep it hugging the ground at speed, because it will be really fast. Insiders suggest a 0-60 mph time of 2.6 seconds. Keep the accelerator buried a bit longer and you’ll see 100 mph flash by in 5.5 seconds, and 200 mph in just 20-seconds flat. That means it would hit the double-ton faster than a Veyron Super Sport. Not to worry, Brembo ceramic brakes will be on duty to calm all the fury.
Powering this new McLaren is rumored to be a Ricardo developed 5.0-liter V8, capable of producing around 800-hp. The transmission will be a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox built by Graziano.
No actual styling sketches have been revealed, but expect a blending of the old F1 with the new MP4-12c, only angrier. We can hardly wait to see the final result.
Low volume car companies are even more likely to update current products rather than develop new ones, and Ferrari is no exception. In the past we have seen the Testarossa turn into the 512TR and then into the F512M. The 348 spawned the 355, while the 456 became the 456M. The 360 Modena gave way to the F430, and the 550 became the 575.
However, don’t expect to see the replacement model for the 599 to be just an update. Reports suggest that its successor will be an all-new car. Ferrari recently replaced the 612 Scaglietti with the completely new FF, and would probably take the same route with the 599.
However, over the last few years, Ferrari has been keeping busy by coming up with newer versions of the 599, which has spawned the 599XX track car, the 599 GTO, and the SA Aperta (above).
The successor to the 599 is expected to be revealed next year, powered by a 700-hp version of the brand’s big V12 engine.
GALLERY: Ferrari 599 SA Aperta
Fall is in the air. Besides looking to the calendar, you can always tell that autumn is just around the corner because the new cars for 2011 are making an appearance in a big way (manufacturers introduce new models throughout the year, but autumn remains the official start of the new automotive year). So with a new year of vehicles popping up, new-car buyers ask themselves the age-old question: Am I better off to wait for the new models to come out or should I buy a leftover at the end of the season? The answer: maybe.
Every five years or so, car makers completely redesign models, from making updates to mechanicals and styling midway to a full redesign. On the plus side, these new models come with the latest safety and convenience features, and updates to engines, transmissions, and technology mean improved fuel mileage and performance. On the minus side, they pretty much always cost more (this includes the models that only have a slight redesign), and don’t even about getting a discount.
If you’re going for a leftover model, there are plenty of pros on the benefits side of the list. You’ll be able to save some money upfront, because dealers want to clear old inventory. These cars come with a full warranty, and if you are a long-distance driver, buying a car at year’s end will give you one more model year to spread your miles over. Also, according to reliability surveys, new models have more problems on average than those that have been on sale for a year or more. This means the last year of a model’s production is often the most reliable.
On the down side, the leftover car is a year old the moment you drive it off the lot, which means you’ll lose a money of the depreciation if you trade every couple of years. And if your leftover has been replaced with a redesigned model for the new model year, it’s likely to depreciate even faster.
[Source: Consumer Reports]