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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.
Despite getting a refresh in 2011, Toyota seems to have recognized that its full-size sedan, aimed squarely at baby boomers looking for value and comfort, needed a new face to continue competing with the ever-changing car market.
Compared to the 2012 model, the upcoming Avalon features a stylish interior that feels more like a German luxury car than its predecessor. While pricing details aren’t available yet, last year’s model started in the low $30,000′s so it seems reasonable to assume this car would stick in the same range.
An LCD screen that fits nicely into the redesigned center stack shows everything from infotainment options music selection to maps. A colorful gauge cluster with white numbers further compliments the redesigned interior which has more space than a BMW 5 Series. There’s also a charging station for mobile devices and captive-touch controls for climate settings.
Other features that were present in previous generations like a power rear window shade remain for rear-seat comfort as well.
“There’s also an unmatched list of technology-driven safety features, including a best-in-class 10 airbags, blind spot monitor with cross-traffic detection and pre-collision system,” said Toyota Motor Sales group vice president Bob Carter.
“Our goal was always to make something small great,” a Volkswagen executive said on stage.
To garner the award, the Up! beat both the volume-selling and luxurious BMW 3 Series and the thrilling Porsche 911. The victory suggests that journalists across the world are putting a growing emphasis on greener, or at least more fuel-efficient vehicles.
This victory for means the automaker won four of the past five years for the most prestigious of the four awards offered by the World Car Awards each year.
Mazda doesn’t plan to bring the Takeri to market, at least not in name — but the company’s North America president and CEO but Jim O’Sullivan was quick to point out that concepts are generally close to later production models with the brand.
GALLERY: Mazda Takeri Concept
Absence from the New York Auto Show today didn’t stop the new Jaguar F-Type from stealing the show.
Instead of a traditional teaser, Jaguar poked fun at the spy photographers publications rely on by offering them a break from hanging out in trees. Instead, those attending the press conference saw a short video featuring plenty of footage with a “properly camouflaged” test mule flying around a track.
While mechanical details weren’t released on the F-Type, Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark said during the conference that the F-Type would remain almost entirely true to the C-X16 unveiled last September.
Much of the information about the new Altima made its way onto the internet yesterday thanks to a set of loose lips, or careless fingers as it were but there’s still more to tell. ”NASA inspired zero-gravity seats” make their first debut in the car.
The automaker turned to NASA in an effort to develop seats that keep the driver and front passenger in the most natural position possible for ideal comfort. Of course, people come in all shapes and sizes, so anything short of a test drive is probably inadequate to render judgement.
The Buick Enclave has been a great seller for the company, helping it beat out competitors from Acura, Audi and Lincoln. Before its 2012 New York Auto Show debut, Buick is showing off the latest chapter in its Enclave success story.
The 2013 Buick Enclave shows off a new sculpted design, as well as new LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights. Other Buick details like chrome grille and accents help round out the look, and make it instantly recognizable as a Buick.
Inside the Enclave, the new IntelliLink infotainment system helps usher in a modern feel to the Buick. Blue LED ambient lighting carries forth the high-tech feel.
Aside from the infotainment system, the Enclave features luxurious touches like soft touch materials and live stitching throughout the cabin.
The Buick also includes an industry first front center airbag.
The Buick Enclave offers three rows of seating, and with both the second and third row folded down, it offers more cargo space than the Mercedes-Benz R Class, Infiniti JX, Acura MDX, Lincoln MKT, Audi Q7 and the Volvo XC90.
The Enclave is still available in front or all wheel drive, and is powered by the same 3.6 liter V6 with an updated six-speed automatic. Buick points out that the FWD Enclave can hit 24mpg on the highway.
Check out the full gallery below, and keep checking back for more New York Auto Show news.
Gallery: 2013 Buck Enclave
You have to give it up to the folks at SRT, they just don’t give up. Even after their latest teaser campaign on Facebook failed, they still gave the crowd what they wanted. Today they’ve stopped fishing for likes and released a new image (above) for their loyal fans.
The new pictue shows a lightly dimmed front profile of the Viper. You can see a vague outline of the vehicle, including the signature hood-scoop, and if you squint you can notice the new ‘Stryker’ logo.
The new Viper is set to be officially revealed at the New York Auto Show later this week. SRT has set up a live webcast for the reveal, stating that “Hibernation is ending in 2 days.” This of course is in reference to the Dodge Viper ending production in 2010. Now though, the Viper is coming badged as an SRT car, not a Dodge.
Be sure to check back with us on April 4 for full official details on the SRT Viper, live from the New York Auto Show floor.
Since its unveiling, the Lexus spindle grille has spun a web of new vehicle designs that has yet to stop growing and the ES sedan is the latest addition to that network.
The company issued a press release today saying that it will debut the new ES at next week’s New York Auto Show. We don’t get any more details than that, but the picture you see above was a part of the announcement. From it we can see that the ES will follow suit with the rest of Lexus’ newly restyled cars which implement the signature spindle grille first seen on the LF-LC concept in Detroit.
LED headlight accents, differently-styled fog lamps and chrome touches will lend new style to the front fascia. We’re expecting more than just an updated face, though. Lexus said its sixth-generation ES will introduce a “dynamic new driving experience.”
If current car design trends are any indicator, bet on seeing LEDs in the tail lights and the same sharper lines found on the rest of the automaker’s new lineup.
While we’re not sure what that means, we’ll be reporting live from New York City next ween on April 4.
It turns out that OnStar isn’t just used for helping yourself or your vehicle. Today OnStar is reporting that many use the system to help others in need.
According to OnStar’s statistics, there are quite a few “Good Samaritan calls” in which an OnStar user calls to report another drivers situation that needs assistance. This includes things like helping drivers who have been in an accident or have a flat tire. Some even use OnStar to respond to Amber Alerts.
In honor of the good deeds of OnStar users, there will be a program launched later this year to recognize those who have shown good Samaritan efforts. Additional details will be coming at a later date.
Here is the list and numbers of America’s Top 10 Cities making Good Samaritan calls. It’s very interesting to note that these are among some of the most congested cities in America as well. Maybe some of these calls occur right in gridlock.
Porsche Design is setting up shop in New York’s trendy Soho district. This is the second Porsche Design store location in New York, and it will outfit affluent shoppers with its luxe line of products.
The new flagship store will not only feature swanky Porsche swag, it will also showcase a designed wall showcasing the brand’s history and a VIP shopping area. Located on West Broadway in Manhattan, the Porsche Design store covers 250 square meters of retail space filled with the brand’s entire range of products. This includes luggage, eyewear, smoking accessories, mobile phones, and the Porsche Design Fashion Collection for women and men.
“With the store in SoHo we are taking the Porsche Design luxury brand to the next level – not only in New York City and the United States of America but globally”, said Dr. Juergen Gessler, CEO of Porsche Design Group. “Porsche Design SoHo is the world’s largest store and brings our philosophy of ‘Iconic Style’ alive. The boutique will not only set its footprint within Lower Manhattan but also become a landmark for shopping enthusiasts around the world. The idea behind that new store and our whole lifestyle matches perfectly with the Manhattanites’ lifestyle.”
There is less than a week until Christmas and if you’re looking for a gift that’s just plain bonkers we’re here to help. How about a 1991 Toyota Camry LE customized like a candy cane and decked out in what can only be described as hilarity and nonsense.
Despite the Providence, RI. seller, repeatedly insisting the car is not for sale during his advertisement, it can be had for a tiny buy-it-now price of $1.7 million on eBay. For that price it comes complete with the world’s smallest pogo stick instead of a spare tire, hopelessly goofy workout equipment on the roof, a live Boston terrier hood ornament and many other homespun features.
The price-tag might seem outrageous, but consider this: the silly Santa selling the car might actually be ahead of safety innovators like Volvo. His creation sports functional fashion: stripes that boast “900 candlepower” to make sure you not only see the car day or night, but that you’re as good as blind while driving behind it. If you get hit in this thing it’s probably intentional.
Not only that, but the car runs on insanity instead of gas— “eat your heart out, GM,” the seller says in his video. It’s probably true because you would have to be crazy to bid on this thing, or would you?
Right now there are 23 bids for the car, which is currently fetching $2025. Sure it falls short of the price tag, but what value can you really put on a car that really is unforgettable? The answer is just around the corner. Rhode Island’s funniest car will disappear from eBay on December 22 and we’re eagerly watching to see what people are willing to pay.
GALLERY: Candy Cane Toyota Camry
Watch the video below:
Ford is delaying the full launch of the 2012 electric Focus. Initially, the Focus EV was to be launched in 19 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. However, plans have changed and the primary launch will be concentrated in California and New York.
Ford’s electrified-vehicles marketing manager David Finnegan said, ”For the first few months of production, we will be concentrating on California and New York,” he said. “Our dealers in those areas will be the first to have their retail orders scheduled and receive the Focus electric. We will be rolling out to the remainder of our initial markets starting in spring 2012.” Ford has yet to set a date for the Focus EV launch in the remaining markets.
[Source: Automotive News]
The New York State Congress is now mulling the Green Taxis Act, a bill which would permit individual municipalities to set their own taxi fleet fuel-efficiency standards. These sorts of fuel efficiency rules are presently only mandated and regulated by the federal government.
Advocates say New York’s attempt to set an example is generally a good idea, as it could set a precedent for other cities to control their own energy policy. Additionally, with all the taxis in New York, a policy adjustment in favor of more economical cabs would undoubtedly multiply fuel savings and reduced pollution.
If the proposal goes all the way through to law, it would also enable New York to create its own new style taxi. Presently, several hybrid minivan-style designs have been suggested as the Big Apple looks to improve its image and become more green.
[Source: Gas 2.0]
With so many people falling on hard times in this economy, some folks will do anything to earn a buck. That includes faking a car accident to make ends meet.
According to a recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), questionable claims (QC) resulting from staged accidents have increased 46 percent from 2007 through 2009. On a somewhat positive note, legitimate insurance claims have shrunken a bit, but this is only because there are fewer cars on the road, a by-product of fewer jobs.
What makes this type of crime so popular is that unless someone becomes suspicious, many of these staged accidents go undetected. Along with the fact that it’s a criminal offence and they defraud insurance companies out of millions of dollars (which in turn raises the premiums for the rest of us), staged accidents often involve innocent victims who are obeying the law, and can result in serious injury and death.
Florida takes the lead in all states with 3,006 QCs in 2009, with New York following in second with 1,680. Rounding out the top five are California (1,619), Texas (792) and Illinois (433). Out of the top offending cities, New York City leads the way, but Florida comes in strong with three offending cities (Tampa, 562; Miami, 511; and Orlando, 422). Houston closes out the list with 376 QCs.
The NICB has created a series of videos that get the message across by demonstrating some of the most common types of staged accidents. You can watch them at www.nicb.org.
Official release after the jump:
The Volkswagen Polo was named the 2010 World Car of the Year, beating out the other finalists, the Toyota Prius and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
The VW Polo was selected by a jury of 59 international journalists from an overall field of 30 vehicles.
“We’re honored that the Volkswagen Polo was chosen by this distinguished group of jurors,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG. “After the great triumph of the Golf last year, we are delighted to repeat this success with the new Polo. These automobiles have reaped numerous awards, winning well-nigh every prize the automotive industry has to award. This shows that Volkswagen is on the right track and is offering arguably the best range of products in its history.”
The Polo wasn’t the only Volkswagen to take home some hardware. The VW BlueMotion line also won the 2010 World Green Car Award.