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.
Plenty of exotic supercars made their way to Russ Beach Smith Falls Airport to take part in the ‘Race the Runway 2012′ charity event that raises money for the Russ Beach Smith Falls-Montague Aviation Museum. At the event, millions of dollars worth of exotics took part in a 1/4-mile drag race on the paved runway, with an electric Tesla Roadster turning in the best time of the day.
Ford recently announced the EPA fuel efficiency rating for its electric Focus model. Since it doesn’t burn any gasoline, the number isn’t in miles per gallon (MPG), but was given as miles per gallon gasoline equivalent, or MPGe. A new term to the automotive lexicon, it’s worth exploring exactly what MPGe means and how an MPGe rating is determined, especially as the number of electric cars and plug-in electric hybrids on the roads continues to increase.
To get people excited about the new, topless Roadster, MINI has opened up a live peep show on Hollywood Blvd, just a block away from the Kodak and Chinese Theatres.
A tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign for 25 days, curious passersby will get to feast their eyes on some MINI action after pressing a button on the display, triggering the window blinds to roll back to reveal a roadster showing off on a slowly rotating pedestal, complete with neon lights, a disco ball, smoke effects, and music to set the mood.
Vice President of MINI USA explained, “The new MINI Roadster is a devilishly fast, uncompromising two-seater soft-top with the soul of a sports car and the heart of a MINI. Our Peepshow reveal in this prime Los Angeles location sets the scene perfectly for our latest model which delivers more fun than one person can handle with its exhilarating ride and unlimited headroom.”
GALLERY: Mini Roadster Peep Show
Roger Ormisher, director of Fisker global communications, told us that “the Karma’s battery only depletes to about 15% state of charge”
Similar to the Chevrolet Volt, the Karma uses a gas generator to help extend the vehicles electric range.
Tesla ran into some hot water when a customer left their Roadster discharged and unplugged for two months. When the customer tried to charge the car again, it wouldn’t take a charge. When the car was taken to Tesla for repairs, it was estimated to cost $40,000 to fix.
Fisker made sure to point out that its battery is “a different composition to that of Tesla’s meaning that it takes many months to fully discharge even if it is not plugged in.”
While that doesn’t mean the Karma is completely immune to ‘bricking’ it does offer some peace of mind to owners. We guess the Biebs can go on tour for a few months with his Karma unplugged, but we wouldn’t recommend it!
Tesla has been weathering a storm of questions regarding its Tesla Roadsters ‘bricking’. Earlier today, the company posted an entry in its blog explaining the situation, and claiming that newer models can last significantly longer without being plugged in.
The blog post titled “Plug It In” reminds Tesla Roadster owners to plug in their vehicles when not in use. Additionally, the company says that newer Roadsters will have the option to “contact Tesla headquarters once the state of charge falls below a specified level, and we can then contact the owner.”
This is coming after a blogger noted that a fully discharged Tesla Roadster was left unplugged for two months. When the owner attempted to recharge the car after the two months, it wouldn’t work, and required a $40,000 repair.
Tesla finally noted that “Model S and Model X will have batteries that can sit unplugged for over a year when parked with only a 50 percent charge. And when that year is up, all you need to do is plug it in.” Meaning that negligent owners will have a longer grace period before their car’s batteries fail.
Despite Tesla’s claims and reminders about plugging in its vehicles, no where in the blog post does it explicitly say that Tesla vehicles cannot brick.
The 2013 Porsche Boxster S is going to look more aggressive with fresh lines a new interior and bigger air scoops, but the real change is going to be how it feels on the road.
New looks are cool, but just wait until you see what the folks over in Stuttgart cooked up this time for the iconic roadster: a turbo cramming 50 extra ponies in for a grand total of 360 hp. What’s even more exciting is the fact that Porsche is doing this without it’s 3.4-liter flat-six. In fact, they’re slicing two cylinders right off in favor of a 2.4-liter flat 4, meaning a faster car that’s more forgiving at the pump.
A less potent version will also make its way into the Cayman and base Boxster models. This is great news for anyone thinking of buying a Boxster, because they know how much fun they are already with 310 ponies pushing past curvy roads. Furthermore, the car will shed some curb weight, meaning that extra power will punch even harder.
The official debut is slated for this year’s Geneva Auto Show, look for more details and pictures to come
[Source: Road & Track]
Brabus has announced a Roadster variant of their custom Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and it looks to be based on the tuning package for the 700 Biturbo SLS AMG Coupe. Its official debut will be at the upcoming Essen Motor Show on November 26th, 2011.
No official specifications were announced, but based on the Biturbo 700, we can safely assume the Brabus SLS AMG Roadster sports 700-hp with 626 lb-ft of torque thanks to the B63 bi-turbo system. Plenty of carbon fiber components adorn the exterior of the vehicle, though we’re sure there’s slight differences between the Roadster and the Coupe’s styling accessories due to aerodynamics.
Along with the turbo upgrade and styling accessories, Brabus also offers interior customization for the SLS AMG Roadster, as they do with various other Mercedes models.
GALLERY: Brabus Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
Details on the next generation Mercedes-Benz SL have been announced, and the biggest Mercedes droptop is going on a serious diet.
Since the outgoing model weighs 4,233 lbs., Mercedes-Benz is looking to have the SL return to its Sport Leicht roots, German for Sport Light. The next SL will undergo a redesign involving extensive use of aluminum, new bonding techniques and “bionic” elements inspired by structures found in nature. With that in mind, the next SL will lose almost 300 lbs and attain torsional rigidity improvements of more than 20%.
Mercedes-Benz will introduce new features including a windshield wiper system known as Magic Vision Control. While it sounds like a gizmo found in a sci-fi show from the 80′s, it’s actually a sophisticated sensor that measures ambient temperatures, traveling speeds, and even the season of the year in order to calculate the optimal amount of washer fluid to spray onto the windshield. What’s more, two sound systems will be offered for the SL – a Harman Kardon 600-watt Logic7 surround sound system and and a top-of-the-line 940-watt Bang & Olufsen system will also be available. More details will be revealed when the SL is closer to its 2013 production.
GALLERY: Mercedes SL Concept
When I first laid eyes on the Chevrolet Miray concept, I thought: this is what the Batmobile would look like if it was small, silver, and Korean.
A product of GM Korea, the Miray (Korean for “future” first debuted at the Seoul Motor Show earlier this year but made its European debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Built to mark Chevrolet’s 100th anniversary, the Miray re-interprets design cues from throughout the company’s sports car heritage.
The Miray can run in either front or rear-wheel drive. A turbocharged 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine drives the rear wheels while a pair of 15 kWh electric motors can power the front wheels.
A carbon fiber shell surrounds the twin cockpit (for Batman AND Robin) which is inspired by Chevrolet’s iconic sports cars.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Miray Concept
Rumors are brewing that the Lexus LF-A Roadster Concept we saw debut back in 2008 may head to production, debuting in 2014. Reports are coming in that once the first batch of 500 LFAs are completed, there will be a one-year break before the LFA Roadster becomes available, possibly in mid-2014.
It would appear that the production LFA Roadster will have the same 4.8L V10 powerplant that the LFA currently has, pushing 560-hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. The original concept from 2008 did feature a speed adaptive rear wing. It will be interesting to see if the LFA sales pick up enough for Lexus to warrant a convertible variant and whether or not there are enough consumers to be interested in purchasing one.
GALLERY: Lexus LF-A Roadster
[Source: GT Spirit]
Smart is planning to produce a successor to its now retired roadster with the new model is set to hit dealers next year. Inspired by the ForSpeed concept (above), which was revealed at the Geneva Auto Show in March, the car is expected to stay true to the 2003 original with the distinctive low stance. Other design highlights are set to include sculpted flanks along with intricate detailing.
The Smart Roadster was to make a comeback in 2006 when an industry group called Project Kimber planned to sell revised versions of the car using the AC Ace badge. Production was to commence in 2007, but the operation was quietly dropped before a prototype had even hit the road.
In addition to this model, all-new versions of the ForTwo and ForFour are scheduled to hit showrooms in 2014.
GALLERY: Smart ForSpeed EV Roadster
Spada’s new Condatronca Monza is quite a beast. The sports car was initially unveiled a few months ago and Spada has only now revealed the details on this monster.
The open-roof bodystyle roadster will crank out 710-hp from a twin-supercharged 7.0-liter V8 engine. The vehicle only weighs 1,180 kg (2,600 lbs) and the cockpit is stripped out, featuring Sabelt bucket seats and full data acquisition system centered around the F1-style steering wheel. Spada says the car can go from 0-62 mph in 3 seconds flat with a top speed of 208 mph.
Check out the video after the jump!