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 looks as though Chrysler may resurrect the Dodge Magnum. The station wagon was one of several vehicles that got axed during the dark days of Chrysler’s bankruptcy and reorganization in 2008 and 2009.
“That vehicle was single-handedly killed by one executive who is no longer with the company. He’s retired. A lot of people in the company still like that vehicle — a lot,” said Ralph Gilles, the Chrysler design chief who helped style the Magnum. “A lot of things that weren’t possible back then, now are.”
Mr. Gilles also sees the potential for the new Dodge Viper as a likely choice for an SRT version. “Also, we know we need an entry-level vehicle of some kind.”
“With the Magnum, we owned the station wagon segment,” Mr. Gilles said. “It was always a pleasure to go to car shows and trade fairs and see the number of Magnums that owners had personalized with such obvious loving care.” When asked if a sketch for a next-generation Magnum might be found in one of his sketch pad, Mr. Gilles just smile. “Stay tuned,” he said. “Great things are coming. That’s all I can say.”
Jaguar has announced that the XF will have a wagon variant but only in Europe. There probably won’t be a wagon version in the U.S, but we can live vicariously through the Europeans for a few minutes.
The most important detail given was that “It will be slightly different, with character and panache,” which may mean it could be noticeably different from the XF line (other than the back end). However no info has been release regarding price even though Jag had planned to have an XF wagon in the lineup. Last December, Jaguar’s global brand director said we would see the wagon “shortly”.
Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby announced that the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid will come to the U.S. by 2014, with one major difference. While the European market V60 will use a diesel-electric hybrid system, the United States will get a gasoline-powered variant.
Jacoby said that the V60 has a target U.S. launch date of 2013 or 2014, since more engineering of the gasoline powertrain will be carried out in advance of the launch. The V60 joins the limited production all-electric C30, and an electric car with a hydrogen fuel-cell range extender in the near future.
[Source: Motor Authority]
Toyota has already racked up 25,000 pre-orders for its Prius V wagon, (sold as the Prius Alpha in Japan), a figure that works out to more than eight times its original sales target of 3,000 units per month.
The Prius V is the first of many planned iterations of the Prius model range, with a smaller model planned next. Production of the Prius V was delayed due to the earthquake in Japan, which disrupted battery component production and other critical parts. In Japan and Europe, Toyota will sell both five and seven passenger variants, while North American models will only be available with five seats.
Tax credits for hybrid cars sold in Japan are set to expire in April 2012, and fears that vehicles may not be available on time are undoubtedly prompting some of the pre-order rush.
The long rumored Hyundai Sonata station wagon exists, and it bowed at the Geneva Auto Show, dubbed the Hyundai i40 Tourer, in keeping with the brand’s European nomenclature.
Although Hyundai PR bigwigs have denied that the i40 will come to America, we think that rising gas prices may provide an impetus for this kind of vehicle, rather than an SUV. The i40 Tourer was designed at Hyundai’s German R&D facility, and it shows in the high-quality interior, compact 1.7L diesel engine and distinct styling. While a choice of powertrains is available, Hyundai is pushing their 1.7L diesel hard, an engine that is much more aligned with European rather than North American tastes. Expect this car to do battle with the Euro-market Volkswagen Passat wagon when it goes on sale this year.
Gallery: Hyundai i40 Tourer
While Volvo was apparently set to discontinue North American sales of all station wagons – arguably the vehicle they built their reputation on – in favor of crossovers. But that looks like it will change starting in 2012, with the launch of their V60 plug-in hybrid.
Unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show, the V60 Plug-In uses a 215 horsepower 2.4L diesel 5-cylinder engine to drive the front wheels, with a 70 horsepower electric motor powering the rear axle. Three power modes are available (one pure electric, one for hybrid driving and one for an extra boost, appropriately named “Power”). All-wheel-drive can also be engaged, with both motors driving all 4 wheels when traction is limited.
In electric mode, the V60 can go as far as 30 miles without using any diesel, and can be charged in as little as 3 hours. 60 mph comes up in only 7 seconds. We can’t imagine this car not coming Stateside. With Volvo exces previously commenting on their customers affinity for eco-friendly products – and the lack of such offerings in Volvo’s lineup – this one looks like a no-brainer.
Gallery: Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid
Saab has announced it’s updated 2012 9-3, which will be available in sedan, SportWagon or convertible forms. Chief among the changes are a new front fascia which brings the 9-3 in line with bigger brother, the 9-5.
The most visible difference are new headlight assemblies, though other updates include standard front foglights and a rear deck spoiler on all models.
Under the hood, the 2012 9-3 also gets new engines, in the shape of a pair of new direct injection gasoline four-cylinders, with twin scroll turbochargers designed to reduce boost lag, as well as variable valve timing for better throttle response, balance shafts for less vibration at higher revs and a forged steel crankshaft for greater strength.
The turbo gas engines come in two different forms, rated at 163 or 220 hp. Saab says that equipped with these engines, fuel economy and emissions on the 9-3 are improved by around four percent.
In the United Kingdom, the 2012 9-3 will also be available with a 1.9-liter twin-turbo diesel engine, which is offered in three different variants, rated at 130, 160 and 180 hp respectively. It will also be offered in two trim levels, SE or Aero.
There’s no word yet on how North American models will be spec’d though expect the gas engines to make the cut but probably not the diesels.
Volvo fans can rejoice now that the famous station wagon variant, the V60, is back (in North America), but it couldn’t be further from the rugged, mechanically simple station wagons of the past.
The V60 Plug-In uses a 215 horsepower 2.4L diesel 5-cylinder engine to drive the front wheels, with a 70 horsepower electric motor powering the rear axle. Three power modes are available (one pure electric, one for hybrid driving and one for an extra boost, appropriately named “Power”). All-wheel-drive can also be engaged, with both motors driving all 4 wheels when traction is limited.
In electric mode, the V60 can go as far as 30 miles without using any diesel, and can be charged in as little as 3 hours. 60 mph comes up in only 7 seconds, but you’ll have to wait until 2012 to buy one for yourself.
Gallery: Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid
Hyundai revealed the first photos of their i40 Tourer, a European market station wagon that stands a good chance of coming to our shores as a Sonata wagon.
European media were given a preview of the vehicle, and initial reports are crammed with the usual nauseating marketing fluff, but we do know that with the rear seats up, there’s roughly 20 cubic feet of cargo space, increasing to 60.7 with the seats folded down. Available features include Bluetooth, a navigation system, lane-departure warning, 9 airbags and heated rear seats. A stop-start system is also available.
Unfortunately we have no photos of the Saab 9-5 SportCombi to show you, but considering how wild the 9-5 sedan looks, we’re very excited to see the wagon version debut at March’s Geneva Auto Show.
The last 9-5 wagon was never a runaway success, but within the niche of luxury wagons, it was a well regarded product. Many an enthusiast lusted after the 9-5 Aero wagon, but Saab is going to need more than a handful of quirky professionals to keep them in business this time around.
With a turbocharged V6 and all-wheel-drive, the SportCombi will have the “sport” part of the equation covered, but some interested features, like a sealed storage compartment under the floor (meant for wet items) sound interested, while the “adaptable multi-fold floor” and ”flexible U-rail load space configuration” will have to be seen in person before we can tell if its marketing spin or a feature that matters.
Acura‘s streak of visually dismal product introductions has finally been broken with the TSX sport wagon, a pretty interesting compact wagon that’s destined to sell like two week old carp, but will surely be a darling of auto journalists everywhere.
Based on the European market Honda Accord wagon, the TSX is curiously sold only in a 2.4L four-cylinder/5-speed automatic configuration. Why Honda doesn’t even offer their 3.5L V6 is beyond us, as it would make a seriously compelling alternative to a number of station wagons and even small crossovers.
For the added utility, you’ll have to pay $30,960, an increase $1,350 over the 2011 TSX sedan. Here’s hoping somebody buys these things.
The next Hyundai Elantra Touring will ditch the traditional station wagon bodystyle and adopt a more compact hatchback shape, as consumers warm up to cars like the Ford Fiesta which are heavily promoted in 5-door guise.
Hyundai CEO John Krafcik told Autoblog that the current Elantra Touring would complete its lifecycle, and a new model would debut in a couple years. The new car would continue to be based on the Hyundai i30, a European-market station wagon that is sold here as the Elantra Touring.
By the time the new car is launched, the 2012 Ford Focus will also be on the market, and will likely be the stiffest competition for the new Elantra.
Hyundai‘s Elantra Touring station wagon will still be offered once the Elantra sedan is replaced here in the United States. In fact, we’ll even see a new Touring sometime after the sedan launches.
But the staggered introductions wont take place on the usual schedule, which often sees a new variant launch within 12 months of the main model. Because the Touring is actually based on the Hyundai i30, a European market small wagon, American consumers will have to wait for the i30 to get a re-design, something that is supposed to happen at some point in 2011.
While Hyundai CEO John Krafcik said that there would be greater integration of the i30 and the Elantra sedan, no timetable was given. The i30 has been around since 2007, so it might be due for a refresh sooner, rather than later, and with the leap in quality represented by the Elantra, it’s going to need one lest in look stale.
Ever want to pay $87,000 for a Volvo with a name so long you can barely pronounce? Now you can, with the Heico Sportiv Volvo V70 T6 AWD R-Design, a hopped up V70 wagon made in a limited run of 100 units and retailing for almost 90 grand.
The 325 horsepower wagon will hit 60 mph in under 6 seconds and has a lower ride height, some unique cosmetic bits and bespoke alloy wheels to make it look more menacing and less wagon-like. Inside, a cocoa brown leather interior and a custom badge plate remind you why you just plunked down Porsche 911 money for a car that will likely lose 70% of its value in a few years. At least it looks good.
Just like the title says, it appears that Hyundai is prepping a wagon variant of its slick new Sonata sedan. Wagons have traditionally been met with a cool reception here in North America, but they are a must have vehicle for any manufacturer outside Canada or the U.S., where they are the family car of choice, rather than the SUV or Minivan.
Hyundai’s i35 (known here as the Elantra Touring) has been met with a positive reception in Europe. The Sonata has been sold in Europe before, but the new car has yet to go on sale, perhaps because Hyundai is waiting to launch both sedan and wagon at the same time. The Sonata has knocked off the mighty Honda Accord from the family sedan throne, and we expect the wagon to be a compelling rival to the Subaru Outback, as well as other crossovers…if it ever comes here.
See all the spy photos at the link below:
BMW‘s oddball 5-Series GT hatchback/station wagon/SUV thing is not off to a great start in the United States, and BMW executives are blaming the decision to market only the top-of-the-line rear-drive V8 car upon launch as the culprit behind sluggish sales.
“The V-8 was probably not the right car to launch it with,” said Rich Brekus, BMW’s general manager of sales for North America, told Autoweek. An all-wheel drive model will launch in June, while a six-cylinder variant is slated to arrive in the fall. The 5-Series GT is still beating the outgoing 5-Series wagon’s sales numbers, but another executive admitted that BMW was too optimistic about the vehicle’s sales projections.
Autoguide is slated to get a 550GT press vehicle in the near future, and a review should address whether or not the vehicle is worthy of our money. But it’s hard to deny that the 5-Series GT might be a little too much of a niche vehicle, even for those with lots of disposable income.