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.
Ten Turbocharged Cars We Can't Wait to Get Our Hands On
Turbocharged vehicles are quickly becoming the answer to having a fuel-efficient vehicle, with exciting performance. They seem to all be geared towards the sensible enthusiast, offering sporty dynamics, while still getting solid fuel efficiency.
Here’s some of the upcoming turbo-charged vehicles you can expect in the next few years. We’ve got some spy-pictures, and concept designs, even though some details of these cars are still unknown.
10. Subaru WRX STI: 305-hp $34,095
One of the most wonderful sensations come when you command a whole handful of power just with the flexing of your right foot. Horsepower is an intoxicating element when it comes to driving, but that doesn’t mean that it’s saved for the most expensive vehicles out there.
When the 1973 Volkswagen Beetle first came out, it was powered by a 1.3L air-cooled engine with a mere 44-hp. Considering there are over 70 cars that make 500-hp or more, the stock Beetle powerplant just doesn’t cut it these days.
So imagine what this Beetle feels like packing at least 282-hp with a 2.0L turbocharged, boxer Subaru WRX STi engine in the rear. This swapped Volkswagen Beetle is up for sale on a Romanian website for a ridiculous $79,500 (€59,990). With it though, are Porsche-sourced brakes, wheels, and other accessories.
We imagine it’s probably a ton of fun trying to control this Beetle on the road and is definitely an interesting choice of engine swap donor and donee.
GALLERY: Subaru WRX STi Powered VW Beetle
Subaru has announced that Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude will return as factory team drivers for their entry in the Grand Sport (GS) class of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The first round of the series will take place at Daytona International Speedway on January 27th, 2012.
Subaru will be fielding a race-prepped 2012 four-door WRX STI, developed specifically to compete with all the other 400-hp vehicles in the class. Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) has been working on a technical progression for the number-35 STI during the off-season and appears to be optimistic heading into round one of the championship.
SRRT Principal Joe Aquilante noted, “We’ve enjoyed a very productive off-season, and our team is looking forward to getting back to the business of racing our Subaru WRX STI. Our drivers have been focusing on honing their physical fitness while our technical staff has been diligently progressing our car development plan. To say that we’re excited for Daytona is an understatement.”
Round one of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge starts January 27th at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL.
Subaru has confirmed that their next generation WRX will pack a new 2.0L turbocharged flat-four powerplant with a targeted horsepower rating of 270-hp. The powerplant will be a turbocharged version of the FA20 powerplant found in the new Subaru BRZ.
Despite being half a liter smaller than the current 2.5L, 265-hp engine, the turbocharged FA20 engine will ultimately be more powerful and more fuel efficient. Either way, we’re happy that the WRX is returning with a turbocharged powerplant and we’ll get to enjoy the infamous rumble that a turbocharged flat-four produces.
The new WRX will further separate itself from the standard Impreza models with this powerplant. The standard Impreza is equipped with a 2.0L flat-four from Subaru’s FB-series of engines which lacks the new-age technology found in the FA20 engine.
Subaru didn’t confirm when we’ll see the new WRX though, but we’re anticipating that it’ll make its debut sometime next year and will be available as a 2013 model.
[Source: Motor Trend]
Travis Pastrana needs no real introduction but after seeing a video of his record-setting Mt. Washington Climb, we felt a tad empty. Sure it had some awesome footage of the car sliding around as it ascended the mountain, but we just thought something was missing. Thankfully another video has surfaced in full HD that satisfies every bit of our car junkieness.
The addition of a timer in the lower right hand corner clicking off the seconds as Pastrana makes the record run adds a lot of excitement to the video. Combined with a handful of different angles both in car and out, this is what every automotive video should be. Watch how the car reacts to Pastrana’s driving and the on hood first person point of view gives an idea of just how fast his drive was and how dangerous it is with limited visibility as he gets towards the top.
If there’s anything you do to make today worth something, watch the video.
Check out the 7 minute, 24 second video after the break.
What hasn’t Travis Pastrana done in that little Subaru that could? If it wasn’t cool enough for him to fling across the Long Beach Pier for New Years, he’s gone and conquered Mt. Washington, setting a new record (by 22 seconds) that hasn’t been touched since 1998. And if the 6 minute and 20.47 second time isn’t impressive enough going up the 7.6 mile winding course, Pastrana did it on his first try.
Chilling on top of the 6,288-foot Mt. Washington probably felt much better after he realized how he destroyed the record. And to think he can probably best that time when the official Climb to the Clouds race takes place June 22-26th, 2011. The Climb to the Clouds features over 100 turns with an average gradient of 11.6%.
We’re hoping a video surfaces of the record setting run, but we’re sure there’s going to be plenty of people ready to witness Pastrana tackle Climb to the Clouds.
GALLERY: Travis Pastrana Record Setting Run At Mt. Washington
So clearly drifting has swept America by storm, skipping all the way across the ocean from Japan. And now it’s influencing other forms of motorsports out in the Middle East. But there is something interesting about what they’re trying to do: it’s not quite the drifting that we’re used to seeing, nor is it quite autocross the way we’re used to seeing. What they intentionally end up doing is setting up what would appear to be an autocross track, dousing it with water for a slick surface and promoting the drivers to do a controlled, out-of-control, lap around the course.
The first dead giveaway that this isn’t drifting as we’re used to seeing is the everyday vehicles lining up to compete on the course, much like autocross fashion. Then seeing a large collection of AWD cars like Mitsubishi‘s Evolution and Subaru’s WRX.
SSK Racing out in the Middle East is promoting the series as Drift Art.
We’re going to safely assume that it’s rather difficult to hold a sanctioned drift event out in the Middle East with actual tandem battles. Instead this format can reach out to the grassroots level racers and let them have an event filled with fun and the opportunity to do what we all wish we could do with our cars on a daily basis. We can’t wait to see what they have in store and how they’ll take this to the next level. But please, someone needs to let them know that it’s “professional,” not profissional.
Make sure to check out the video after the break.
[Source: Crank and Piston]
Osamu Namba, Subaru‘s new design chief wants to help move the company from a cult brand adored by outdoorsy types, Snowbelt buyers and performance enthusiasts into a mainstream brand capable of competing with offerings from major automakers.
“We want to broaden the appeal to make it accessible to more than a small, loyal crowd,” Namba said in an interview with Automotive News. According to Namba, form has traditionally followed function at Subaru, as their design was dictated by the low-mounted boxer engines, tall roofs (designed to help haul large items like bikes and other lifestyle gear) and sometimes outlandish wings and air scoops, necessitated by the rally-inspired performance items like big brakes and turbochargers.
Namba, who previously ran an independent design studio, was hired by Subaru after previous attempts at developing a unifying design language, faced a strong negative reaction from consumers. One review for the Subaru Tribeca famously called the new winged front fascia a “flying vagina”.
Using the current Legacy and Outback as a template, future Subarus will be more accessible, but also bolder, with fewer soft curves and more muscular styling, eschewing the understated and functional designs of the past. “I don’t want it to be just something serious and boring,” Namba says. “A lot of people don’t know that Subaru brand. If we can make styling more accessible, it will bring them in.
[Source: Automotive News]
Subaru’s Impreza WRX and STI models are some of the best performance cars money can buy, but customers in the United Kingdom will now have an extra incentive to buy one of Subaru’s boxer-engined hatchbacks. Prodrive, a British motorsports engineering firm long associated with Subaru, is offering a free upgrade package for the WRX and STI (valued at £3100) that adds a revised ECU, upgraded mufflers and 18-inch wheels.
No new power numbers are available, but the increases are expcted to be in the 30-hp and 30 ft-lb range for each model. Subaru claims the upgrades are expected to shave 0.6 seconds from the 0-60 mph time of the WRX (bringing it down to 5.9 seconds) and 0.4 seconds from the STI’s time (helping it reach the mark in 4.8 seconds).
[Source: World Car Fans]
Official release after the jump: