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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.
With May sales numbers rolling out today, there are some interesting stories developing around several automakers.
Get off your lazy butt and drive everywhere. We know that most people would tell you that you can’t stay in shape if you drive all the time, but we beg to differ, now that SUVs come equipped with stationary bikes.
In the latest chapter of non-necessary, must-have auto add-ons, Becker Automotive Design put an exercise bike in a Cadillac Escalade ESV. The company knows you’re much too busy to hit the gym, and that’s why this ride lets you sweat in style. Sit down and pedal hard – grip the hand grips and work those legs using foot pedals that ensure you’ll feel the burn. The next best thing to this custom ride would be actually riding a bike to work.
There’s no word if this SUV is a hybrid, but we would love to see it run on gas and foot power.
Lamborghini is famous for naming cars after fighting bulls, but that might be changing as today it was announced that the automaker has tradmarked the name “Deimos” for a future product.
Those familiar with Greek mythology will know that Deimos is a son to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty. However, Deimos himself is better known for spreading terror and dread across the land. While it’s it’s a break in tradition for the marque to move away from its known naming structure, the sinister title probably fits.
Still, we’re wondering which vehicle, if any, the name will be fitted to. Lamborghini is working on two new products, a replacement for the aging Gallardo, and a new SUV that will likely be unveiled in China at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show.
As more and more automakers embrace social media marketing, Lamborghini has opted for a more intimate approach, inviting select clientele to attend a special New York City preview event to gain feedback for a potential third model for the Lamborghini line-up.
Lamborghini should, however, know that technology always prevails with details of the private affair having leaked on the internet.
A couple guests blabbered news of a cherry red Lamborghini SUV concept that will make its way to a Beijing premiere at the Auto China later in the month. Armed with a personal blog, one Lamborghini guest, Ed Bolian, revealed that the new Rambo Lambo features a silhouette similar to the BMW X6 and an overall size similar to the Audi Q7, all but confirming previous reports that the Lamborghini SUV will use a modified VW Group PL71 SUV platform that’s also used for the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg.
Even though an SUV body style is naturally higher off the ground, Lamborghini’s carbon fiber body kit brought out a more muscular and couple-like profile to make the stance of the Lamborghini SUV seem lower and more planted. Bolian also described the front fascia as Estoque-like, while also featuring a full LED headlight arrangement. The rear of the SUV is emphasized by a boldly designed trapezoidal quad-exhaust, integrated to the rear diffuser. Wheels on the SUV are 24-inches in diameter and incorporate carbon fiber blades similar to that of the Aventador J. A dramatic statement for a concept vehicle, the carbon fiber blades are unlikely to carry over into production.
Inside, carbon fiber trim is generously applied throughout the cabin, lending an appearance similar to the interior of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. What’s more, a high center console extends to the rear passengers to provide a more coupe-like seating arrangement.
Lamborghini has yet to reveal any details regarding the production powertrain but previous reports have suggested a Gallardo-sourced 5.2-liter V10 engine, producing 585-hp.
Whether the concept is the real deal or just a styling exercise, we’re excited to share more information on Lamborghini’s concept SUV as we draw closer to Beijing’s Auto China show.
GALLERY: Lamborghini SUV
Courtesy of Eastern European publication AutoForums.cz, we can now report that the upcoming MKZ has little changed from the concept car released at last January’s Detroit Auto Show.
The side-view mirrors got a little bigger, as did the headlights, though most of the styling stayed the same. An interior shot also reveals that much of the concept was accurate to the production model, with scant wood–stlye accents with mostly black and chrome trim throughout.
Smaller alloy wheels also seem to be a part of the production model, though the key feature we’re most curious about isn’t detailed in the shots.
That means we’ll still have to wait until April 4 to find out about the fully-retractable panoramic roof which has been confirmed for the sedan despite few specific details being available. We do know that it will feature 100 spf UV protection to keep occupants from getting sunburned, but we’re still not sure how much it will cost as what we’re assuming will be an option.
Check back during our live coverage for more details on the flagship vehicle of what will be a refreshed Lincoln lineup.
GALLERY: 2013 Lincoln MKZ leaked
If you own a 2006 model-year Honda CR-V, you might need to keep an eye on your mail box.
Honda is voluntarily recalling 1,316 CR-V’s because it suspects that the weld that they used to hold the right front lower control arm was improper. With time, that weld can break which potentially can lead to an accident.
So far, no one has reported this issue and Honda hopes to address this problem before anyone has an unfortunate accident.
Honda will be mailing out the recall notice to the affected customers by mid-April. Customers are encouraged to visit a Honda authorized dealer as soon as they get their notice.
If you think your vehicle could be affected and yet did not receive a letter from Honda by mid-April, you can also check the status of your vehicle by going online to www.recalls.honda.com or by calling (800) 999-1009 and then selecting option 4.
When Mercedes-Benz first launched the Gelandewagen (a.k.a. G-Class) in 1979, it’s purpose in life was to be mainly a military vehicle. Their goal was to take business away from the Land Rover Defender, a vehicle that was synonymous with the likes of NATO’s peace keeping forces, as well as the African safari adventurers.
However, over the years, the G-class has evolved and has become a vehicle that is more likely to be found in the urban jungle, rather than the actual jungle.
Quite a few years ago, they came up with the G55 model, which had a super-charged V8 capable of producing around 500-hp. Some thought that would be the ultimate G-class, but they underestimated the madness of AMG engineers.
Now comes news, the G65 is upon us, and it will pack a 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V12, that is capable of producing 612-hp. We first reported on this last year, when it was just a rumor. Now it has turned out to be true, as information of the G65′s specs and pricing has been leaked by AutoEvolution.
According to the spec sheet, this V12 SUV will send power to all-wheels via an AMG Speedshift Plus 7-G-Tronic automatic gearbox, which should not only give it better performance, but also better fuel economy (as if the latter matters to those who buy V12 SUV’s that weigh well over two-tons).
If you’re interested, be prepared to fork out roughly $290,000 to have one. It is expected to go on sale in June.
Jeep has just announced that it will recall 209,724 units of its Liberty model, built for model year 2004 and 2005. However, the recall is only for States that are considered “Snow Belt” areas.
Why do these Liberty models have a problem with snow?
Because the recall is about rust, and the States that use road salt are more likely to cause a rust issue due to excessive corrosion.
The components that are of concern to Jeep and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) are the lower control arms, which can crack as a result of corrosion. Such a defect can effect the vehicles handling and could result in a crash.
NHTSA says that 21-States are included in this recall, and Jeep will start notifying and correcting this issue by April of this year. So far, 83 corrosion complaints have been reported, but thankfully no one has been involved in an accident or reported any injuries.
Jeep made a significant design change to the lower control arm in 2004. This part was manufactured by Global Automotive Systems, which is now part of DURA Automotive systems of Rochester Hills, MI.
If your vehicle is potentially affected, expect a letter of recall from Jeep very soon. All the repairs will be done free of charge for the owners of these vehicles. For more info, contact NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.
The above photo shows a disguised Murano cruising around. That raises questions because the most recent Murano model refresh happened in 2011, which means we’re far from the time an automaker would typically invest in a revamp.
The photographer said it sounded a lot like a four-cylinder, which would be a change for the Murano which is currently only offered with Nissan’s 3.5-liter V6 with 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque.
Upon examination, this theory seems to be right. There is only one tailpipe where the production Murano has two. Nissan already has two smaller options that offer a four-cylinder: the Rogue and Juke.
That said, it seems the automaker is playing with the idea of adding another gas-sipping family ferry to the line.
GALLERY: Nissan Murano spy photos
[Source: Truck Trend]
Nissan has released information about its new Pathfinder Concept today, as well as the new technology thats going to help make it a more comfortable SUV for the whole family.
While the Pathfinder also features a new exterior, which works with a new CVT to provide better fuel economy, Nissan also shows us a few new features designed to upgrade the cars comfort. Drivers will certainly enjoy the heated and cooled front seats, as well as the heated steering wheel. Passengers should appreciate features like the heated second row seating, and the tri-zone climate control. Its also worth mentioning the advanced Bose speaker system that has 13 speakers.
The Pathfinder concept features a large multifunction display which provides the driver with real-time traffic and weather information. Also making an appearance is Nissan’s Around View Monitor, which gives the driver a full 360-degree image of the area around the car.
One last innovative feature is the second row’s “child-seat mode” which allows the row to move forward while a child seat stays in place, so a passenger can get into the third row.
GALLERY: Nissan Pathfinder Concept
New details on the 2013 Ford Escape are available thanks to a consumer survey page posted on the company’s website.
While the pricing details aren’t concrete, it gives us more information than we had last December when we reported that the American giant planned to drop their hybrid powertrain in light of lackluster sales and new engines that came close to the same fuel economy without electric motors.
Now we know that there will be four trim levels: the S, SE, SEL and Titanium. Prices increase along with the length of the package name. According to the page, the base “S” might start at $21,970, though the prices and features may change based on customer feedback.
The features list is slim, but will probably include an AM/FM radio and single-disc CD player with MP3 compatibility and six speakers as well as Ford’s MyKey, Safety Canopy and driver knee and side airbags.
The top-of-the-line “Titanium” package upgrades you to HD radio and a 10-speaker Sony sound system. Also Sync with MyFord Touch and a partial leather interior.
The mid-range SE and SEL models differ, but it’s hard to believe that Ford will really restrict features between the different Escapes, especially given that this is a tentative list.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Escape
China is the new land of opportunity as businessmen gain newfound wealth from its booming economy. However, some have learned the hard way that money cannot buy happiness.
Last week, a Porsche owner was upset that his Cayenne SUV, worth a reported 2.7 million yuan, suffered a string of problems during the 2 months he owned it. Claiming that the serious problem nearly caused him to crash on two occasions, the Porsche dealership of Shenzhen agreed to fix the vehicle. Unfortunately, the problem inexplicably continued to resurface.
Although the Porsche dealer offered the owner to swap for another Cayenne, the owner demanded his money back instead. Eventually, the Shenzhen Porsche dealer submitted to the Cayenne owner’s demands under the condition that he sign a confidentiality agreement and to not disclose why he returned his Porsche. However, the agreement fell through and the Porsche dealership chose not to take back the lemon Cayenne after all. Taking matters into his own hands, the Cayenne owner decided to return his Cayenne on a flatbed truck and staged a loud protest right outside the dealer doors.
While the situation is certainly negative publicity, a senior executive from a premium car brand believes that incidents like this one would barely affect sales. As the Chinese economy continues to prosper, the demand for high luxury vehicles will not slow down.
Last year, a similar protest story involved a disgruntled Lamborghini Gallardo owner that hired a bunch of men to publicly destroy his defective Italian sports car on China’s World Consumer Rights Day.
[Source: China Car Times]
If you have been a fan of the turbo-charged motor in the current Acura RDX, you may not like what you’re about to read.
At the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit MI., Acura unveiled the 2013 RDX, which is to ditch its unique turbo-charged motor for a more conventional 3.5-liter V6 motor.
This new engine does pack a bigger punch. It develops 273-hp, that is 33-hp more than the current model. Acura said its customers were not very happy with the fuel-economy of the turbo-charged motor, so it has gone with a more conventional V6. Helping it achieve better fuel-economy will also be its new 6-speed automatic gearbox (current version has five-speeds). Acura has already carried out EPA testing for this vehicle, and the result is 20-mpg in the city and 28-mpg on the highway.
The new model will be available as either a front-wheel drive or all-wheel model.
The new RDX will also be longer than the out-going model, which didn’t offer much rear-seat legroom or much trunk space.
So in many areas, the new RDX seems to be a better vehicle than the one it replaces. Will it still be as much fun to drive? We will let you as soon as we get to drive one.
GALLERY: 2013 Acura RDX
Once again, thanks to internet chatter we’ve got some more information on this hum-dinger of an SUV. A member on the Tesla Motors Club forum said he read in the Barclays Capital research report that there would be an unveiling on February 9. According to a post by Autoblog earlier today, that date is now confirmed.
So far, Tesla has been leading the EV industry in style and performance, consistently proving that being without an internal combustion engine isn’t the end of the world, though it may be the end of your bank account. Their first release, the Tesla Roadster, is a head turner that makes you feel like Tony Stark. Next they released the Model S, touting it as the worlds first premium electric sedan. The Model X is sure to follow their attention magnet tradition.
Thanks to Bentley‘s strongest sales performance since 2008, the gentlemen of Crewe are looking to expand their line-up with the introduction of a new luxury SUV by 2014.
Known for its generous application of wood and leather, Bentley does not intend to compete against the likes of Cayenne or Range Rover. Instead, Bentley aims to position its SUV above any other SUV currently on the market. Expect prices to begin at $140,000 plus.
Volkswagen, Bentley’s German owner, also plans to carry this project over to its Lamborghini operation as well. A new Lamborghini SUV would become the third model in the brand’s exotic line-up and would also mark the return of the Lamborghini SUV after the LM002 “Rambo Lambo” was built from 1986 to 1993.
In 2008, Lamborghini first unveiled the 4-door Lamborghini Estoque concept car. Although the sedan was well received by both the press and public, a strong demand for sporty soft-roaders from emerging markets like China, Russia, and India suggest that a high-performance SUV for Lamborghini may be better going forward.
An official Lamborghini address on the matter is expected by the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March.
Kanye West once rapped that the Mercedes G550 was “his favorite toy”, but West, along with other rappers and oil shieks, will be sorely disappointed to learn that the new AMG versions expected to debut will make their lowly G550 look dated.
The G55 will get an updated twin-turbo 525-horsepower 5.5L V8, similar to other Mercedes AMG cars, to replace its supercharged V8. A mild facelift will also follow. But what’s really making news is the rumored G65, which should come with a twin-turbocharged V12 engine and a pricetag of $327,000. The V12 will put out 612 horsepower and roughly 738 lb-ft of torque. The excessive price tag and power figures are in play thanks to an ultra-exclusive run of only 250 cars.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz G55 and G65 AMG
Let’s hope this alliance will bear better fruit this time around, as Maserati is set to unveil their Kubang SUV concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.
The Kubang, which will be the first SUV to wear a Maserati badge, will be based on the chassis of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. While power will be provided by an Italian engine (Maserati uses Ferrari engines in their cars), the vehicle is expected to be produced in America at Chrysler’s Jefferson North facility.
The Kubang concept was last seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September, and while we cannot confirm if the Detroit unveil will be of the same vehicle or something different, we do know that Maserati will unveil an SUV at the N.A.I.A.S.
Put the two together and its easy to figure out that possibly a more production ready version of the Kubang will bow in Detroit.
We will be covering the Detroit auto show and will bring you all the latest news from the show, as it happens.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Toyota announced today the MSRP for the 2012 RAV4 compact sport utility vehicle. The overall price point on the compact crossover is being increased by an average of $100, or 0.4 percent on all models.
You can get the RAV4 in three different trim packages: the base RAV package, the middle of the road Sport package and the top of the line Limited package, with a choice between a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6. Toyota also offers a choice between front wheel drive or electronic on demand four wheel drive.
The starting MSRP is $22,650 and stretches in range up to $28, 650. The 2012 RAV4 will hit dealers on December 20th.