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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.
Congratulations, you’re all grown up! At this point in life you’ve probably made it through college with more than an associate’s degree in the field of interpretive dance; you’ve more than likely claimed a life partner that’s the opposite gender and of breeding age and, consequently, you’ve manufactured a genetic replica or two. You’re going places, and you need a suitable vehicle for this exciting new lifestyle.
5 PT Inspection
Gone from the Audi lineup is the A4 wagon, known as the Avant, and in its place is the return of the Allroad.
While the previous Allroad model sold on our shores (from 1999 to 2005) was based on the A6 wagon, this new version is a down-sized model based off the more compact A4.
So does it combine the best aspects of a sedan and crossover? Or are we left wanting for the return of Audi’s premium, sporty wagon.
Over the winter our photogaphers captured several spy photos of an Audi RS6 mule testing in the European North. Now that Spring has returned, the RS6 is testing the limits of adhesion on a different surface – the Nurburgring.
The wagon (Avant) style RS6 is easily distinguishable by some massive wheels and significant air intakes in the front. It’s believed that like the S6 it will use a version of the 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 first fitted to the Bentley Continental. With the S6 model delivering 420 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque, look for the RS6 to deliver over 500 hp with a 0-60 time in the low four second range.
Other performance goodies used to keep all that girth in check will include some big carbon ceramic brakes.
Look for Audi to first show off the new RS6 at the Paris Motor Show this Fall.
GALLERY: 2013 Audi RS6
At least that’s the case in the U.S. In Europe a production version of this wagon has been on sale for several months, but despite being on display at this year’s New York Auto Show, the official line from Volkswagen was just a study designed to gauge public reaction.
However, given the success of vehicles like Subaru’s Legacy Outback here and even Audi’s AllRoad, it seems like a no-brainer to us for a North American version to be made available to dealers.
However, the powertrain may be of some concern in the American market. The European car is offered with a choice of 2.0-liter diesels (the concept in NY sports the 140 hp version) though making that marketable here would probably require a gas option.
That said, a combination of 4Motion all-wheel drive, raised ride height, electronic locking differentials and decent cargo capacity are bound to strike a chord with a healthy portion of North American vehicle shoppers. We’ll see if VW has anything else to say about it once New York show wraps up.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Passat AllTrack concept
German based tuner Abt Sportsline will be revealing four new tuned vehicles for the upcoming Geneva Auto Show.
For Audi, Abt will add some spice to the Audi Q3 crossover. Dubbed the QS3, the compact crossover will receive a power boost from its 2.0 liter engine to produce a total output of 266-hp. Abt has also provided an aggressive body kit to compliment the QS3′s performance.
Abt’s Audi AS6 Avant will also be presented at Geneva, decked out with front and rear spoilers, revised side skirts and a four-tailpipe exhaust system. Sporting a tuned 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine, Abt has massaged the powerplant to put out 355-hp, an extra 46-hp over stock.
For Volkswagen, Abt will feature a crowd stopping Beetle with a reduced ride height, headlight masks and 20-inch alloy wheels. In the power department, this mean Bug will deliver 237-hp.
Finally, Abt gets its hands on the new Volkswagen Up! Offering only aesthetic changes for now, the Up! receives mirror caps, headlight masks and revised side skirts.
GALLERY: Abt Sportsline Geneva Teaser
Our photographers have just caught up with the soon-to-be-revealed Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake.
Spy photos of the unique wagon-styled-coupe that’s actually a sedan (or is it a wagon now?) show a nearly-completed vehicle, suggesting it could make its world premiere as early as the Geneva Motor Show in March. Mercedes has already announced plans for the CLS Shooting Brake to go on sale by the end of this year.
When it does arrive look for power to come from the brand’s new twin-turbo 4.6-liter V8 with a choice of either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and if we’re really lucky, a CLS63 Shooting Brake may also be in the pipe with a twin-turbo 5.5-liter engine and well over 500 hp.
GALLERY: Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake Spy Photos
If there were any doubts that Hyundai is planning to offer a second generation of its Elantra Touring in North America, this should pretty much do away with them.
Spied parking in an underground condo garage in Toronto, Canada and sent to us by a friend who runs the Endras BMW Blog, the spy photos at first seem to show some type of Volkswagen prototype. The shape of the headlights, however, is just some camo trickery, and the fenders are most certainly those of the Hyundai Elantra Touring. As though more confirmation was needed, a peak inside shows the Hyundai badge on the steering wheel and a typical Hyundai interior.
When it does arrive on our shores, look for the same engine as the current Elantra, with a 2.0-liter making 148 hp and getting 40 mpg on the highway. Previous reports have suggested a 200 hp turbocharged model could be in the works, as well as a plug-in hybrid version.
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Elantra Touring Spy Photos
Based on the current generation A6 wagon, the test mule features a more bold font grille, as well as add-on fender flares to accommodate the wider track. Other hints include the use of some larger A8 wheels and some massive ceramic brakes.
Power for the RS6 is expected to come from the new 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo engine found in cars like the S6, S8 and the new Bentley Continental GT V8. In the Bentley it makes 500 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque, while the S8 boasts 520 hp and 48 lb-ft.
At this point further details are just speculation, but there’s a possibility the new RS6 could get boxy integrated fender flares, reminiscent of the original Audi Quattro, while some body panels could be made of carbon fiber to help shed poundage from the large and luxurious super wagon.
GALLERY: 2013 Audi RS6 Avant Spy Photos
Cadillac‘s 2012 SRX crossover and CTS sports sedan and wagon models received a crash safety rating of 5-star overall. According to the National Highway Traffic Adminstration, only 21 vehicles earned the overall high score for 2012.
The SRX and CTS sedan and wagon were tested under NHTSA’s revised New Car Assessment Program first put to effect for the 2011 model year. This revision requires vehicles to pass frontal, side and rollover tests. The 5-star overall rating takes into account the combined results of all the tests.
GM executive director of Vehicle Safety Gay Kent expresses, “Receiving five stars under the new rating system is an impressive feat– on that clearly demonstrates the strength of the SRX and CTS advanced structure, overall crashworthiness and effectiveness of the models’ state-of-the-art safety technologies.”
Hit the jump to watch the video:
A stylish look at the future of Subaru’s hybrid tech, the Advanced Tourer Concept is one of several Tokyo Motor Show debuts for the Japanese automaker. A wild looking wagon, it’s powered by a turbocharged direct-injection 4-cylinder boxer engine mated to an in-house hybrid drivetrain, working with Subaru’s all-wheel drive system.
GALLERY: Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept
Find out more about the Advanced Tourer Concept in the video below:
With Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi offering wagon versions of their E-Class, 5-Series and A6 mid-luxury sedans, Jaguar is prepping a wagon version of its XF sedan, and like modern Jaguar‘s, it will take a slightly different approach to the traditional luxury formula.
In the UK, a “Shooting Brake” denotes a sports car converted into a wagon-like vehicle. Some were converted solely to meet the whims of wealthy owners, while others were used to hold hunting gear and other sporting equipment, giving the owner the best of both worlds. The XF Sportbrake will likely take after this tradition, placing an emphasis on style rather than practicality (in the same way that the 5-Series and A6 do, rather than the E-Class with its focus on cargo capacity).
A full engine lineup, ranging from the XF’s ultra-efficient 2.2L diesel engine, up to the 5.0L V8, should be available. The XF will also get Jaguar’s upcoming AWD system, but what you won’t see is a Sportbrake sold in America.
Gallery: Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Overwhelming proof that wagons, and for that matter hybrids, can in fact be cool, is the Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept. Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show today, the car is powered by the next evolution of Subaru’s hybrid powertrain that is expected to arrive in a production model in 2013.
A followup to the Hybrid Tourer Concept, this uses a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder direct-injection boxer gasoline engine mated to an in-house hybrid system – not a Toyota product. It features both regenerative braking and a lithium-ion battery back, both increasingly standard-fare in the hybrid market. Of note, the ATC also features an electric all-wheel drive system (this is a Subaru after all), operating as a front-drive model under most circumstances, while electric power can be sent to the rear wheels for added grip.
Purposeful features aside, the ATC is simply stunning, with a sleek wagon body and aggressive stance. It also might be the least-tacky example of scissor doors we’ve come across, paired with rear suicide doors, allowing an incredible look into the stunning cabin complete with plenty of natural wood.
GALLERY: Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept
See video of the Advanced Tourer Concept below: