Lexus GS 450h 2013

While the new GS 450h continues to pay homage to two different masters, Lexus has, from the outset, done a better job at splitting the difference. With an entirely new V6 engine and revised hybrid system, the 2013 model has remarkably improved fuel economy, while sacrificing just a bit on the raw performance side. According to Lexus, the new model will be rated at 31 mpg combined (29/34 city/highway), an improvement of eight miles per gallon over the old 2011 model. Do the math and that’s a 35-percent improvement, which seems like a pretty good tradeoff for less than half a second in 0-60 time. By Lexus’ stopwatch, the 2013 GS 450h does 0-60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds, compared to 5.2 seconds for the old GS hybrid. The 2011 GS was offered with three engine choices: A 303-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, a 342-hp 4.6-liter V8, and a hybrid V6....





Audi A4 Quattro 2013

The only A4 2.0 TFSI sedan available for testing carried the standard six-speed manual and was gifted with Quattro all-wheel drive. The on-road behavior of this most popular North American A4 engine trim frankly hasn’t changed a whole lot, but that’s not a criticism. There is still 208 horsepower on tap and torque stands at an eminently usable 258 pound-feet between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. Bear in mind that’s for a car that weighs in at 3,550 pounds as tested (we’re estimating it’ll ring up at 3,640 pounds with the U.S.’ optional eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox). That’s a net weight loss of over 50 pounds if we are to believe 2011 and 2012 spec sheets from both sides of the pond placed side-by-side. Leading the tally of changes is a revamped thermal management system that heats everything more quickly at start-up in order to avoid wasting energy, a modification that Audi....



Volkswagen CC Europe and US 2013

Whereas the 2.0-liter inline TSI four-cylinder in Europe yields up to 208 horsepower (SAE rated), the United States version in the CC still rates 200 hp. As to the desirable 3.6-liter V6 engine, Europeans get 295 hp, while the U.S. remains 280 hp strong. The new exterior paint seen here, Black Oak Brown Metallic, is really a handsome shade, but sadly it won’t be crossing the ocean either. Likewise, these very slick optional 18×8-inch Lakeville alloys on our VR6 4Motion will stay in Europe, the U.S. car holding onto the standard Interlagos design. And no 19×8-inch optional Lugano alloys available either. Poop. While this is beginning to sound like VW’s Grinch stole Christmas, all of the major aesthetic changes in the exterior and interior look will indeed come over on the boat from the Emden factory in northern Germany. These include an all-new front fascia, more pronounced skirts between axles,....





Mercedes-Benz-ML63-AMG-2012

This is the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, and it isn’t the first high-performance sport utility from this German automaker. In 1999, Mercedes-Benz made history when it introduced the world’s first practical high-performance SUV – the ML55 AMG. (The 1992 GMC Typhoon was ahead of its time, but not very practical.) Mercedes didn’t disappoint when it revealed the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG at the LA Auto Show. The ML55’s first-generation body-on-frame platform was fitted with a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8 making 340 horsepower. Against the clock, the all-wheel-drive SUV could hit 60 mph in just under seven seconds with a top speed of nearly 150 mph. In 2005, it was succeeded by the ML63 AMG, based on a second-generation unibody platform, which was equipped with a naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 rated at 510 horsepower. With a 0-60 time of about five seconds and an electronically governed 155-mph top speed, the all-wheel-drive....



Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 2012

It used to be that the only meaningful bits of Camaro or Mustang performance data could be measured in a straight line. We’re talking 0-60, 0-100 and the ever-important quarter-mile time and trap speed. Let’s get them out of the way right now. The official 0-60 time is 3.9 seconds and the quarter mile is dispatched in 12 seconds flat. The Camaro ZL1’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8, which shares its basic spec sheet with the Cadillac CTS-V and Chevy Corvette ZR1, puts out 580 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 556 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. The official 0-60 time is 3.9 seconds and the quarter mile is dispatched in 12 seconds flat. Top speed is listed as 184 miles per hour, thanks in part to an aero package that includes a new front fascia, a carbon fiber hood with functional air extractor vents and an undertray with NACA ducts for....





Audi A1 Sportback 2012

Do We Really Want Audi To Think This Small In America? Perhaps… It is perhaps with all the speed of a mighty iceberg, but increasingly, more and more North American buyers appear willing to think smaller when pondering their next auto purchase. The other shoe, which still has largely yet to drop, is for automakers to convince consumers of the merits of a luxury subcompact, paying a price premium for a longer list of creature comforts, options and badge appeal. However small, this trend in the States is best represented by BMW and its Mini range, followed (with a few stumbles out of the gate) by the Fiat 500. In Europe, however, there is already a well-defined tradition of premium minicars on which buyers happily lavish extra dollars, and there is no model quite so indulgent for the masses as the Audi A1. Through its first complete year of sales....



2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster

As much as we don’t necessarily care for the Mini Coupe, arguing that Mini should have just created one car with a folding hardtop or only gone with the Roadster is really a moot point. Both cars debuted in concept form at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, and after receiving lots of attention from both the press and public alike, both cars were were immediately given the green light thereafter. We spoke with Horst Radivojevic, project manager for the Mini Coupe and Roadster, and he told us that there was never a question about doing just one model – we would either get two or none at all. We can’t help but cock our heads to the side and look slightly puzzled whenever we see the Coupe, but that’s definitely not the case with the Roadster. Its design is identical to the Coupe in every way, except for the awkward....





2012 Toyota Prius C [w/video]

Toyota is confident that it’s cracked the hybrid sales code: Offer more models. During the recent launch event for the Prius C in San Diego, CA, representatives told Autoblog that they don’t expect that the bigger or smaller Priuses will much affect sales of the Goldilocks standard model, now known as the Liftback, so their obvious challenge is to create more demand for the new versions of the world’s most popular hybrid. The V does that with more storage (read: family) space. The C does it with its shifter. Settling behind the wheel, the Prius C is, unquestionably, a Prius. There’s the push-button starter, the slight delay in calling up the “Ready” light and the now-expected silence when the hybrid is on. But when you put the car into Drive, you notice that the C feels like something other than a Prius: There’s an honest-to-god PRNDL shifter. All other Prius....



Kia renders Track'ster concept for Chicago

Things are shaping up nicely for next week’s Chicago Auto Show, key among them this new Kia concept called Track’ster. Riffing on the Korean automaker’s hit Soul compact, the Track’ster keeps much of the small car’s boxy style, but turns the wick up considerably by scrubbing the rear doors, fitting a gaping front end, substituting massive showcar wheels and dramatically lowering the right height. This isn’t the first time Kia has toyed with the idea of a Soul spinoff – at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, it presented the Soul’ster, a rough-and-tumble concept vehicle with a small pickup bed. Thanks to a strong response from the public, the Soul’ster was understood to be under consideration for production, but its hopes reportedly fizzled due to the economic meltdown. Despite being on the market since 2008, the Soul continues to pick up momentum in chunks. Thanks in part to a refresh for....





Volkswagen BlueSport roadster still on-track after all?

The on-again, off-again Volkswagen BlueSport roadster is, well, on again according to EVO Magazine. The publication reportedly spoke with Uli Hackenberg, head of engineering with Volkswagen, who said the company’s dealers are mistaken when they say there won’t be a market for a vehicle like the BlueSport. Hakenberg said that the rise of hardware like the Toyota GT 86 and Subaru BRZ, alongside the upcoming next-generation Mazda MX-5 suggests buyers are once again willing to put down cash on an entry-level sports car. Throw in the fact that the dollar is regaining strength and European vehicles start to look even more competitive in the Land of the Free. Despite this, recent reports have indicated that the BlueSport’s planned sibling at Porsche has been delayed, and its other planned sibling, the Audi R4, is understood to have been canceled back in May. As a result, Volkswagen is reportedly going to ask....



Infiniti Emerg-E concept 2012

  Infiniti Emerg-E concept has named its electric concept car headed for next month’s Geneva Motor Show the EMERG-E. Infiniti Emerg-E concept powered by a 1.2-liter gasoline engine with a range-extending electric motor.     Infiniti Emerg-E concept car has pure-electric range. Infiniti Emerg-E also promises zero-emission driving in most urban settings, so there’s a good chance the concept will show off some advanced charging tech as well.    





Kia releases second Track'Ster teaser ahead of Chicago debut

Kia has officially dropped new teaser for its Chicago-bound Track’Ster concept. Word has it the new hatch will be based largely on the company’s Soul five-door, though with a few notable tweaks. For starters, designers scrapped the rear doors for more of a hot hatch look. A new front fascia looks to be part of the recipe as well, and odds are the Track’Ster will rock suitably outrageous wheels befitting a true concept. But will it come to production? It’s hard telling. As you may recall, the Soul has been a go-to favorite as a concept platform in the past. Kia showed off the beach-going Soul’ster concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, and while the vehicle generated enormous buzz, the economic slowdown put a stop to any production plans. Still, with corporate cousin Hyundai rocking the Veloster, there may be room in the Kia stable for a performance hatch.....



Bertone releases sketches of Nuccio Concept ahead of Geneva

Turin-based styling house Bertone has released a couple of sketches teasing its upcoming Nuccio Concept car. To be debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March, the Nuccio will reportedly be based on a mid-engine platform and is meant to commemorate the company’s 100-year anniversary. The Nuccio is named after founder Giovanni Bertone’s son, who took over the company and separated it into two divisions, one for building cars and one for designing them for clients. Giuseppe “Nuccio” Bertone died in 1997 and was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit in 2006, having led his eponymous company through its most successful years. The Nuccio Concept will be a berlinetta (Italian for little saloon) of classic Bertone design, sporting a pronounced wedge shape that sits very low to the ground. No real details were provided with the two sketches, so we’ll have to wait until the Geneva....





Toyota teases FT-Bh concept hybrid city car ahead of Geneva

Most concepts you’ll see on the show stands of the Geneva Motor Show will come packing some manner of sci-fi powertrain and ultra-expensive chassis and body materials. That’s where the Toyota FT-Bh concept stands apart. Toyota is calling it a “full hybrid city car study,” so the FT-Bh isn’t destined for production. However, Toyota’s goal was to create an inexpensive, fuel efficient urban runabout that doesn’t rely on expensive materials or complex manufacturing, but rather uses existing technology to make an affordable hybrid for the masses – something that would be perfect for Europe. Thing is, Toyota is bringing just that to Geneva in mass-market form. Joining the FT-Bh on stage is the production version of the Yaris Hybrid, which for all intents and purposes is exactly what the FT-Bh is: an inexpensive, small hybrid based off an existing platform and using tried-and-true technology. Packing a 1.5-liter gasoline engine mated....



Kia Track'ster unlikely for production, but hints at next-generation Soul "family"

Expect the next Soul to look something like the Track’ster, with Kia deploying more than one variant. Kia’s Track’ster Concept is one of the big hits of the Chicago Auto Show, one of the rare concepts that just screams, “Build me!” But after a thorough interrogation of Kia’s PR team and an interview with design chief Peter Schreyer, we realize that’s just wishful thinking. We do, however, expect the next Soul to look something like the Track’ster, with Kia deploying more than one variant when the second generation appears in a few years. “If the Soul were to evolve into a family, it would be nice,” Schreyer told us. Kia spokesman Scott McKee repeatedly said the Track’ster was just a concept and not intended to be production feasible, all the while issuing the standard auto company disclaimer, “Every concept car we do is about gathering information from consumers and media.”....





SsangYong Geneva-bound XIV-2 convertible crossover gets rendered

We know what you’re thinking. Combining SsangYong and “convertible crossover” in the same sentence is a recipe for disaster. After all, SsangYong has never been known for the attractiveness of its designs, and the only droptop crossover currently on the market, the Nissan Murano CrossCab, isn’t exactly a beauty queen, either. That said, the SsangYong XIV-1 Concept (that stands for eXciting User Interface Vehicle, for what it’s worth) from the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show was a decent enough looker, and, instead of a full-blown convertible top that folds its way into a hump behind the rear seats, the XIV-2 Concept appears to sport a sliding canvas roof akin to the Fiat 500 Cabrio. Only two teaser images have so far been released, along with a brief press release, so we’ll have to wait until the 2012 Geneva Motor Show kicks off in earnest before drawing any conclusions. That said, it’s....



Are you the Infiniti Emerg-e concept?

For an automaker whose lineup is made up of more crossovers than anything else, Infiniti sure does seem to like doing two-door show cars. The 2006 Coupe Concept showed the way forward for the G37 coupe, the 2009 Essence concept showcased a new design direction, the Etherea concept of 2011 may have been a five-door hatch but tried its damnedest to look like a coupe, and now the Japanese luxury marque is preparing to roll in to Geneva with a new sports car concept altogether. Dubbed Emerg-e, the concept car has so far only been teased with a handful of close-up detail shots tinted such a deep purple we were half expecting them to break out into a rendition of “Smoke on the Water” – which was, come to think of it, set just across the lake from where the concept is set to be unveiled just a few weeks....





How Kia built its show-stopping Track'ster concept

We’ll admit it: We’re totally smitten with the Kia Track’ster Concept that debuted at last week’s Chicago Auto Show. And it’s not just because we like the idea of a 250-horsepower, all-wheel-drive hot hatch from Korea, it’s because this concept shows bits and pieces of what the next-generation Soul could look like, including a possible three-door configuration. Kia, however, has no immediate plans to send the Track’ster into production. In fact, specific elements like the turbocharged engine don’t even exist – this is purely a design study, albeit a hot one. The process of building the Track’ster started a little over nine months ago, and the folks at Motor Trend were able to watch the entire creation process. Ideas and sketches turned into clay models which were later photographed, detailed, and sent over to a company that specializes in building concept cars. As a special treat, we even get to....



Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera preparing new Disco Volante concept for Geneva

Mention the names Disco Volante and Touring to connoisseurs of classic Italian automobiles and you’re going to need to start handing out bibs. The Disco Volante, for the uninitiated, is not a rave held inside a convertible Aston Martin, but one of the most beautiful Alfa Romeos ever made. Officially know as the C52, the 1950s-era Alfa prototype – of which only four were ever made – was named Flying Saucer (in Italian) because of its aerodynamic shape. It was based on the Alfa Romeo 1900 but rebodied to its streamlined shape by – you guessed it – Carrozzeria Touring. That coachbuilder had long since disappeared into obscurity, but was more recently revived to give us some very alluring designs, from concept cars like the Gumpert Tornante and Maserati A8 GCS to coachbuilt conversions of existing vehicles like the Maserati Quattroporte Bellagio Fastback and – perhaps most enticing of all....





Volvo V40 2013 first look caught on camera

The Swedish Car Maker -Volvo is doing a lot  in making the new 2013 Volvo V40 to be in a race with other rivalries like VW Golf R and Audi RS3  in Europe market. 2013 Volvo V40 Right Side View Checkout the latest video of 2013 Volvo V40 : Car Performance and Engine : The turbo petrol five-cylinder engine is quite powerful to generate  254 horsepower easily. The diesel  1600 cc engine is more enhanced  than previous one. 2013 Volvo V40 Rear Side View It can touch 0 to 100 km / h in just 6.7 seconds. A CO2 emissions of 94 gram/kilometer, until it goes back to T5 5-cylinder petrol engine. 2013 Volvo V40 Front Side View Every model of V40, has a Stop & Start system. 2013 Volvo V40 Top Side View Car Production : It is manufactured in Ghent in Belgium. Volvo estimated to sell 90,000 units of the V40....



2011 McLaren MP4-12C

History McLaren automotive is the second oldest Formula 1 racing team in existence behind Ferrari. With that being said it would make sense that the company knows a thing or two about building powerful machines and winning races. The team operates under the name Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and has 169 individual race wins under its belt. The company has been known as an innovator since its inception and carbon-fiber products have been their claim to fame. This year the F1 team will be competing in the company’s 200th carbon fiber monocoque chassis. Other road-going vehicles have been designed with a heavy use of carbon-fiber composite material. In 1993 the F1 debuted as the first car to utilize a carbon chassis. The legendary F1 also competed in F1 races, winning its first ever 24 hours of Le Mans race. McLaren has had a long running partnership with Mercedes that led to....





Ferrari announced new V12 Supercar for Geneva

Ferrari has announced the official results for the 2011 year and it has been a very impressive year for the company: they have announced a profit of 312.4 million euro. But this is not the only good news coming from Italy: Ferrari has confirmed the unveiling of a new V12 supercar at the Geneva Motor Show. They offered no other details on the car, but considering the latest rumors, for sure they are talking about the successor for the 599 sports car – or 620 GT as it is believed to be called. “We can only be satisfied with these results, – declared Chairman Luca di Montezemolo. – They were achieved against an economic backdrop that remains challenging, particularly in Europe. They are the fruit of heavy investment and a culture of innovation that covers all areas of the business. Our international expansion continues and Ferrari today has a network....



Porsche 911 GT3 2013 caught on camera first look

  The new generation Porsche 911 is out for quite some time now, but it took a while until Porsche has finally decided to take the GT3 version out for a testing session. The sports car has been taken on slippery and snowy roads and lucky for us the spy photographers were there to catch it testing. As you can see in these spy shots the car has received the GT3 typical front bumper and the centered twin exhaust pipes, but the big rear wing that further distinguish the GT3 is missing. While until this point is not very sure what engine will be used for the sports car, we can tell you for sure that the engine will be around 450 HP. Also, as previously reported the GT3 will only be offered with a PDK gearbox, even if both versions are currently being tested. The GT3 will also feature....





Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition 2012

Exterior and Interior The Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition includes several carbon fiber elements that help to reduce weight, including a carbon fiber raised hood, carbon fiber Z06-style fenders, carbon fiber floor panels, a “CFZ”carbon fiber front splitter, and rocker panels. It is painted in a crisp white paint combined with optional full-length racing stripes in Pearl Silver Blue, including a tonal stripe stitched into the convertible top. It sits on standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels wrapped in ZR1-style Michelin PS2 tires. The model can also be combined with the new 60th Anniversary package that includes an Arctic White exterior with a Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior and suede accents. Other features include a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special badging, gray-painted brake calipers, and “60” logos on the wheel center caps, steering wheel, and seat headrests. Dimensions Wheelbase (in / mm): 105.7 / 2685 Overall length (in / mm):....



Renault, Fiat Pace European Car-Sales Drop as Demand Stalls

Renault, Fiat Pace European Car-Sales Drop as Demand Stalls Antoine Antoniol/Bloomberg Shareholders look at a Renault SA Latitude vehicle at the company’s annual general meeting at the Palais des Congres in Paris. Shareholders look at a Renault SA Latitude vehicle at the company’s annual general meeting at the Palais des Congres in Paris. Photographer: Antoine Antoniol/Bloomberg Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Renault SA, talks about the outlook for Europe car market, pricing and debt financing. He speaks with Bloomberg Television’s Caroline Connan in the Paris suburb of Boulogne Billancourt. (Source: Bloomberg) Enlarge image Renault, Fiat Pace European Car-Sales Drop as Demand Stalls Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images The Renault Duster vehicle is displayed during the 2012 India Auto Expo in New Delhi, India. The Renault Duster vehicle is displayed during the 2012 India Auto Expo in New Delhi, India. Photographer: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images Renault SA (RNO), Fiat....





Sports cars, muscle cars are prepared for Auto Expo in Sandy

Auto expo days and hours: Friday January 13th: 11 am 10 pm Saturday January 14th: 10 am 10 pm Sunday January 15th: 10 am 8 pm Monday January 16th (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day): 10 am 8 pm. E-mail: rtrishman@desnews.com Twitter: robrunning