Spied: 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe

GM’s body-on-frame full-size SUVs have been around for a while. The Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade have gone largely unchanged since their debut in 2007 – nearly an eternity as far as vehicle life cycles go. With the competition stepping their game up, GM’s hard at work on replacements for the Tahoe, Yukon, and Escalade, and our spy photographers recently caught proof of that hard work in the form of a 2014 Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon test mule roaming around the outskirts of GM’s Milford Proving Grounds.

Despite what the blacked-out oval mounted in the grille may have you thinking, this tester’s other design cues reveal it’s clearly the work of the Bowtie boys. Up front, the next-gen Tahoe gets a grille that looks influenced slightly by the 2014 Impala, with the addition of a strong horizontal bar slashing though the center, similar to the design element that has adorned Tahoe and Suburbans as far back as the early 1970s. Some other styling cues we can pick up from this heavily camouflaged mule include a completely new front bumper, the return of the prominent tow hooks, and the presence of front (and rear) parking sensors on this tester. One thing this Tahoe mule doesn’t reveal, though, is its headlights. Although it wears pre-production stand-in headlights, the 2014 Tahoe’s headlights will probably be smaller and likely featured LED running lamps.

From its side and rear profiles, we can tell the next-gen Tahoe will be boxier and more sharply styled than its somewhat-rounded predecessors. The 2014 Tahoe will get a new rear spoiler with an LED center-mounted stop light, and a tailgate that’s more square-cut than before. A glimpse at the rear also reveals this body-on-frame behemoth will likely retain its solid-rear axle.

Though details on the 2014 Tahoe’s powertrain remain scarce, the Tahoe will remain available in two- or four-wheel drive, and more than likely have a six-speed automatic transmission, with an eight-speed automatic transmission available sometime after launch. Engine options will more than likely include a direct-injected version of GM’s 6.2-liter V-8, as well as a 5.3-liter or 5.5-liter direct-injected V-8. The Chevy, GMC, and Cadillac will all ride on a shortened version of the 2014 Silverado/Sierra chassis, codenamed “K2UC” for the Chevy, and “K2UG” for the GMC. The Cadillac’s codename isn’t yet known.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2015 Mini Traveller

That red Mini Countryman in the photos isn’t just another four- or five-seat all-wheel drive Mini — it’s a mule built on top of the redesigned platform that will carry the long-rumored Traveller minivan.

With the Clubman-based Clubvan going on sale late this year and the three-door Mini Countryman Coupe sure to follow, it’s about time for Mini to cook up another vehicle for its stable. It looks like the next car in the lineup will be a minivan of sorts.

Our spy shots show what we’ve been hearing for some time: the Traveller will sit atop a slightly wider, longer Mini platform (as evidenced by the flared wheel wells with the front wheels pushed forward). We also hear the Traveller will have an uncharacteristically low roofline, designed to stand out against the crowd of other people movers. To keep costs down, however, the Traveller will get four front-hinged doors

The tester’s powertrain doesn’t appear to be different from the standard Countryman, but we do hear that the standard, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine currently under the Countryman’s hood could be replaced with a turbocharged three-cylinder powerplant in certain markets.

Expect to see more on Mini’s minvan in the coming year: the car should be previewed by a concept called the Mini Spacebox in the run up to the production launch of the 2014 Mini Traveller.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2012 Mazda MX-5 Kuro

Mazda will continue to celebrate its famous roadster, the MX-5 Miata, by launching yet another special version of the car in the U.K. Called the MX-5 Kuro, the latest model has a unique new color scheme and several sportier body parts.

The Kuro’s roof is painted black, as are the mirrors and 17-inch wheels. The only paint choices are red, white, and black. In that respect, the MX-5 Kuro is somewhat similar to the special-edition car that Mazda introduced for the American market at the Chicago auto show. The Kuro goes one step further, however, adding a new rear fascia with built-in diffuser, a larger exhaust tip, racing stripes along each side of the car, black foglight housings, and special Kuro badges. The interior scores aluminum pedals, gray leather heated seats, and gray leather door panels with red stitching.

Just 600 copies will be sold in the U.K., of which 200 are soft tops and 400 have the MX-5′s power-folding hardtop. To help entice customers to buy the cars, Mazda is even offering special low interest-rate financing for the MX-5 Kuro.

Mazda has been busy rolling out special version of the MX-5: in addition to the American-market Miata Special Edition and supercharged, 241-hp MX-5 Yusho prototype, Mazda this week showed off the MX-5 GT concept. The latter is designed to be a road-legal car for track day enthusiasts, complete with a more powerful engine, slick tires and stiffer suspension, and Recaro bucket seats. Unlike the other special-edition models, Mazda hasn’t yet decided whether it will produce the MX-5 GT.

All these vamped-up cars are meant to pay tribute to the fact that the MX-5 has sold over 900,000 copies globally since its launch in 1989. They also will serve as a sort of swan-song: Mazda will likely introduce a new version of the MX-5 in the next few years, the basis of which will be used to build a new Alfa Romeo Spider.

A Mazda spokesman said the MX-5 lends itself to special edition models particularly well because it’s an enthusiast’s car: the company wouldn’t make special versions of the Mazda 2 subcompact or CX-5 crossover, for instance. Showing off unique cars at auto shows helps draw attention to the design and customization possibilities of the roadster. The spokesman told us that there will be more special editions of the MX-5 in the U.S. — but it’s unlikely they’ll resemble the hotted-up MX-5 GT concept, or even the Yushi. Here’s hoping they somehow manage to build that spectacular Super20.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2013 Range Rover Sport

These are the first spy shots of the all-new Range Rover Sport, spotted on the road near Land Rover's HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire. We've already seen a number of prototypes for its bigger brother - the new Range Rover - but these pictures suggest the Sport is closer to production than previously thought.

Although heavily camouflaged with cladding on the front end and an army-style wrap on the rest of the bodywork, the Range Rover Sport is unmistakeable for a number of reasons. Featuring a more steeply-raked windscreen, a narrower side glass area, lower roof and gently-tapered roof line, it cuts a much sportier profile. There's also shorter overhangs, different tailights and a bigger roof spoiler.

Under the skin it will share its platform with the Range Rover - a modified version of the XJ's all-aluminium chassis. That should mean significant weight-loss compared to the current Discovery-based model. Reports suggest Land Rover could cut as much as 400kg from the kerbweight, bringing the total down to around 2,100kg.

Engines for the new model will include the 3.0-litre V6 diesel and 5.0-litre V8 petrol in naturally-aspirated and supercharged forms, as seen in the current car. All will use an efficient eight-speed automatic gearbox and be tweaked for a little more power and better fuel economy.

The Range Rover will be revealed towards the end of the summer, so expect the Sport to follow closer to the end of the year. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2013 SEAT Toledo

SEAT has unveiled its all-new Toledo – and the MPV styling of the last-generation car has been ditched as it’s gone back to its saloon roots.

The new Toledo is based on the stretched VW Polo platform that also underpins the recently unveiled Skoda Rapid. SEAT hopes to recapture the success of the first two generations of Toledo, which sold more than 860,000 cars. In contrast, the old MPV model (sold from 2004 to 2009) was a showroom flop.

Despite the saloon styling, SEAT has followed the Rapid by fitting the Toledo with a hatch tailgate. This gives easy access to the boot, which has a 500-litre capacity. By comparison, a Ford Focus offers only 316 litres.

The wheelbase is 80mm longer than on the MkII Toledo – a saloon last produced in 2004 – which gives more interior space. Power comes from the latest VW Group engines, including 1.2 and 1.4-litre TSI petrols producing between 74bhp and 120bhp, as well as a 1.6-litre TDI diesel with 104bhp. The more powerful engines will be offered with the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox as an option.

The petrol-powered Ecomotive model – which uses the 1.2 TSI engine – claims CO2 emissions of 116g/km, while the 1.6 diesel Ecomotive manages a best-in-class figure of 104g/km of CO2.

SEAT will launch the new Toledo in the UK next year. Prices are expected to start from around £13,000, with electric windows, central locking and six airbags all standard. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: BMW to Use Toyota's Hybrid & Hydrogen Engines

We already knew that Toyota and BMW had made plans to share some powertrain technologies, but a new report from Automotive News suggests that Toyota will supply its hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies to BMW for use in the German company’s cars.

In December of last year, Toyota and BMW agreed that the German automaker would provide Toyota with its 1.6- and 2.0-liter diesel engines for use in European-market vehicles. Then, in March, the two companies inked a deal to collaborate on the research and development of future lithium-ion batteries – the kind of batteries used for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Now, according to AN, the two companies have moved forward with Toyota supplying a version of its successful Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) hybrid system to BMW. The powertrain sharing will give BMW an already-developed hybrid system for use in its cars and will, in turn, help Toyota with economies of scale with production of the hybrid system. Automotive News also reports Toyota will supply BMW with its hydrogen fuel cell tech; however, Toyota has yet to introduce a hydrogen-powered car for sale to date. BMW used to sell a hydrogen-powered version of its 7 Series sedan, the Hydrogen7, but that car didn’t use a fuel cell stack for power — instead, its internal combustion engine was modified to burn hydrogen instead of gasoline.

AN says the official announcement of the powertrain-sharing agreement will be announced later this week, but does not indicate what BMW models may use Toyota’s HSD system. 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 and ActiveHybrid 5 sedans should go on sale later this year, and the automaker already sells the ActiveHybrid 750i sedan. The ActiveHybrid 750i uses BMW’s 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 paired to an eight-speed automatic and an electric motor drawing on a lithium-ion battery pack; the smaller 3 and 5 Series hybrids will instead use a 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 paired with a similar electric drive system.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Chevrolet Colorado (US Spec)

When General Motors showed the Thai-built 2012 Chevrolet Colorado show truck in May of 2011, many Americans felt left out; wishing it would replace the aging U.S.-spec Colorado. By October, GM answered their pleas and announced the new Colorado would be built in the automaker’s Wentzville, Mo. plant for U.S. consumption. Our spy photographer recently caught a pair of camouflaged Colorado pickups testing with a Toyota Tacoma in Michigan, and was able to snap some photos before the two development mules returned to General Motors’s proving grounds.

Engineers are busy adapting the 2014 Chevrolet Colorado for the North American market. While two different Duramax diesel four-cylinder engines are available throughout Southeast Asia, U.S.-spec models will get gas engines, possibly including the Cadillac ATS’ 2.5-liter Ecotec I-4, 2.0-liter turbo I-4, or 3.6-liter V-6. There is still a chance at least one of the Duramax diesel engines could make it here — likely the larger 180-hp 2.8-liter with 347 lb-ft of torque.

The Thai-market Colorado sports Chevrolet’s now-defunct family face, while spy photos show a more upright front end possibly gaining the new design language first seen on the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse and 2014 Chevrolet Impala. Our spy photographer wasn’t able to get shots of the interior, but said the test mules are left-hand drive. Thai-market Chevrolet Colorado pickups feature a roomy, well-appointed interior, and also feature a sporty-looking gauge cluster — which happens to be lifted right out of the Chevrolet Camaro.

Don’t expect the U.S.-spec Chevrolet Colorado to go on sale before the second-half of 2013, as the engineers are hard at work tuning it for American roads and the Missouri plant is being updated to produce the new truck. Check out the spy shots and photos of the Thai-spec Chevrolet Colorado in the gallery below.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2013 Lexus LFA Special Edition

It didn’t take long for the 2012 Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition’s record 7:14.464 ‘Ring run to be beaten by a bone stock 2010 Dodge Viper ACR. And one can imagine Toyota’s engineers were none too happy about that. Our automotive paparazzo on Europe recently caught this modified teal blue Lexus LFA lapping the Green Hell wearing manufacturer plates. Could this be a preview of Toyota’s attempt to retake its Nurburgring record?

This Lexus LFA looks to be based on the Nürburgring Edition, with the same wheels, and same front splitter found on the high-performance model. Up front, this tester has its carbon fiber hood left unpainted, and gains an extra air intake. The new air intake is located toward the center of the hood, just forward of the smaller kidney-shaped intakes found on previous versions of the LFA.

This LFA tester’s profile is also virtually identical to the Nürburgring Edition. The changes seem to be mainly cosmetic — this LFA tester has an exposed carbon fiber roof, and a black side sill stripe emblazoned with “AD-A.”

Out back is where this LFA tester sports the most dramatic changes. Gone is the distinctive tri-tip center-mounted exhaust. Instead, the exhaust from this tester’s 4.8-liter V-10 exits through four tail pipes, with two tips located just below the taillights on either side of the car. The grilles that previously occupied that space are now gone, with what looks to be a stop-gap cover screwed on in its place. A look at the rear also reveals a new rear foglight, a massive new rear diffuser, and a slightly modified rear-wing.

Though signs do seem to point to a TMG-led run at the Nürburgring record, there is another possibility for this LFA tester. It could be the long-rumored LFA Tokyo Edition. The Tokyo Edition was said to focus more on style than performance, and would feature both an unpainted carbon fiber roof, and rear wing — two things that this tester has.

Nürburgring Edition or Tokyo Edition — whatever it is, this Lexus LFA will likely make its debut at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show in November.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Mazda MX-5 GT

The next Mazda MX-5 won’t bow until some time in 2015, but that shouldn’t stop its manufacturer from introducing a few special edition models in the meantime. Atop the wish list: the MX-5 GT concept, which will climb the hill at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and may or may not go into production.

The MX-5 GT starts as a stock 2012 Mazda MX-5, which is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The GT’s engine makes 205 horsepower thanks to some tweaks from Jota Sport, and sends that power through the stock transmission. The concept has a stiffer, adjustable suspension setup and slick tires, along with a sport exhaust to make the car a bit louder.

That exhaust system has two center-exit exhaust pipes, which stick out below a larger rear diffuser. The car’s other exterior visual upgrades include body color roll hoops, a carbon black aero kit with lip spoiler, side skirts, and a front splitter. The car’s metal body panels are painted a bright shade of orange, and both the hardtop and wheels are black, a la MX-5 Special Edition. The black fender flares on orange body remind us of the Super20 show car of a few years ago. On the inside, Jota Sport installed Recaro seats with bigger bolsters and other carbon fiber trim pieces.

Jota Sport and the MX-5 GT will take to the Goodwood Festival this weekend and run the festival’s famous hill climb in the First Glance category (alongside other concept cars), but the GT won’t be the only MX-5 at the event. Mazda will also bring along the Jota Sport Mazda MX-5 GT4. With a 0-60 time of three seconds, the Jota Sport GT4 Miata is the world’s fastest MX-5.

Mazda says that the GT is just a concept at this point, but that it’s “test[ing] customer reaction to a high performance version of the iconic sportscar.” Since Mazda UK took a similar tone with the MX-5 Yusho concept (which supercharged the car’s engine up to 241 hp), and considering that this is the fourth MX-5 concept in twelve months (Spyder, Super20, Yusho, GT), we’d like to think Mazda is seriously considering making a hopped-up Miata for mass consumption in the run up to an all-new model (which would debut in 2015). At least, we seriously hope that’s the case.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Chrysler 100

What It Is: Chrysler’s compact hatchback, which probably will be called the 100. Development cars have been driving around for several months, but this first glimpse of the interior shows that Chrysler is planning some traditionally upscale features for this car. Close-ups of the dash show nicely labeled switches for adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, and a lane-departure warning system. You can ignore the sheetmetal borrowed from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, by the way; it’s just being used for skin on prototypes and isn’t indicative of the final product.

Why It Matters: Call us cynical, but this looks like a push for Chrysler Group sales volume above all else. The new Dodge Dart is about the same size as the 100 will be, it’s based on the same architecture, and will be sold in the same showrooms. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has said he doesn’t like the idea of overlapping products; perhaps the 100 being a hatchback and having more toys sufficiently differentiates it from the Dart in his mind.

Platform: The 100 will use what Chrysler calls its CUSW (Compact U.S. Wide) architecture, an enhanced and widened version of a Fiat and Alfa Romeo platform. The Dodge Dart was the first vehicle to debut on CUSW; in addition to the 100, we’re also expecting it to underpin one or two Jeep models as well as the replacement for the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200. Odds are that the 100 will be front-wheel drive, but being that this mule is a hatchback, Chrysler could shock us all and position it as an all-wheel-drive baby crossover.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

14th Annual All Ford Powered Car Show

On June 10th, the Greater Pittsburgh Mustang Club held their 14th Annual All Ford Powered Car Show at Shults Ford/Lincoln in Harmarville, PA. It was a beautiful day for a car show with hardly a cloud in the sky and the blue oval well represented across the board. The show has been renamed the Tom Cavataio Memorial Show in honor of GPMC longtime member Tom Cavataio who passed away in late 2011. Tom's beautiful Grabber Blue 1970 Mach 1 was prominently displayed by his family. And anyone who knew Tom, knew he shared a great passion for anything blue oval. I entered my 2009 Mustang Bullitt for the 3rd year and brought home 2nd place for 2005-current Mustangs. Here's some pictures from the event as well as a full album of pictures taken throughout the day.

Butler Cruise-A-Palooza 2012

We've been busy the past few weeks, taking in lots of car shows and other events. So sorry for our lack of postings here. Today I ventured North to Butler Pennsylvania, birthplace of the Jeep and home to American Bantam for the 18th Annual Cruise-A-Palooza put on by The Rodfathers Car Club. These are just a few of the pictures of some of the awesome customs, classics, and everything in between that was on display. A rough guess would be easily over 1000 cars in attendance. Here's a link to the full collection of pictures I took.

New Car: 2012 Vauxhall Corsa Black Edition

Vauxhall has revealed a new limited ‘Black Edition’ version of the Corsa, which also introduces Vauxhall’s 1.4-litre Turbo with 118bhp to the Corsa line-up for the first time.

The new engine becomes the second most powerful non-VXR offering in the line-up, just behind the 128bhp 1.7-litre CDTi diesel engine. Vauxhall claims it will allow the Corsa to accelerate from 0-60mph in 9.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 121mph. Fuel consumption stands at 51.4mpg.

Black Edition models are based on the Corsa Limited Edition but receive new 17-inch alloy wheels and a black grille bar. Dark headlights, tinted windows and a bodykit complete the additions.

Inside, matt chrome air vents, sports seats and silver stitching mark out the Black Edition.

Only 500 units of the Corsa Black Edition will be produced, with prices starting from £15,995. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2011-2012 Chevrolet Cruze

The First Problem: The shape of an engine shield in the Chevrolet Cruze could increase the likelihood of a fire. If the oil is changed incorrectly, oil could drip or leak onto the hot engine shield or exhaust parts, potentially starting a fire. Chevrolet also says that driving a manual-transmission Cruze with a worn clutch can let clutch fluid leak out of a vent hole. If so, that fluid could touch the engine shield or exhaust parts and start a fire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the 2011 Cruze for this issue earlier this year, and then expanded the investigation to cover the 2012 Cruze.

The Fix: Chevrolet will modify the engine shield for free; the fix doesn’t require installing or replacing any parts. The recall takes only about 30 minutes to complete.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 413,418 Chevrolet Cruze models built in the U.S. between September 2010 and May 2012. Some of those cars were exported to Canada and Israel.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2013 Chevrolet Impala Eco Sport

When GM first released details on the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, the automaker said it would be available with three powertrains: the base 2.5-liter Ecotec I-4, the green 2.4-liter eAssist mild hybrid, and GM’s trusty 3.6-liter V-6 – all mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Our spy photographer recently spied a pair of Impala Eco models with the eAssist system sporting a different front grille from other Impala models we’ve seen.

The car’s grille features a design somewhat resembling a bowtie, which frames the Chevy logo named after that same piece of formal wear. Inserts in the bowtie shape appear similar to those of the Volt range-extended EV, and could be grille shutters that close to increase aerodynamics when additional cooling isn’t needed.

The 2.4-liter eAssist engine is rated at 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, slightly less than the base 2.5-liter I-4’s 195 hp and 187 lb-ft of torque rating, though it’s expected to surpass the base engine’s fuel economy. Official EPA ratings haven’t been released, but GM expects the Impala Eco to achieve 35 mpg highway. The Buick LaCrosse eAssist, the Impala’s platform-mate, is rated at 25/36 mpg city/highway.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2013 Lexus ES F-Sport

The second test vehicle is a lightly covered 2013 Lexus ES. This one has us scratching our heads since the ES 350 and ES 300h have already been released. One possibility is a lightly tarted-up F-Sport edition with slightly stiffer springs, which would be the first time the ES would receive such a treatment.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Lexus LS

Our own senior video producer Duane Sempson snapped these two Lexus sedans on his way to the office this week. Both cars were on the 405 freeway, not too far from Toyota and Lexus North American headquarters in Southern California.

The first car is a heavily camouflaged Lexus LS sedan. As a matter of fact, the license plate matches the test vehicle the folks over at Automobile snapped last month. From the back, it appears the new Lexus flagship will take an evolutionary approach, with taillights and exhaust tips similar to the current model. The overall greenhouse is expected to mimic the new Lexus GS and ES, while the front fascia will feature the brand’s distinctive spindle grille.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Mini Clubvan

Imagine you’re a Sweet 16 princess, and your flotilla of cupcakes shows up in the back of a Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, or something equally boxy and dumb. The shame! We can hardly blame you for that epic meltdown. Cry no longer: Mini has revealed its production Clubvan (it first bowed as a concept at this year’s Geneva show), and boutique delivery services can bring the goods without embarrassing their clientele.

As the pioneer in the “premium compact delivery van” segment—there’s a niche for you—Mini pitches the Clubvan as offering modest hauling capabilities without compromising enjoyment behind the wheel. Powering the wheeled embodiment of these dichotomous concepts is Mini’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 121 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with a standard six-speed manual (a six-speed auto is optional), the Italian Job-jobber will march from zero to 60 in an estimated 9.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 124 mph.

The Clubvan’s exterior dimensions are exactly the same as those of the Clubman on which it’s based. The differentiation (other than the single strength of powerplant on offer in the van versus 121-hp Cooper, 181-hp Cooper S, and 208-hp JCW flavors of Clubman) comes aft of the driver’s seats. The rear seats have been replaced with a carpeted load floor, and the Clubvan will swallow slightly more than 30 cubic feet of bite-size cargo. Fragile cargo is locked down via six tie-down hooks, and a partition made of stainless-steel mesh and aluminum makes sure stuff stays where it should during aggressive braking maneuvers. For those who will be hauling goods requiring a charge, the cargo hold is equipped with 12-volt sockets. As befits a delivery vehicle, the rear side windows are polycarbonate-reinforced and covered with a finish color-matched to the exterior. The rear-facing windows are tinted.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2012 Jeep Wrangler Mountain

Based on the Sport trim line, the Jeep Wrangler Mountain will be available as a two-door or four-door. Exterior features include a black ‘Mountain’ decal on the hood, front gray grille and high-gloss gray 17in wheels. Other additions include side steps and a black fuel-filler cover from Mopar, the Chrysler Group’s parts and accessories arm.

The fabric seats have an embroidered ‘Mountain’ logo. A new exterior colour, Gecko Green, has been added to the range available in the Wrangler line-up.

The Jeep Wrangler Mountain can be powered by either a 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine or a 3.6-litre V6 petrol unit. The oilburner is available as a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual, with the petrol offered only with the auto ‘box.
Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 Jeep Compass Black Edition

The Jeep Compass Black Edition gets gloss black accents including the step pads, 18in alloys, front grille inserts, roof rails, headlamp and fog lamp surrounds. It will be available in four-wheel-drive configuration with Jeep’s 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, which delivers 161bhp and 236lb ft of torque.

Interior equipment adds to the standard equipment of the Sport trim with a leather steering-wheel with integrated controls and Mopar floor mats and grab handles.

The Compass Black Edition will reach the UK in August.
Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Prototype of Jaguar F-Type will Debut at Goodwood Festival

Slated for an on sale date in mid-2013, Jaguar’s new sports car will be driven up Goodwood’s famous hill circuit by Jaguar head of vehicle integrity Mike Cross.

The F-type prototype which will be used for the run will be the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 model, which produces 375bhp and 332lb ft.

Jaguar’s global brand director Adrian Hallmark said: “Goodwood Festival of Speed is focused around the dynamic hill runs where the public can see, hear and smell the cars – this is why we have chosen it as the place to showcase an F-type prototype.”

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2013 Volkswagen Golf R Cabriolet

These are the first spy shots of the new VW Golf R Cabriolet – the fastest Golf drop-top in history.

VW previewed the hot convertible with a concept car at the 2011 Worthersee GTI tuning event in Austria, and judging by these photographs of an almost showroom-ready car caught testing in Germany it's now heading into production.

Like the Golf R hatchback, the Cabriolet will get the same 266bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which will drive all four wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox.

With only a slight increase in kerbweight due to strengthening of the car's chassis to cope with the loss of the roof, the Golf R Cabriolet should still do 0-60mph in under six seconds, with a top speed of 155mph.

As you can see it gets the same racy bodykit, with 19-inch alloy wheels and, although not shown on this prototype, finished cars will get a centre-exit twin exhaust. Inside, there will be Nappa leather and sports seats.

Expect a launch later this summer. VW is preparing to reveal the new MK7 Golf at the Paris Motor Show in September, so the Golf R Cabriolet will act as a fitting send-off for the MK6 range. Expect a price tag of around £35,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee S Limited

The Grand Cherokee S Limited is part of a roll-out of three new additions to Jeep’s European line-up, the others being the Wrangler Mountain and the Compass Black Edition, which are both limited-edition models.

First revealed as a design study at the Geneva motor show in March, the Jeep Grand Cherokee S Limited adds an extra trim level to the existing range, which comprises Laredo, Limited, Overland and the new top-of-the-range performance SRT variant. The new addition sits slightly below Overland in terms of specification, but adds more sporting touches to the exterior and interior design.

The Grand Cherokee S Limited gets a black gloss front grille surround as well as black headlamp bezels, exhaust tips and 20in black gloss alloys. The roof rack has been replaced with roof moulding covers to give the Jeep a more streamlined appearance and the rear of the SUV gets a diffuser.

The interior of the new 4x4 features a leather-wrapped perforated heated steering wheel and ventilated sports-styled Nappa leather and suede seats. Carbonfibre accents are integrated into the instrument and door trim panels, as well as racing-style pedals.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee S Limited is available with a 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 that produces 238bhp at 4000rpm and 406lb ft at 1800-2800rpm. It is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The 3.0-litre CRD powertrain is also offered in a low-output version, with 187bhp at 4000rpm and 325lb ft of torque across 1600-2800rpm.

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee S Limited will be available exclusively in Europe from September. UK pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Citroen C4 L

The Citroën C4 L is positioned towards the top of the C-segment and is the first model to emerge from Citroën’s Shanghai style centre. The C4 L will be built locally in each of the countries it will be sold. Production will begin in Kaluga, Russia and at the PSA/Dongfeng plant in Wuhan, China in the first half of 2013.

The engine line-up will comprise the BMW/PSA-developed THP 155 and 175 petrol engines and PSA’s own VTi 135 unit. Both engines will be offered with a new automatic or a sequential six-speed gearbox.

Citroën claims a first-class passenger experience with a “lounge-like” rear compartment made possible by a long wheelbase, wraparound seats and steeply reclined backrests with “extra-comfortable” headrests. Keyless entry and start, touchscreen sat-nav, a reversing camera, heated front windscreen and air ioniser will be offered.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Citroen C-Elysse

It will officially launch its DS brand in China on June 28. Citroën's DS3, DS4 and DS5 models will go on sale shortly after.

The Citroën C-Elysée will be manufactured at PSA’s factory in Vigo, Spain and is destined for Turkey, Spain, central Europe and Algeria. The three-box C-segment saloon will be powered by PSA’s new VTi 72 petrol engine which Citroën says has been specially tailored to driving conditions and fuel quality in emerging markets.

The new engine produces 72bhp and 81lb ft of torque from 3000rpm. Fuel consumption is rated at 56.5mpg and emissions are 115g/km, a 22 per cent improvement on the 1.4-litre unit it replaces. Is will be offered with a five-speed manual or automated gearbox. The new VTi 115 engine, combined with a manual or automatic gearbox is also available, alongide PSA's HDi 92 engine which emits 108g/km and can return 68.9mpg.

Citroën claims the C-Elysée will have a roomy interior with a rear that is comparable with cars in the D-segment and a 506-litre boot. A 2.65m wheelbase makes it the longest in its class.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2013 Citroen C4 Picasso

An endless stream of new crossovers and SUVs are eating away at the tradiditonal MPV market - but Citroen is holding firm. These spy shots show a prototype for the all-new C4 Picasso covered in camouflage but not cladding, during the final phases of its test program.

Look past the psychedelic wrap and the windows and major feature lines can all be seen, as well as a pair of door handles proving this is the smaller five-seat version (the seven-seater C4 Grand Picasso will feature a sliding rear door).

Certain styling cues will be carried over form the current car including a small window behind the A-pillar, designed to improve forward visibility. Look carefully and there's a kink in the window line as it meets the C-pillar, which will add some gallic flair to the design.

Based on the same platform as the new C4 and DS4 hatchbacks, the C4 Picasso will get similar front-end styling to the C4 and also feature the same range of engines. That means 1.4, 1.6 and 1.6 turbocharged petrol engines, as well as 1.6 and 2.0 HDi diesels.

The C4 Picasso is expected to make its debut at Citroen's home motor show in Paris at the end of September. Sales will start at the beginning of 2013 with prices starting from around £17,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2012 Smart ForTwo Iceshine Special Edition

Though small in size, Smart makes a big statement with its special-edition cars. As things start to heat up this summer, Smart will stay cool with a new Fortwo model called the Iceshine Edition that’s available this month for preordering in Europe.

The Iceshine edition Smart Fortwo will be available in two colors when it arrives in dealers in October: azure blue and white. White alloy wheels will have a new three-spoke design, while LED daytime lights and a special logo near the side mirrors distinguish the special edition. Inside, the Iceshine’s black leather seats are contrasted by white fabric backrests and white cross-stitching. The stitching also appears on the three-spoke leather steering wheel, and white rings on certain gauges further offset the black cabin. Paddle shifters, air conditioning, and a panoramic sunroof come standard, while navigation and a Brabus sport steering wheel are optional.

Though Europeans get to choose between the two colors mentioned above, Americans will only get the all-white version, which will also include power steering, and heated seats. Changes are cosmetic; the diminutive car’s 70-hp 1.0-liter I-3 remains untouched. Limited to 1800 cars worldwide, just 300 models are allocated for the U.S. The Smart Fortwo Iceshine edition goes on sale here this fall.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2012-2013 BMW X5 & X6

The Problem: During manufacturing, affected vehicles may have received a steering gear that was machined improperly. The error could cause power steering fluid to leak onto hot engine parts and start a fire.

The Fix: The recall starts next month. BMW will inspect and replace the steering gear if necessary at no cost. For questions, contact BMW at (800) 525-7417.

Number of Vehicles Affected: BMW is expected to recall 2642 vehicles.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2007-2009 Mercedes E-350 4Matic Wagon

The Problem: The load-leveling rear suspension contains a connecting rod that could fail. The driver could experience reduced control of the car and increase the risk of a crash.

The Fix: The recall is schedule to start in August. Owners should then take their cars to a dealer for a free inspection and, if necessary, replacement of the affected level control connecting rod. Owners may contact Mercedes at (201) 573-0350.

Number of Vehicles Affected: The recall includes 3613 model year 2007-2009 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic wagons.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Bentely Continental GT Speed

“Every day of your life,” says the old trope, “you’re the oldest you’ve ever been.” It seems that every car Bentley launches is the fastest, quickest, or most powerful vehicle the company has ever made. Perhaps we shouldn’t be wowed by Bentley’s claim that the new Continental GT Speed is its fastest production model ever. Then again, this latest iteration of the millionaire’s Camry has 616 hp.

In building the Speed version of the Continental GT, Bentley’s engineers extracted 616 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque from the company’s W-12 engine. This puts the second-generation Speed 49 hp and 74 lb-ft up on the standard 12-cylinder Continental GT. Also worth noting: With these ratings, the new Continental GT Speed not only blows away the first-gen GT Speed (600 hp/553 lb-ft) but it basically matches the now-dead and ridiculous Continental Supersports (621 hp/590 lb-ft).

Like other second-generation Continental GT models, the Speed uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and features all-wheel drive. Unlike the others, this one is touted as being capable of hitting 205 mph—a whole seven mph quicker than the standard 12-cylinder Conti. Bentley estimates a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.0 seconds.

Bentley says the GT Speed features “unique” chassis tuning, which includes sharper steering, a tweaked suspension, and a ride height that’s been lowered by an unspecified amount. Special 21-inch wheels are standard.

Cosmetically, the changes from the less-sporty GT would be charitably described as “subtle.” All mesh on the front of the car is darker in color than it is on non-Speed Continental GTs, and the tailpipes have a special finish. All GT Speed cabins are upgraded to what Bentley calls Mulliner Driving Specification. There are no details yet about what that entails for the Continental GT Speed, but on regular GTs, available Mulliner exterior bits include bookfaced carbon-fiber trim.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2013 Aston Martin Vanquish

Aston Martin executives get philosophical when they describe the development process of the new Vanquish and its underpinnings. The British manufacturer's new top-of-the-line model is still based on the VH architecture that debuted with the DB9 in 2003. But VH is not a platform, Aston suits explain: It is a method and a way of continuous improvement. VH stands for “vertical horizontal”—“vertical” meaning shared construction and “horizontal” meaning shared components, i.e. across several models. With each significant new vehicle introduction, VH enters a new generation; now the architecture is now entering gen four, it is explained.

The new Vanquish replaces the DBS, which replaced the first-generation Vanquish. That car was launched in 2001 as the brand's top-of-the-line model—a rare and expensive car hand-assembled in Aston Martin's old Newport Pagnell production site. Resurrecting the Vanquish nameplate emphasizes the new car's status at the top of the brand's lineup, while distancing it from the DBS, which was too close to the DB9 not only in name, but also in execution.

The Vanquish does actually mark a significant evolution of the VH architecture in a few ways. For starters, most of its body panels are constructed from carbon fiber; they are hung on an upgraded version of Aston's bonded-aluminum monocoque. Aston claims the new platform is 25 percent torsionally stiffer than the DBS’s. The front-end structure is lower and also lighter, thanks to the use of hollow-cast aluminum. Overall weight has been reduced by 120 pounds or so; based on DBS models we’ve weighed, that will put the Vanquish at around 3800 pounds. The Vanquish has a stated 50/50 weight distribution; the steering is of the conventional, hydraulically boosted type. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, as is a three-mode (Normal, Sport, Track) driver-selectable suspension. Twenty-inch wheels are standard, and are fitted with 255/35 front and 305/30 rear Pirelli P Zero rubber. Vehicle dynamics benefit from mounting the V-12 engine lower than before, which was required to comply with pedestrian-protection regulations.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Unofficial Picture: 2014 SEAT Toledo

First pictures of the new SEAT Toledo have been leaked on an Italian website.

The new Toledo - which was shown in near-production-ready form at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year - is based on the Skoda Rapid, and both cars will tackle the likes of the Ford Focus and VW Golf.

Like the Rapid, the Toledo has a saloon-like body but is, in fact, a hatchback. The doors and roof are identical, but the nose of the SEAT has been altered to give it the brand’s kinked headlamp design and trapezoidal grille. The rear gets a more angular bumper and taillamps.

The interior has the same clean and uncluttered dash design, with easy-to-read dials and clever storage. There should be plenty of rear legroom, too, thanks to a 2.6m wheelbase and split-folding rear seat. Both the Skoda and SEAT versions offer more rear legroom than the current Octavia.

The SEAT Toledo will be powered by a range of engines, including small capacity diesel and petrol VW Group powerplants, with CO2 emissions expected to be below 99g/km.

Prices are expected to sit above the SEAT Ibiza, which means the Toledo should match the Rapid’s £13,000 starting price when it arrives in showrooms in 2013. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2013 Skoda Rapid

The Rapid introduces Skoda’s new design language, initiated by the Vision D concept and characterised by a four-lamp headlight, trapezoidal fog lights and monochrome Skoda badge mounted on the bonnet.

Included in the model's engine line-up are seven units - five petrols and two diesels - however further details remain scarce.

The Rapid’s long wheelbase and torsion beam rear axle are said to create cabin and boot space larger than the Octavia.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2014 Audi S1

These are the spy shots that prove the wild 252bhp Aud A1 quattro was just the beginning - another hot four-wheel drive Audi A1, badged the S1, is on the way. Spotted high-speed testing at the Nurburgring in Germany, this prototype gives away its identity via the four exhaust pipes poking out at the rear, unlike the limited-run A1 quattro which made do with just two.

Developing a four-wheel drive system for the A1 quattro was an expensive process for Audi, so it was always likely that further four-wheel drive A1s would emerge - hence the arrival of the S1. Power will come from the same 2.0 TFSI turbocharged engine as the A1 quattro, but detuned to around 220bhp - making this more affordable than the already-sold-out £40,000 A1 quattro.

The strage contraptions you can see strapped to the four corners are sensors designed to measure various speed and suspension parameters at each wheel. Expect the production car to feature optional 18-inch wheels, silver wing mirrors and a more aggressive bodykit.

Bigger brakes, firmer suspension settings and a four-wheel drive system - that under normal conditions sends power to the front wheels, but if they lose traction, can send up to 100 per cent of engine power to the rear - should ensure the S1 is hugely capable on the road.

Expect prices for the S1 to start from around £25,000 when sales begin in 2013. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Debuts at Paris Show 2012

As a follow-up to the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander’s debut at Geneva earlier this year, the Japanese automaker will show the plug-in hybrid version of the upcoming crossover at the Paris Motor Show. Though the Outlander plug-in hybrid has been previewed before as the PX-MiEV and PX-MiEV II concepts, the debut in Paris will reveal the battery-assisted model in production trim.

Mitsubishi says the third-generation Outlander will be the first mainstream automobile designed from the outset with conventional internal combustion and hybrid drivetrains in mind. Two electric motors will power the Outlander PHEV — one in front and one in the rear — supplemented by a front-mounted gasoline engine that can act as a traction motor or generator. The Outlander PHEV will also feature permanent four-wheel drive, and can drive its wheels through three selectable modes. “Series” and “Parallel” modes rely on the gasoline engine to act as a generator or directly power the wheels, while “Pure” mode runs the vehicle completely on electric power.

Mitsubishi says the Outlander’s plug-in hybrid system achieves range and emissions performance close to that of the PX-MiEV II concept, which boasted a range of nearly 500 miles and a carbon emissions target of less than 50 g/km.

The Outlander PHEVwill go on sale in Europe sometime in 2013, while the standard Outlander will begin deliveries in Western and Eastern Europe this fall. The Outlander Plug-in’s exact specifications aren’t yet available, but further details will be announced closer to the vehicle’s debut in Paris this September.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Mercedes S-Class AMG

Sightings of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class have been increasing in frequency and we knew we’d catch an AMG version sooner or later. This particular tester isn’t sporting AMG’s signature quad exhaust tips, but our spy photographer assures us this is indeed Benz’s beefed-up flagship.

A few AMG hints include the rims, which appear to be lightweight, multi-spoke forged units, and the cross-drilled brake rotors. The requisite body kit is also missing, but should appear on the production version. Compared to previous testers, this one has shed a bit of camouflage. Up front we can see that the LED daytime running lamps will move from the lower bumper up to the headlight units. The front grille appears to be bigger, while the headlights have shrunk just a tad. The side is still a bit covered up, but it appears the next-gen S-Class may sport a revised trunk lid and triangular taillights.

It’s too soon to predict whether the S63 and S65 sedans will get new powertrains or carryovers, but the current S63 is powered by a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 (536 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque), while the S65 packs a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12 rated at 621 hp and 738 lb-ft. Both cars send power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed and five-speed automatic, respectively.

Naturally, the S-Class will be loaded with tech. Among the rumored features expected for the new sedan is Magic Body Control (MBC), which will improve the ride by scanning the road and preparing the suspension for upcoming road imperfections. Expected launch date for the “normal” S-Class is sometime next year, while the AMG version should launch shortly after.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

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