New Car: 2013 Toyota Mark X

Like the all-new Mazda 6 we showed you this morning? Here’s more sedan from Japan, this time the facelifted second-gen Toyota Mark X for 2013.

Our urban readers might be familiar with the older version of the Mark X, a JDM sedan shipped in by grey importers. The larger, second-gen Mark X – introduced late 2009 in Japan – is less common here.

The facelift gives the Mark X an aggressive front end with a chain-style grille featuring the trademark big ‘X’. In fact, the face itself has the X-shape now, with sharp headlights completing the new mask. There are new design tail lamps at the back. Not fierce enough? Check out the version by Toyota G Sports in the gallery.

Two engines are available for Japanese buyers. A 2.5 litre V6 produces 203 PS and 243 Nm of torque, while the top model gets a 3.5L V6 with 318 PS and 380 Nm. Both naturally aspirated engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Power goes to the rear wheels, as it has always been, but one can opt for AWD.

Thanks to: Paultan

New Car: 2012 Skoda Yeti Sochi

A special edition Skoda Yeti has been revealed at the Moscow motor show to promote Volkswagen Group’s sponsorship of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Skoda Yeti Sochi is powered by a 1.8 TSI petrol engine with 150bhp. The turbocharged unit is mated to a six-speed DSG gearbox that sends drive to all four wheels.

Volkswagen hopes its sponsorship of the 2014 Olympics can help give fast-track its expansion plans in Russia, where it hopes to more than double sales to half a million units per year by 2018.

The Olympics should provide much-needed improvements to Russia’s road infrastructure and be a platform for promoting more fuel-efficient vehicles.

At the moment, VW has to downgrade its engines to meet older EU3 emissions legislation and is lobbying the government to bring Russian fuel and emissions standards in line with the rest of Europe.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Concept Car: Lada X-Ray

A small SUV crossover in the style of the Nissan Juke, the X Ray's exterior is the work of British designer Steve Mattin. He has previously penned the Volvo XC60 and Mercedes ML-Class; his provenance in SUVs is evident in this contemporary design.

Lada says the design themes showcased on the X Ray will influence the appearance of its upcoming models, particularly the front grille arrangment. The X Ray name is said to originate from the cross shape created with the headlights and grille, reminiscent of the current Lexus range.

Lada hopes for its next range of X Ray-influenced models to increase its market share in Russia, even though this currently stands at 40%. At present, the X Ray SUV is likely to remain only a design concept.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Fiat Panda 4x4

Fiat has just revealed high-riding all-wheel drive version of the new Panda in advance of its upcoming debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The new Fiat Panda 4×4 will come with two microscopic engines, a raised suspension, and minor exterior tweaks over the base front-drive Panda.

Visually, Fiat’s new Panda 4×4 is almost identical to the regular Panda and, for the most part, looks like someone fitted a lift-kit onto a one. Up front, the Panda 4×4 has a square-shaped grille that merges into an aluminum-colored faux skidplate and unique foglights. The Panda 4×4 also gets black rocker sills, prominent “4×4″ badging on the rear passenger doors, and 15-inch wheels. The Panda-on-steroids look is complete out back with a unique bumper with its own fake aluminum skidplate.

Inside, the Panda 4×4′s cabin is identical to the Panda’s save for an earth-tone color palate and an extra cubby hole.

Powering the Fiat Panda 4×4 is the Panda’s “TwinAir” 0.9-liter turbocharged I-2 that makes 85 hp. An 80-hp dual fuel version that runs on gasoline and methane will also be offered. Those who prefer diesel engines can opt for the MultiJet II 1.3-liter turbodiesel I-4 that’s good for 75 hp. Both engines are paired with a six-speed manual transmission.

Despite what the name may have you believe, the Panda 4×4 will be offered with both front- and all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive version uses an electronic locking differential to route power where it’s needed. Most of the time, the front wheels will be propelling the Panda 4×4 along. For especially slippery terrain, full-time all-wheel drive can be activated with the flip of a switch at speeds under 32 mph.

Will the new Fiat Panda 4×4 be making its way to North America? Don’t hold your breath. Fiat seems keen on having a 500-centric U.S.-lineup. Instead we’ll get two vehicles based on the Panda 4×4. The first one will be the yet-to-be announced Fiat 500X Fouristrada. The second vehicle will be the baby Jeep, the Jeep Jeepster. Both vehicles will be built in Italy on a slightly larger version of the Panda 4×4 platform.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Smart ForTwo

These days, the aging Smart ForTwo has mostly been relegated to wallflower status thanks to the recent introduction of microcars like the Scion iQ, Fiat 500, and 2013 Chevy Spark. To keep up with the new competition, smart is busy testing the upcoming 2014 ForTwo, shown here in the following spy shots.

From the outside, the 2014 Smart ForTWo retains the current model’s distinct wedge shape, sharply raked windshield, and upright tail end. The headlights appear to have grown a bit and take on a more triangular shape than the jelly bean-esque units featured on the current model. Out back, the tester is sporting split triangular taillights and reverse lights that are situated on the rear hatch. The current ForTwo features dual, vertically mounted taillights.

We expect a complete overhaul of the powertrain range with new gas and diesel engines (and a new gearbox to remedy one of our biggest gripes on the current model). In its present form, the Smart ForTwo is sold in the U.S. with a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine rated at 70 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque.

Smart will also need to improve on the ForTwo’s 34/38 mpg city/highway fuel economy if it hopes to stay competitive. The Scion iQ, for example, is rated at 36/37 mpg city/highway, offers seating for four, and produces 94 hp and 89 lb-ft from its 1.4-liter four-banger. The Spark also seats four and gets 32/38 city/highway from its 83-hp 1.2-liter I-4 when mated to a five-speed manual. Finally, an all-electric version should follow shortly after the new ForTwo’s launch in 2014.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Nissan Almera

One of the new debuts at the ongoing Moscow auto show is the new Nissan Almera, a sedan built with Russia’s rough terrain and elements in mind. Consider it a sturdier version of our Sentra, though the modifications wouldn’t be too out of place for L.A.’s punishing roads.

The chassis, for example, features a suspension that combines robust struts with an anti-roll bar up front and a rear beam axle set up in the back. Additionally, its 6.3-inch ground clearance would easily clear most of L.A.’s concrete parking blocks and steeply angled driveways. More extreme items include skidplates to protect the engine and fuel and brake lines. The Almera also features extensive anti-corrosion treatment throughout the undercarriage and the chrome accents used for the front grille and door handles.

Power comes from a 1.6-liter gasoline I-4 rated at 102 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic. With an overall wheelbase and length of 106.3 and 183.3 inches respectively, the Almera slots in between the U.S.-spec Sentra and 2013 Nissan Altima in terms of size. Nissan says the Almera boasts class-leading passenger and cargo room and a long list of standard features including heated outside mirrors, fog lamps, and power door locks. The range-topping Tekna model includes air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, and available navigation.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2012 Toyota Camry SE Sport

This Labor Day weekend will be a special one for the Camry. Launching just in time for end-of-summer holiday is the 2012 Toyota Camry SE Sport Limited Edition. Will it be special enough?

This model starts life as a Camry SE equipped with the four-cylinder engine, which is then augmented with a few bits from the more expensive V-6 trim. For starters, the 17-inch rims give way to 18-inchers with a smoked finish. An eight-way, power

adjustable seat – offered as an option on the normal SE four-banger – is now standard for the Sport Limited Edition. Also standard is a 6.1-inch infotainment screen with navigation and Toyota’s Entune system. The new model will be offered in three colors: Barcelona Red, Attitude Black, and Blizzard Pearl (a first for this generation of Camry).

Those hoping for changes under the hood will be disappointed, though, as the 2.5-liter engine, mated to a six-speed automatic, will still produce 178 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque (keep dreaming if you want a manual transmission). Toyota has priced this limited-edition model at $26,790, including the $795 destination fee.

The new model comes just a few weeks after Toyota’s surprising report regarding the drop in the median age of Camry buyers. According to Bob Carter, Toyota’s senior vice president of U.S. automotive operations, most Camry customers are in their mid-40s, representing a 10-year drop in average age. Furthermore, the SE model has accounted for 40 percent of total Camry sales.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Mazda 6

Good news, everyone! Mazda is just about to launch its third-generation 6, and this time around it’s smaller and much lighter than the car it replaces. The 2014 Mazda 6 could even capture some of the spirit of the delightful first-gen car—at least, that’s what Mazda’s execs want us to believe. The new 6 debuts at the Moscow auto show.

Why Moscow? Mazda sales have been huge in Russia in the past few years, and the company has a new joint venture there to build 6s. In contrast, Mazda just pulled out of its sole U.S. factory, meaning new 6s will be imported from Japan.

Few automakers consistently satisfy automotive enthusiasts like Mazda. From living rooms and dorm rooms, we command engineers to make cars lighter and sportier and even a little smaller. “Sure,” says Mazda. The 2014 car is 2.2 inches shorter overall than the outgoing 6, but the wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer, accomplished by moving the front wheels forward relative to the A-pillar.

Mazda’s estimates for the 6’s weight are similarly impressive. Depending on the engine, the new car is 220 to 375 pounds lighter than a four-cylinder second-gen Mazda 6. A fully equipped Russian-market version of the new 6 is said to weigh just 3109 pounds, which not only makes it lighter than its classmates, but leaves it just slightly heavier than a Porsche Boxster S. Whoa. Thanks, high-strength steel.

Details are thin on the 6’s platform, but Mazda says that torsional rigidity is up 30 percent, and that noise, vibration, and harshness levels are improved. The suspension will use struts in the front and a multilink setup in the rear. The sheetmetal doesn’t just look good, it’s got a claimed drag coefficient of a low 0.26.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

For when Zombies attack! Get back with a 6x6 F250

This is just the thing for a zombie apocalypse. What's better than a diesel powered, 6x6 driven, quad headlight, Ford F250 crew cab for you and your family to cruise in? I spotted this behemoth on the back of a flat bed trailer parked on the side of the road outside of Zelienople Pennsylvania. No one was available at the shop it was outside of to get details as to what exactly this truck was built for. A few friends on facebook have said they've seen it at mud bogs and tractor pulls in the area, but no one has ever seen it run. Here's what we can tell though. Whoever built it, really took their time to create something that doesn't really look home built. The bed has been professionally finished to look like a factory piece. Same with the grille and second set of headlights which instantly make you think of a pickup from the fictitious "Wagon Queen" brand from the National Lampoon movies. Even to the point of adding the fender and hood edges from the donor truck to make a finished front fascia. They were likely added for height limitations for lights so the truck can be driven on the road.

The body appears to be resting on a military style 6x6 chassis and and powered by likely the same diesel engine from the view I had through the fender well. And of course there's the air horn trumpets and the twin giant fuel tanks mounted in between the axles and the the twin big rig exhaust stacks in the bed. The truck also appears to have an air suspension added to raise and lower the truck. When I initially spotted this truck I first thought it was an old monster truck, and then an F150 mounted to a big rig frame, but closer inspection revealed the 6x6 chassis.  I'm trying to dig up some more details on this truck as it's just too cool to look away from.

New Car: 2012 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition

Chrysler’s Street and Racing (SRT) tuning arm has unveiled its new limited edition 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition model at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Finished in blue paint with large, double stripes over the supercar’s bonnet, roof and boot, the SRT Viper GTS is designed to 'evoke memories of past Viper launches' in 1996 and 2006.

Further features include five-spoke polished alloys, plus ‘Stryker’ badging on the GTS’s bonnet and steering wheel. Inside the cabin, the new model features leather sports seats with contrasting stitching, flourishes of Alcantara and an individually numbered plaque; Chrysler remains tight-lipped about production numbers.

Power for the SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition is courtesy of an 8.4-litre V10 unit, which produces 631bhp and 600lb ft of torque.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe might already feel like a private jet, but in the interest of paying homage to its aviation history, Rolls unveiled a tarted-up Phantom Coupe special edition called the Aviator Collection.

Based on the Phantom Coupe, the Aviator Collection adds a smattering of design tweaks to the already sumptuous car. The coupe is painted a shade of aviator gray, and contrasted with a matte gray hood. On the inside, designers took a cabin already filled with leather and filled it with more: the glove compartment is lined with leather, embossed with a quote from company co-founder Charles Rolls after his first ever flight. If that’s not fancy enough, the floor mats are also made from leather.

The transmission tunnel is made of aluminum, with horizontal metal fittings mounted on the sides. That motif–which Rolls-Royce says apes the oil cooling veins on the Supermarine S6B, a British racing seaplane, is continued on the lower dash, which is finished in mahogany and has similar horizontal fittings.

No aviator would be complete without his/her watch, so Rolls-Royce fitted a Thommen clock into the dash, with a white-on-black gauge face and “blood orange needle tips.” That clock matches the gauges, which are also matte black.

The Aviator Collection package is finished with what Rolls-Royce calls “the Rolls-Royce of cupholders.” The cupholders — of which there are two — are made of polished aluminum, which should make them stand out from lesser, plastic receptacles for Big Gulps and Trenta Soy Lattes.

How much does all of this cost? It’s probably best you don’t ask, but the truth is that Rolls-Royce hasn’t yet released pricing for the car. But the company did say it will only make 35 examples of the Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection, and the first of those 35 is on display today at the Quail Lodge as part of the run up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: BMW Z4 Zagato Roadster

BMW has unveiled its show piece for this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the BMW Zagato Roadster. The concept features many of the same dramatic curves as the Zagato Coupe that debuted earlier this year, but is dressed in top-down, Pebble Beach-appropriate attire.

BMW says the Zagato Roadster came together in record time, with BMW senior vice president of design Adrian van Hooydonk and Italian design firm head Andrea Zagato agreeing to partner on a second concept shortly after the Coupe version’s positive reaction. Once the project was given the green light, it took just six weeks to get from the design idea to the finished product being shown at Pebble Beach.

The car’s body features many of the same design elements seen on the coupe, including Zagato’s take on the BMW dual kidney grille, which is matte-finished and integrates the letter “Z” into its design. The front end also receives circular headlights with a “razorlight” strip of LEDs perched above on either side. The hood and front fenders get similarly styled intake vents, while the car’s long-wheelbase stance is complemented by short front and rear overhangs for an athletic look. Zagato’s signature “double-bubble” canopy has been worked into the Roadster’s convertible top cover, forming humps behind the pair of airplane wing-inspired roll bars. In back, the Zagato Coupe’s styling is seen again, with taillights set behind black-tinted glass, a bumper-integrated rear diffuser, and dual exhaust pipes.

Since this is a roadster, BMW and Zagato wanted to focus on the interior to help visually tie it to the exterior’s lines. A strip of brown leather creates a border around the cabin. More leather reaches across the instrument cluster and wraps around the roll bars and seats. More brown leather covers portions of the steering wheel, door panels, and center console. Brown contrast stitching accents the black leather seats, which also get Zagato’s “Z” logo embroidered on the headrest.

Like the Zagato Coupe concept, the Roadster runs and drives. Details on what motivates the car are slim, but as we speculated with its fixed-roof counterpart, it could be a Z4-derived drivetrain.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 McLaren X-1

The one-of-a-kind McLaren X-1 concept debuted today at The Quail in Pebble Beach. The McLaren X-1 was built by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the automaker’s bespoke division, at the request of a customer who came to the automaker three years ago asking for a car that was timeless and had “classical elegance.” Based on the MP4-12C’s monocell and running gear, the X-1 was built to be driven, not just displayed.

MSO consulted with the owner – who owns a McLaren F1, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, and an MP4-12C – about his desires for the car. After much discussion, inspiration came from classic cars including a 1961 Facel Vega, a 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance Ghia, a 1959 Buick Electra, a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K, a 1971 Citroën SM and an Airstream trailer as well as architecture such as the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao; décor and furniture (a Jaeger LeCoultre art deco clock, a Thomas Mann Montblanc pen, and a grand piano); an eggplant, and finally a black-and-white photo of Audrey Hepburn.

The bespoke wide body with pontoon-style rear fenders adds 7.4 inches of width and 4.3 inches of length to the McLaren X-1 concept compared the MP4-12C, which make it look like the love child of an Audi R8 and 1960s-era Batmobile. The X-1 concept’s body is carbon fiber with piano black paint . All exterior bright work is nickel-plated machined aluminum including the rear wing. Wheels are diamond-turned with a tinted finish.

Each piece of the McLaren X-1 concept was custom-made including the headlights and taillights – which were inspired by the McLaren Speed Marque logo – and wheels, which had to meet production car standards as it would be driven on the street. Once the car was completed it was driven 625 miles during testing before being rebuilt by hand for the Pebble Beach reveal.

Inside, the interior looks much like the MP4-12C, but is finished in bespoke Harissa Red McLaren Nappa leather on the seats, door and roof trim, and switchgear featuring machined nickel-coated aluminum bezels. Titanium weave carbon fiber interior trim gives a 3-D effect. Special Andesite tufted carpet sits underfoot.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo

Fiat has revealed the newest member of the 500 family, the 500 Turbo, at the Concorso Italiano in Monterey. The new model is—you guessed it—turbocharged, and slots between the standard 500 and the sporty, range-topping Abarth in the Cinquecento hierarchy. The new Turbo is hardly a surprise—we discovered Fiat’s plans for it in a series of government documents—and it essentially is an amped-up version of the 500 Sport (like our long-term example).

On paper, the 500 Turbo reads much like a slightly neutered Abarth. There’s a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, sport-tuned suspension, larger brakes, and a more muscular body kit. Whereas the U.S.-market Abarth is endowed with a healthy 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque from its version of the engine, the 500 Turbo gets 135 hp and 150 lb-ft—basically the same as the non-Essesse version of the Euro Abarth. Still, the Turbo is meaningfully more potent than the standard 101-hp 500, and it should be slightly louder, too, thanks to its sport exhaust system.

The Turbo’s power is routed to the front wheels through a five-speed manual borrowed from the Abarth. Fiat further beefed up the driveline with larger CV joints; larger-diameter half-shafts are designed to reduce the effects of torque steer. Fiat didn’t offer any performance estimates, but we figure that the Turbo’s 0–60 time should split the difference between the Abarth (6.9 seconds) and the standard 500 (9.9 seconds).

To complement the turbo four’s additional get-up-and-go, the 500 Turbo inherits the 500 Sport’s stiffer spring rates, shock tuning, and steering calibration. The brakes have been upgraded with sportier pads, and the front rotors were upsized by one inch in diameter, now measuring 11.1 inches. We’re a little disappointed in Fiat’s wheel choice for the Turbo: The 16-inch aluminum wheels are the same as the 500 Sport’s, simply modified with black-painted inserts between the spokes.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Spied: 2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG

What It Is: The AMG version of Mercedes-Benz's upcoming A-class–based compact sedan, the CLA, which is touted as the little brother of the CLS four-door coupe. The AMG version will top the car's lineup with a powerful all-wheel-drive model. Visual differentiation will come in the form of aero flics around the lower front intakes, rectangular dual exhaust outlets, and a large rear spoiler, which is meant to enhance high-speed stability. The car will roll on 19-inch aluminum wheels shod with 235/35 rubber. Inside, the standard CLA's embarrassingly old-fashioned column-mounted shifter will be swapped for one on the center console; it will emulate those on the rear-wheel-drive AMG models. The dashboard will be graced by a woven-carbon-fiber structure.

Why It Matters: AMG chief Ola Källenius aims to make the AMG sub-brand more accessible to new customers with the CLA45 AMG and the A45 AMG, the latter of which won’t come to the U.S. Källenius wants to grow his business—and position AMG as a serious contender—especially at a time when BMW's M GmbH seems to be losing its purist edge.

Platform: The CLA will be based on Mercedes' new "CC" platform, which was ushered in by the B-class and encompasses the A-class hatchback, the CLA, a crossover SUV model, and at least one more body style, likely a CLA station wagon dubbed a "shooting brake" despite its four-door configuration. The platform is designed to share powertrain and electronic components with Benz's rear-wheel-drive sedans and thus offers a remarkable level of high-tech features. Its strengths include ultra-direct steering and top-notch handling characteristics.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Ford unveils 2013 GT500 tribute to Carroll Shelby

Ol' Carroll Shelby may no longer be with us. But his name and legend (good or bad) lives on. As part of this weeks events in Monterey, California, Friends of Carroll Shelby has unveiled this special four wheeled tribute to Shelby in the form of the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra. Packing the punch of 663 horsepower, a Whipple supercharger ups the output to over 850 horsepower.

Ok, enough with the horsepower. How about the trick wide body thanks to Ice Nine Group of Detroit, Michigan. And of course there's the classic Shelby GT350 hoot scoop and a few other retro Mustang touches. Then there's the 20x10 and 20x13 wheels to fill out the wheel wells. Now I'm not usually a fan of 20 inch wheels, but they just seem to really work on this car. The Cobra was painted classic Shelby Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White dual racing stripes, one of my all time favorite color combinations and really shows off the lines of the new Mustang.

Now of course, this car is technically a concept car. I wouldn't expect to see this on dealer showrooms any time soon.

Source: Ford Motor Company

Press Release:
MONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 17, 2012 – Friends of Carroll Shelby, including Ford Motor Company, Shelby American, Ford Racing and many others have built a unique 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra as a tribute to the late Carroll Shelby.
Ford is also announcing a renamed road at its Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich., as a tribute to Shelby as well. Cobra has been the consistent performance label as Shelby worked with Ford for most of the last 60 years, and Shelby was instrumental in the creation of Ford performance vehicles including Cobras, the GT40 and Mustangs since the mid-1960s.
2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra
The unique tribute car was unveiled by Ford Motor Company board member Edsel Ford II, Ford’s group vice president for sales and marketing Jim Farley, and Shelby American president John Luft at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion where Cobra is the marque of show for 2012.
“Even at 89 years of age, Carroll was an inspiration to us all,” says Farley. “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Shelby Cobra. The one-off car we have created represents the very idea he had about making the 2013 Shelby GT500 into a true Cobra.”
Using the 662-horsepower 2013 Shelby GT500 as a foundation, “Friends of Carroll” created the one-of-a-kind 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra wide-body Mustang that now generates more than 850 horsepower with the help of a Ford Racing 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger.
Putting that much power to the ground requires plenty of traction, so the 13-inch-wide rear wheels are wrapped in massive 345-section high-performance tires for extra grip.
Ford Motor Company teamed up with Shelby American for several key components on the Carroll Shelby tribute car. Shelby American provided a specially designed hood, new rear wide-body kit, Shelby Wilwood brakes and new 20x13-inch rear and 20x10-inch front wheels. The bodywork is finished in the same Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes that graced so many of the Cobra roadsters built in the 1960s.
“Carroll Shelby changed the performance world forever,” says Luft. “And while he was proud of Shelby American’s achievements, Carroll was far more interested in the next car we would build. You will find the spirit and influence of Carroll Shelby in every future vehicle we build just as you’ll find it in the rear wide-body kit and hood integrated into the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra.”
“You might also know that Carroll was a philanthropist, noted for supporting causes that moved him,” adds Farley. “In that spirit, this car will be taken on tour around the country, and hopefully will be used in a special way at the end of its tour –  a way Carroll would appreciate.”
Before the 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra hits the road, it will be shown at the Ford display in the expo area at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this weekend.
Carroll Shelby Way
For more than half a century, Carroll Shelby inspired designers and engineers throughout the extended Ford family. As a teenager, Edsel Ford II worked for Shelby doing a variety of jobs including cleaning transmission parts.
Countless engineers crossed paths with Shelby over the years, from those who crafted the original GT40 to those working on the 2013 Shelby GT500. Up until his death, Carroll Shelby remained committed to developing great performance cars. Even at the age of 88, he spent more than five hours driving the most powerful production Mustang ever during engineering validation sessions at Sebring and the Arizona Proving Grounds in late 2011.
During and after test sessions, Carroll spent hours discussing with engineers what he liked and what needed improvement. No one who worked with Carroll will ever forget it, and his lessons in vehicle dynamics will be passed along to coming generations.
Ford product development engineers now will get a daily reminder of Carroll’s way as they traverse the newly renamed Carroll Shelby Way through the heart of the Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich., to the entrance of the proving ground.
“Sadly, Carroll Shelby is no longer with us, but his spirit lives on with the designers and engineers he interacted with over the years and he will continue to influence Ford performance cars for many years to come,” says Farley.

Hot News: Porsche Panamera Estate to Debut at Paris Show 2012

We've already told you that Porsche is working on a shooting brake version of the Panamera, and it has now been widely reported that a concept car will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.

The more practical estate version of the four-door Panamera will follow an emerging new ‘coupe-estate’ niche, which has been kickstarted by the Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake revealed in June.

The concept car will be used to gauge public opinion, with a production model expected only if demand proves to be sufficient.

Porsche will be keeping a close eye on sales of the new CLS Shooting Brake, as its success or failure in the showroom could be a deciding factor in whether it builds the new car.

We'll bring you full details and pictures following the concept car's debut at Paris at the end of September. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: BMW Zagato Roadster Concept

BMW has released this shadowy teaser photo to preview the Zagato concept that will debut this weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. BMW promises more information will be announced later this week.

This is the second collaboration between BMW and Italian design studio Zagato. Earlier this year, BMW showed off a Zagato-styled coupe at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy. Though details were scarce, it appeared that the BMW Zagato coupe was based on BMW’s Z4 sports car. The car wore Zagato’s signature double-bubble roof, as well as a Kamm-tail rear inspired by that of a special edition 1940 BMW 328. Bold strakes, vents, and a drooping front end defined the front of the BMW-Zagato mash-up.

This shadowy teaser picture (two versions brightened by the magic of Photoshop are below) appears to show that the new BMW Zagato concept is a roadster, rather than a coupe. As before, expect the basic proportions and shape to be similar to that of BMW’s Z4. The company has never disclosed what mechanical parts are under the Zagato-tweaked sheetmetal, but BMW did claim the Zagato coupe was a fully operational model that had undergone high-speed testing.

In addition to the Zagato roadster concept, BMW will use Pebble Beach to show off the 2013 7-Series luxury sedan, the new M5 and M6 coupe performance cars, as well as the M8 prototype. BMW never built the M8 supercar, and has never shown it in the U.S. before now.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2013 Dodge Durango

The Problem: Side curtain airbags in seven-passenger SUVs with ORC modules for five-passenger vehicles may not deploy if the vehicle is struck on the side behind the second row, which could increase risk to passengers.

The Fix: Dealers will replace the ORC module for free. Chrysler will contact vehicle owners during September, though the automaker says most of the affected vehicles are still on dealer lots.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: Chrysler says 1661 model year 2013 Dodge Durango SUVs are affected, though the NHTSA reports that 1449 vehicles built from April 11, 2012 through July 20, 2012 are being recalled. Chrysler is unaware of any injuries or accidents related to the affected vehicles.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Acura MDX

What It Is: A next-generation Acura MDX prototype being tested in the desert while towing a trailer. Setting aside the fact that the mule in these spy photos is the first MDX this author has ever seen towing anything, the covered-up crossover does reveal what to expect when the redesigned model hits the market—besides its towing capability.

Why It Matters: The MDX in its current form was introduced for 2007 and has only received a single major refresh, which updated it for 2010. Despite its age, the MDX managed to place third in a recent five-crossover comparison test, and we still think it’s one of the better-driving offerings in its segment. Acura is in the throes of overhauling its entire lineup, having recently introduced the new RDX crossover and ILX compact sedan, as well as previewing the upcoming, range-topping RLX sedan in lightly disguised “concept” form. This MDX would be nearly the final piece in Acura’s mainstream lineup puzzle. (We’re not counting the highly anticipated NSX sports car revival here for obvious reasons.) Once this new MDX is squared away, pretty much all that’s left for Acura to do is figure out which sedan to place between the ILX and RLX—the TL or the TSX.

Platform: Expect the 2014 MDX to continue to offer three-row seating, some form of all-wheel drive, and crisp exterior styling. It’s also clear from these spy photos that there’s a size increase in store for the next MDX, chiefly in length. The wheelbase doesn’t look hugely different, but this tester has a lot more rear overhang than the current model. We expect the added length will free up more space in the way back of the MDX’s cabin, possibly allowing real-world adults to sit in the third row.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Spied: 2014 Hyundai i10

This is the next Hyundai i10, which is set to be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show this time next year.

The popular i10 - which rivals everything from the Fiat 500 to the Chevrolet Spark, Ford Ka and Kia Picanto - will retain the current car’s dimensions, but a closer look reveals lots of minor changes.

There's a new front-end with revised headlamps, which will feature LED daytime running lights, while different cut lines at the bottom of the front windscreen indicate a new bonnet design.

The sides of the car will have more distinctive styling - similar to that seen on the new Hyundai i30 - and will lead to a sharper rear end with more stylish tail-lights and a larger tailgate.

The engine line-up is expected to remain largely unchanged, with further efficiency improvements to the frugal 1.0-litre three-cyliner and 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engines.

The new Hyundai i10 will go on sale in late 2013, with prices starting from around £9,500. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Alfa Romeo to Launch 4C on 2014

Alfa Romeo’s new mid-engined 4C sports car will spawn a convertible version around a year after launch, sources have confirmed. The 4C coupé is expected to be shown around 12 months from now, ahead of going on sale in early 2014.

Fiat’s engineering chief, Mauro Pierallini, has previously outlined a target price of €45,000 (£35,500) for the 4C and a 900kg kerb weight.

It will be powered by Alfa’s direct-injection 1750 TBi turbo four, and if it meets its weight target the 4C is expected to hit 62mph in 4.5sec.

The 4C will be the halo car for the reinvention of Alfa and is intended to showcase both styling presence and technical excellence. It will feature the new-generation 1750 engine, with an aluminium block rather than cast iron (saving 25kg) as well as upgrades to the high-pressure fuel injection. The engine will drive a dual-clutch automatic transmission equipped with paddle shifters.

Early development of the car was carried out by Italian race-car specialist Dallara, which developed the carbonfibre structures for the Alfa 8C, Bugatti Veyron and the KTM X-Bow. However, Alfa has subsequently taken the development process in-house, handing responsibility to a small specialist team headed by Pierallini.

Aluminium subframes, bolted to the carbonfibre tub, carry the running gear and powertrain, while the 4C’s exterior panels are made from sheet-moulded composites. The 4C’s shape is also said to generate positive downforce, improving the high-speed grip.

Great efforts are being made to translate the 4C’s dramatic interior styling into production, although it won’t be an exact copy of the concept car. Pierallini says Alfa will build 18,000 4Cs over the lifetime of the car, although the factory that will make it has yet to be chosen.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2014 Kia Soul

The all-new Kia Soul will debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January, and these spy shots are the first chance to see the supermini-MPV up close.

It will feature styling inspired by the Track’ster concept, which was revealed at the Chicago Motor Show last year.

A source has revealed - and now these pictures confirm - that the new model will stick to the same formula as the current Soul, with a boxy and practical silhouette. But the details will be all new.

The chunkier C-pillars, sporty roofline and narrow rear lights from the Track’ster are expected to be carried over to the new car, as well as the more upright windscreen and smaller headlights. Blacked out A-pillars - a key feature of the current car that creates a wraparound effect for the glass area - will also feature.

The new Soul will be based on a heavily modified version of the current Kia Rio platform, and is likely to be powered by engines ranging from a 1.4-litre petrol with 98bhp to a 1.6-litre diesel producing 126bhp. Kia is aiming to produce at least one variant with sub 100g/km CO2 emissions, too.

While the quirky model has enjoyed steady rather than spectacular sales in the UK, it has been a huge hit for Kia in the US with more than 10,000 units sold per month at its peak, and 102,267 units sold in total in 2011. This explains why the original Track'ster concept was unveiled in Chicago and why the next-generation Soul will be revealed in the States, too.

Its popularity in America means it’s likely to go on sale there first in the middle of 2013, but we’ll have to wait a little longer. It should arrive in the UK late next year with prices starting from around £11,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2014 Alfa Romeo Crossover

We’ve got fresh pictures of the new Alfa Romeo crossover, hiding under a Giulietta body. The newcomer is one in a series of new models based on the flexible CUSW platform that underpins Alfa’s family hatchback and is set to arrive in 2013.

The car will be powered by Fiat Group engines, consisting of turbocharged four-cylinder units. Most popular will be the 2.0-litre MulitJet diesels, which will produce upwards of 140bhp, while MultiAir petrols will also be available. Buyers will be given the option of both two and four-wheel drive.

The new car will play an important role in revitalising Alfa Romeo’s range – which is now down to just the MiTo and Giulietta the UK – and will aim to cash in on the popular crossover market, currently dominated by cars like the Nissan Qashqai.

It will also appear as a new compact Jeep model, which is designed to replace the Patriot.

Expect to see the Alfa Romeo crossover make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March next year, while the Jeep variant is expected to be at the Detroit Motor Show in January. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2003-2004 Chevrolet Express & GMC Savana

The Problem: General Motors is recalling some 2003 and 2004 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vehicles for issues with the fuel filler pipe. In Express/Savana models with a left-side cargo door and driven/purchased in states with lots of corrosive road contaminates (like road salt in snowy states), the contaminates can get stuck in the fuel filler pipe’s protective sheath, and corrode through both the sheath and the pipe. If this happens, the vehicle could throw a check engine light, or leak fuel. If the latter happens, there’s a risk of fire.

The Fix: Chevrolet/GMC dealers will install a new fuel filler neck. GM has already sent letters to the owners of the affected vehicles notifying them of the issue, and will follow-up with both dealers and owners when the recall begins early in October. The repairs will be free of charge. Owners can also call Chevrolet at 1-866-694-6546 or GMC at 1-866-996-9463 for more information.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 9389 Express and Savanas. The recalled models only include those vans with a left side cargo door and originally sold or registered in the Northeast (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont), Mid-Atlantic region (Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, the District of Columbia), the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin). Vans originally sold or registered elsewhere, or without the cargo door, are not affected or recalled.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2011 Mercedes G-Class

The Problem: Mercedes is recalling some 2011 G550 and G55 AMG vehicles for issues with the molding strip mounted between the front passenger airbag and the cover flap. In the event of a crash where the front passenger air bag deploys, pieces of the molding strip could come loose of fall off. The resulting projectile could either strike and injure a passenger or damage the airbag, causing passenger injury.

The Fix: Mercedes-Benz will reinforce the connection between the flap and the strip free of charge. Mercedes-Benz will notify dealers this month of the recall, and estimates that the repair campaign will start next month. Owners can also call Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372 for more information.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 189 G550 and G55 AMG models, produced between September 30, 2010 and April 27, 2011.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2012-2013 Mercedes M-Class

The Problem: All-season floor mats, sold as an accessory, may not completely conform to the floor, potentially reducing clearance between it and the accelerator pedal. As a result, the pedal could become trapped, which would prevent it from returning to its normal position after the driver lifts their foot. The vehicle may not decelerate as expected, which could increase the risk of a crash. Slowly applying the brakes will bring the vehicle to a stop, however.

The Fix: Mercedes will begin notifying owners in September, when dealers will replace floor mats free of charge. Mercedes advises owners to remove floor mats until new ones can be installed. Owners can contact Mercedes at 1-800-367-6372 for more information.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 8675 M-Class SUVs equipped with accessory floor mats including 2012-2013 ML350, ML550, and ML63 AMG models.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2014 Range Rover

With government regulators dictating that only the fuel-efficient and those with low emissions survive, engineers for the next Range Rover faced a Darwinian challenge. The fourth-generation Range Rover, which makes its public debut in September, uses so much aluminum that the company says it’s as much as 926 pounds lighter than its predecessor. That’s equal to two of the Galápagos tortoises that Darwin studied, or about half a Lotus Elise.

Land Rover says that the platform on which the 2013 Range Rover is built is completely new and that it’s the first sport-ute with an all-aluminum unibody structure. That structure, says the company, weighs just 61 percent as much as the predecessor’s unibody. The front and rear subframes also are built completely from aluminum, and have been redesigned from those of the previous model. At the scales, the American-spec 2013 Range Rover should weigh 700 pounds less than did the outgoing ute, giving it a mass of about 5150 pounds. That’s roughly a hundred pounds less than a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and around 200 pounds less than a Mercedes-Benz GL450 weighs.

Initially, we’ll see two V-8 engines in the U.S. The current 5.0-liter V-8 will carry over with some minor updates, making 375 hp in standard guise and 510 hp when supercharged. An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission is standard regardless of engine. Europeans will see Range Rovers with the company’s new supercharged V-6 and a diesel six, but if either comes to the U.S.—execs have told us that they want to offer diesels here—it won’t at launch.

But as unsexy as “carry over” sounds, a lack of power wasn’t the outgoing Range Rover’s problem. Rather, the experience was upset by handling that made drivers feel as if they were steering from a lifeguard’s chair. Addressing this, the new SUV has a re-engineered adaptive air suspension, and Land Rover claims the Range Rover’s handling will inspire more driver confidence.

To maintain much-needed, rarely explored credibility, the Range Rover still is designed for off-roading. A new Terrain Response 2 Auto system debuts here, and with the company merely describing it as “fully automatic,” we’re not sure if drivers will even need to rotate a knob to pick the terrain mode they desire.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2013 Lexus LS

Lexus has given its flagship LS saloon a complete overhaul, including sharper styling, new tech and the addition of a more focused F Sport version.

Two engine variants make up the new LS line-up: the petrol LS460 and hybrid LS600h. UK sales begin later this year.

External tweaks include the introduction of Lexus’s spindle front grille design — first seen on the firm’s CT200h last year — plus the option of LED lights front and rear.

Under the LS’s skin, Lexus has revised the Adaptive Variable Suspension in an effort to “suppress roll, pitch and heave vibration”. Steering and braking systems have also been refined for better response and comfort.

Additional insulation from engine, road and wind noise aims to boost the luxury saloon’s refinement.

To inject more sporting flair into the marque’s flagship saloon, a new F Sport model features a 10mm reduction in ride height compared with the standard limousine, plus beefier, more aggressive exterior styling, six-piston brake calipers up front and a Torsen limited-slip differential.

The F Sport’s paddle-shift gearbox incorporates automatic throttle blipping when changing to a lower gear.

A first for Lexus is the inclusion of selectable driving modes, which include Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+.

The temperature of the heated/ventilated front and rear seats and heated steering wheel can be controlled automatically, in what Lexus claims is a world first.

The revised LS’s satellite navigation system — which is displayed on an extra-large, 12.3-inch screen — features internet connectivity, and all UK-spec LS models come equipped with a 19-speaker sound system plus upgrades to the rear seat entertainment package, which includes a Blu-Ray disc player.

Standard safety equipment comprises Lexus’s Advanced Pre-Crash Safety system with Collision Avoidance Assist and an upgraded Lane Keep Assist system.

Lexus is currently remaining tight-lipped about performance figures and pricing details.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Skoda Plans to Build Rapid Hatchback

The Czech firm’s sales and marketing boss, Jürgen Stackmann, said the car would be shorter than the notchback Rapid and would feature a more Golf–like rear end.

The car was previewed as the Vision D concept at last year’s Geneva motor show. It featured bolder wheel arches and slimmer lights than the production Rapid’s. The final version is planned for launch towards the end of next year.

However, it won’t exactly mirror the Vision D’s look. “It’s not that car,” Stackmann told Autocar. Nor would he reveal the new hatchback’s name, although he did confirm that there will be no three-door version of the Rapid because the market volumes would be too low.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2014 Opel/Vauxhall Astra Cabriolet

The new Vauxhall Astra cabriolet is getting closer to production, as these spy shots reveal. The heavy cladding of previous mules has been shed, leaving behind a sporty silhouette that will be fully unveiled to the public at the Paris Motor Show in September.

Unlike the old Astra TwinTop, the newcomer gets a fabric roof rather than a folding hard-top but remains a four-seater model. The Astra name is also likely to be dropped completely when the car is unveiled. Former Vauxhall boss Nick Reilly told Auto Express: “Calibra is a possible name, as well as Manta."

Underneath the camouflage it looks as though the cabriolet will get styling inspired by the sporty Astra GTC. That means pronounced creases in the bodywork and an aggressive bodykit, alongside ‘eagle-eye’ LED lights. A few chassis tweaks from the GTC will help sharpen up the handling too.

Engines will be borrowed from the rest of the Astra line-up, so expect to see a 1.4-litre, 1.6 and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines featuring alongside a range of 1.7 and 2.0-litre diesels.

The Vauxhall Astra cabriolet will go on sale next year and is expected to cost around £23,000. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2006-2011 Toyota RAV4 & 2010 Lexus HS250h

The Problem: Toyota has found that both vehicles may develop suspension issues following a rear wheel alignment service. The rear suspension arm could move around excessively if the nuts aren’t reinstalled and torqued properly. As a result, rust could form at the threaded portion of the arm, which could eventually cause the arm to separate.

The Fix: Toyota is still researching a fix for the issue. Toyota will notify owners once a remedy has been found. For more information, Toyota customers may call 800-331-4331 while Lexus owners may call 800-255-3987.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: About 760,000 model year 2006-2011 Toyota RAV4 crossovers (early 2011 RAV4s only) and approximately 18,000 2010 Lexus HS 250h hybrid sedans.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur

What It Is: A 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur—the four-door sibling of the Continental GT coupe and GTC convertible—caught while testing wearing fake Mercedes S-class camouflage. A lot of spy photos come through our email inboxes, but few prove as entertaining as these shots of the next Flying Spur. Not only did Bentley stick on some pseudo-Benz head- and taillights, but it went so far as to affix bulging fender flares similar to those on the current S-class. Looking past this Bentley’s drag, it’s clear that the Flying Spur will inherit the same basic stylistic upgrades that hit the 2011 Continental GT and 2012 GTC.

Why It Matters: Bentley’s entry-level sedan has been on sale in the same form since 2005—that’s quite the product cycle. It’s an especially long lifespan when you consider the stratospheric sandbox in which the Flying Spur competes; rich or poor, people tend to crave the latest and greatest, and that counts double when customers need to shell out nearly $200,000. Mix in the competition that appeared since the Spur first went on sale—the Rolls-Royce Ghost (which beat the Flying Spur Speed in a comparison test), the Aston Martin Rapide, and the upcoming Pullman version of the next Mercedes-Benz S-class—and a freshened Flying Spur becomes even more important for Bentley.

Platform: Just as the latest Continental GT and GTC sit on a carry-over platform, so too will this new Flying Spur. That said, the four-door should get entirely new sheetmetal; it may not be obviously different—changes to the other Continentals weren’t terribly easy to spot—but it should subtly bring the sedan in line with its two-door siblings, as well as the larger Mulsanne.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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