Autoblog

Syndicate content Autoblog
Autoblog
Updated: 10 min 57 sec ago

Mercedes-AMG teases GT interior, announces fall 2014 debut

2 hours 11 min ago

Filed under: , , ,



Mercedes-Benz opted to tease the assembled media at its post-New York Auto Show party, showing off a pair of images of the exquisitely crafted interior of the highly anticipated successor of the SLS AMG - the V8-powered Mercedes-AMG GT.

Slated for a debut in the fall at either Paris or Los Angeles (we're betting Paris), you'll note straight away that there's something wrong with this car's name. Where's the "Benz?" Well, it's been ditched to, as Mercedes says, "make the dream of the authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car come true." Sorry Karl.

"The new Mercedes-AMG GT proves that we will be positioning AMG as a dynamic sports car brand even more strongly and aggressively than before," said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG.

As for these images, there isn't a lot to see, aside from a very nicely designed interior. The materials look first rate, and the overall layout is one of the more modern we've seen from Mercedes. Further confirming that an eight-cylinder sits under the hood, the AMG Drive Unit - the bank of buttons on either side of the shifter - has been designed with four per side, which form a "V" shape, similar to an engine.

Hopefully we'll hear more on the new Mercedes-AMG GT ahead of its official debut later this year. Take a look below for a brief press release, with additional remarks from Tobias Moers.

Continue reading Mercedes-AMG teases GT interior, announces fall 2014 debut

Mercedes-AMG teases GT interior, announces fall 2014 debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 Convertible is a topless temptress

2 hours 41 min ago

Filed under: , , , ,



With summer right around the corner, and the Great Winter of Doom now at our backs (just), we're thinking warm thoughts here in the Snowbelt. Just in time for the season, Chevy is dropping the top on its new Corvette Z06 Convertible, debuting here at the New York Auto Show.

Everything we love about the Z06 Coupe ("The Big Nasty," as GM's North American boss, Mark Reuss, calls it) remains intact here with the droptop. Under the hood is the same 625-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the same seven-speed manual transmission, and most importantly, the same curb weight. That's hugely important, as most convertibles with their complex folding roof mechanisms and body-strengthening materials tend to be slightly heftier than their fixed-top counterparts. Good work, Chevy.

In person, the Z06 Convertible looks just as mean and track-attack purposeful as the coupe. And considering you can still get the same suspension, brakes, wheels and tires as the hardtop, we're thinking it'll be just as rad to drive once the Z06 goes on sale later this year. Have a look at our fresh crop of live images, above, and look below for Chevrolet's original press blast.

Continue reading 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 Convertible is a topless temptress

2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 Convertible is a topless temptress originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Visit this secret Citroën stash outside Paris with XCar

3 hours 9 min ago

Filed under: , ,



With models like the 2CV, DS and SM, Citroën established itself as a home for quirky styling and out-of-the-box engineering, and in many minds the brand defines the look of the classic French car. In a recent video, XCar ventures inside Citroën's secret warehouse outside of Paris where the brand keeps many of its rarest and most significant cars.

The collection includes the oldest DS in the world, which was never put on sale, and four incredibly rare, pre-World War II 2CVs. According to Denis Huille of Citroën Heritage, about 60 percent of the cars are in drivable condition.

Citroën is now starting to go through a stylistic reawakening. Concepts like the DS 5LS R, Wild Rubis and Numero 9 show off a brand that has a definite idea of how a car wearing its badge should look. Scroll down to take a tour through the company's history.

Continue reading Visit this secret Citroën stash outside Paris with XCar

Visit this secret Citroën stash outside Paris with XCar originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Peugeot 2008 DKR to challenge Dakar with help from Red Bull [w/video]

3 hours 39 min ago

Filed under: , , , , ,



The Mini All4 Racing team has dominated the Dakar Rally in recent years, with wins in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In this year's event, its drivers stood atop all three steps on the podium, and it had seven cars in the top ten. However, Mini's superiority is getting a big challenge in 2015 because Peugeot is returning to the rally with Red Bull as its sponsor. The team's weapon of choice is the new Peugeot 2008 DKR piloted by Dakar veterans Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres.

Peugeot is not a neophyte to the event, having scored wins from '87 to '90, and it's taking its return seriously. While the DKR is called a 2008, it bares only a passing resemblance to the road car. The team handed off a list of demands to the engineering department, specifying things like the dimensions, cabin space and approach angles. What the designers came up with is one mean-looking machine. It has super-wide fenders covering up 37-inch Michelin tires, practically no overhangs, a lifted suspension and two doors. The creators admit the look only draws inspiration from the standard car.

The powertrain remains the DKR's biggest secret at the moment. Thought the team has revealed that it's using two-wheel drive because it allows them to run more suspension travel and bigger tires. Scroll down to watch the team's reveal video for the car and read more details about it.

Continue reading Peugeot 2008 DKR to challenge Dakar with help from Red Bull [w/video]

Peugeot 2008 DKR to challenge Dakar with help from Red Bull [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

2015 Chevrolet Trax is the Encore's encore

4 hours 11 min ago

Filed under: , , ,



We imagine the conversation among Chevrolet's product planners that led to a greenlight for a US-spec Chevrolet Trax went something like this: "Hey, the Buick Encore is selling like mad. It's proven that people love subcompact crossovers. Quick, let's import a vehicle from Canada."

Okay, so it probably didn't go quite like that, but it seems logical that the US arrival of the Trax - which has been on sale in the Great White North and other markets since late 2012 - had a lot to do with the success of the Encore. Couple that with the impending arrival of the Renegade, and perhaps Chevy sees a market ripe for small crossoverization.

When the Trax arrives in the US market at some unspecified future date (probably early 2015), it will have a fair amount in common with the Encore, with which it shares a platform. Underhood, the same 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder will send power to either the front or to all four wheels while producing 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. It's good to see this engine gain another assignment, as it's already impressed in both the Cruze and Sonic. A six-speed automatic will be the sole gearbox.

In the cabin, the Encore and the Trax share identical measurements, meaning that passengers in both the front and back should have a reasonable amount of space. Not surprisingly, the Chevy's cabin materials don't look quite as nice as its tri-shielded cousin, although this sort of difference between Chevy and Buick is to be expected. What the Trax does have going for it, though, is a wealth of technology. Chevy MyLink, Siri Eyes Free and OnStar 4G LTE will all be available for customers to take advantage of.

As for its exterior, it's kind of like someone fired a shrink ray at the Equinox. It's clean and attractive, although we'd have liked a bit more visual panache, like the Sonic. Sixteen-inch wheels are standard on the lower two trim levels (LS and LT), while the top-flight LTZ is fitted with a set of 18-inch hoops.

Take a look below for the full press release from Chevrolet.

Continue reading 2015 Chevrolet Trax is the Encore's encore

2015 Chevrolet Trax is the Encore's encore originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

2015 Audi RS7 Dynamic Edition strutting to NY

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 23:30

Filed under: , , ,



The Audi RS7 is already one of the most stylish sports sedans (hatch, wagon, whatever...) on the road today with flowing roof and hunkered down appearance. Now the German automaker is taking that formula even further with the introduction of the RS7 Dynamic Edition at the 2014 New York Auto Show, and the addition of a long list of unique options.

When it goes on sale early this summer, the Dynamic Edition won't come cheap. Prices start at $146,045, which is $41,145 over a base RS7. The extra money allows opulent additions like Black Valcona honeycomb-stitched leather sport seats, Crimson Red seatbelts and interior stitching, Tornado Red brake calipers with the RS7 logo, Audi's Dynamic Ride Control suspension and a sport exhaust. It rides on 21-inch, five-spoke wheels with Gloss Black accents. Also carbon fiber pieces replace the front splitter, rear diffuser and engine cover.

The DRC suspension is a late addition to the RS7's options list and comes standard on the Dynamic Edition. It uses three-stage adjustable dampers that are cross-linked and integrated into the driving mode selection and rear differential.

Of course, the special edition still comes equipped with the RS7's 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic with all-wheel drive. That'll get the big sedan to 60 miles per hour in a quick 3.7 seconds, while the cylinder-on-demand function makes it run as a four-cylinder when all the power isn't needed.

Continue reading 2015 Audi RS7 Dynamic Edition strutting to NY

2015 Audi RS7 Dynamic Edition strutting to NY originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Autoblog Podcast #376

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 23:05

Filed under: , , , , ,



Episode #376 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Chris Paukert and Brandon Turkus talk about the New York Auto Show, internet criticism of the Ram Runner, and the 2014 Ward's 10 Best Interiors. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #376:



Topics: In the Autoblog Garage:
Hosts: Dan Roth, Chris Paukert, Brandon Turkus
Runtime: 01:37:18

Rundown:
  • Intro and Garage - 00:00
  • New York Auto Show - 24:07
  • Ram Runner - 45:57
  • Ward's 10 Best Interiors - 57:00
  • Q&A - 01:14:02
Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #376

Autoblog Podcast #376 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

NTSB offers NHTSA advice on semi truck safety

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 22:44

Filed under: , , ,



Based on studies conducted last year, the National Transportation Safety Board has sent seven recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "to improve the safety of tractor-trailers." The suggestions range from changing actual physical components on tractor-trailers, like adding protection along the sides of trailers to keep cars from going under them, to recording VIN information on trailers - which isn't currently collected - in accident reports.

The NTSB research revealed that more than half the time, truckers who hit pedestrians after pulling away from a stoplight weren't aware they had done so until other motorists or bystanders told them. When it comes to "underride events" - when a vehicle goes under the trailer - the NTSB said many of the 500 deaths caused by such incidents come from collisions with the sides of trailers, and reaffirmed the assessment by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that rear trailer guard regulations aren't up to scratch.

The full list of recommendations also believes the NHTSA should mandate blind-spot reduction systems. NHTSA hasn't responded to points laid out, but it already does a lot of research in heavy truck safety, such as the recently concluded five-year study on Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety Systems.

NTSB offers NHTSA advice on semi truck safety originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Hyundai testing more variants of top-secret commercial van

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 22:02

Filed under: , ,



The commercial van market in the US is exploding with new products at the moment, with entries from Ford, Ram, Nissan and others. And we are seeing images (again) of Hyundai testing its own van in Europe, as well, though it's not known whether the model will make it to the US. While the company has offered work vehicles overseas in the past, this one appears to be a direct competitor to European vehicles with large bodies and tiny wheels like the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

The latest images show off not just the standard commercial van but also the pickup version, and interior for the first time. According to our spy shooters, Hyundai did not want people to see the inside of the test vehicle, reaching out specifically in an attempt to secure the pictures you see here. It's hard to say what's worth being so secretive about, but that big infotainment screen certainly looks like a nice addition. We still aren't sure whether the Korean company has opted for front- or rear-wheel drive for the model, but the gearshift suggests that it's using a six-speed manual transmission.

The pickup truck version has a cab that looks just like the standard van. Testing this variant suggests that Hyundai is addressing the need for multiple body configurations in the commercial space.

Other than the camouflage and cladding, the enclosed version looks identical to the previous spy shots we saw. Though the previous iteration had blacked out panels along the side where windows might go, indicating a passenger version.

Hyundai testing more variants of top-secret commercial van originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Did hard feelings between GM and Delphi contribute to ignition-switch woes?

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 21:30

Filed under: , , ,



The Detroit News has lodged another exhibit in the attempt to reconstruct how General Motors used an ignition switch part that might not have met the company's own standards, citing acrimonious relations between it and parts supplier Delphi just after the turn of the millennium. The short story alleges that that Delphi made a part that wasn't up to scratch, but the long story is about why Delphi may have done such a thing and why GM would have accepted it.

Until 1999, Delphi was a division of GM, but an initial public offering for the auto parts unit made it a separate company and had everyone crowing about the benefits the move would accrue to all parties. According to The Detroit News piece, three years later, Delphi still couldn't get by without GM's money, but The General was treating it like any other supplier and squeezing it for cost savings with some truly Machiavellian tactics that many powerful purchasing department heads would file in the drawer marked, "It's Just Business." The occasional consequence was "suppliers bidding so low that they had to cut corners to meet the promised price."

Why wasn't the problem caught and stopped even though GM might have known about it? Again, according to the report, fixing the part meant production delays, but Old GM's contract with the United Auto Workers included a provision for job banks, which meant that workers had to be paid whether or not lines were running. Idling factories to fix the part would obliterate all the savings gained by hammering down the price, an outside analyst saying of such moments, "There were unquestionably times when parts were accepted that did not meet GM's specifications. But you had to keep the production lines running at all costs." None of it ended up helping Delphi, either: the company, already in "a low- or no-margin business" and saddled with heavy legacy benefits from its GM days, declared bankruptcy in 2005 and didn't exit it until 2009.

Head over to the DetNews for the full skinny on this new wrinkle to GM's ongoing recall nightmare. It's a compelling read.

Did hard feelings between GM and Delphi contribute to ignition-switch woes? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Chevy Camaro is a good sport, wishes Ford Mustang Happy 50th

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 20:45

Filed under: , , , , ,



It was 1966 when Chevrolet launched its challenger to the wildly successful Ford Mustang, the Camaro. While the competition between the two brands was already healthy, the arrival of the Camaro set off one of the most intense, model-to-model rivalries in the industry.

That competitive spirit hasn't stopped Chevy and the Camaro from wishing Ford's iconic muscle car a Happy 50th Birthday as the Ford's April 17 anniversary rolls around. These two cars have been linked over the years, and while the rivalry took a break for a few years in the 2000s, today's competition between the Camaro and Mustang is as fierce as it's ever been.

You might recall that this friendliness when it comes to major milestones isn't too rare. Ford put on quite a display for General Motors' hundredth anniversary back in 2008. As the Camaro's fiftieth birthday approaches in 2016, we wouldn't be surprised to see the Mustang sending its best wishes to its Bowtie rival.

Take a look below for Chevy's comments about the rivalry and a comparison with some other great rivalries from outside of the auto industry.

Continue reading Chevy Camaro is a good sport, wishes Ford Mustang Happy 50th

Chevy Camaro is a good sport, wishes Ford Mustang Happy 50th originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Aston to show $99k V8 Vantage GT, special editions in NY [w/video]

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 19:58

Filed under: , , , , ,



Aston Martin has never been touted for the affordability of its cars, but with its new V8 Vantage GT, it's at least taking a stab at the concept. Priced at $99,900, the company probably feels like it's giving them away.

Aston Martin says its Vantage GT is inspired by its long history in motorsports. Available as either a coupe or convertible (at extra cost), the GT packs the automaker's 4.7-liter V8 pumping out 430 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque capable of getting it to 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds and to a top speed of 190 miles per hour. Buyers can choose between either a seven-speed automated manual with magnesium paddle shifters or a traditional six-speed manual.

Despite the stripped-down price, buyers aren't going to be missing many amenities in the GT. It comes standard with graphite-painted alloy wheels and black trim around the headlights side windows, exhausts and taillights. An optional graphics pack recalls Aston Martin's 24 Hours of Le Mans success with contrasting colors on the grille, mirror caps, rear diffuser and - on coupes - the A-pillar. The interior gets carbon-fiber sill plates, Alcantara door panels and sport seats from the V12 Vantage S. North American sales begin in the third quarter.

The other new Aston slated for reveal at this week's New York Auto Show is the DB9 Carbon Edition, which is aimed at carbon fiber lovers. It adds loads of the stuff inside and out in a traditional mix of luxury and high performance. It begins as a standard DB9 with a 6.0-liter V12 rated at 510 hp and 457 lb-ft and a six-speed automatic transmission. The big engine cruises to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and to a top speed of 183 mph.

The Carbon Edition is actually separated into two different editions. Carbon Black models come in Carbon Black II exterior paint, and Carbon White models use Stratus White. Both come with a wide variety of carbon trim, including on the side strakes and taillight trim, with a black mesh grille and window trim accentuating the look. Buyers can also add an optional carbon fiber front splitter rear diffuser and mirror caps. Prices start at $199,995 and deliveries begin in the third quarter. Scroll down to get all of the details on the new Astons, and to see a Bloomberg video with Julian Jenkins, Aston Martin's president of the Americas, talking up his company's new entry-level baby.

Continue reading Aston to show $99k V8 Vantage GT, special editions in NY [w/video]

Aston to show $99k V8 Vantage GT, special editions in NY [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet being phased out, no replacement planned

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 19:30

Filed under: , ,



Over the years, I've been given many nicknames - a few of them have even been repeatable around small children. One such moniker is "Mr. Other Makes," a title given to me because of my predilection for sifting through eBay Motors seeking out automotive misfits and orphans. I've got a soft spot for the dreamers and automakers who take big chances on beancounter-enraging flights of fancy.

I count Nissan among that bunch, because for every safe-as-houses Altima or Sentra that rolls out of its factory gates, the Japanese automaker has often secreted away a little funding for white-space niche vehicles that any sane person wouldn't expect to pencil out. Some, like the Juke, have proven to be massive hits. Others, like the GT-R, have become icons. And then there are models like the Murano CrossCabriolet, a segment-bending mashup the likes of which we haven't seen since the AMC Eagle Sundancer.

Yesterday, upon revealing the new third-generation Murano ahead of its New York Auto Show debut, we reported "the writing appears to be on the wall" for the midsize crossover's novel convertible cousin. It appears we were right. Autoblog can now confirm that the CrossCabriolet will die at the end of this model year, and our source at Nissan tells us unequivocally, "there is no plan for a next-generation Murano CC."

Nissan didn't pinch pennies when developing the model - the CrossCabriolet received all-new sheetmetal from the A-pillar rearward, countless structural reinforcements and all-new seats front and rear. It wasn't cheap. It also wasn't enough - the model's modest sales were compounded by its high starting price ($42,855 delivered) and limited marketing efforts.

While Nissan itself doesn't break out the CrossCabriolet's sales from the rest of the Murano line, IHS Automotive sales data indicates that for 2011, Nissan sold 1,159 examples in North America, and in 2012, sales peaked at 3,278 units before sagging to 1,332 in 2013. If the Murano CC was the answer to a question that few had been asking, IHS senior analyst Stephanie Brinley tells Autoblog, "Everyone who did ask that question picked up one in 2012 or 2013."

The passing of the Murano CrossCabriolet is a loss likely to be mourned by few, but I'll be one of them - if only because cars that make a point of coloring outside the lines are too rare in this business.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet being phased out, no replacement planned originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

2016 Chevy Volt spotted testing its electric beating heart

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 18:58

Filed under: , , , , , ,



We don't know a whole lot about the next generation Chevy Volt, other than the fact that it's expected as a 2016 model. It's safe to assume Chevrolet will continue with its formula of two powertrains, one driving the wheels using electricity drawn from a lithium-ion battery pack and one powered by gasoline that exists almost solely to keep that aforementioned battery pack charged up.

Besides those basic bits and pieces, though, we have no idea what to expect when Chevy pulls the covers off its next-gen Volt. It's supposed to ride on a new platform, and it will almost assuredly have some improvements that will allow it to increase its electric-only range from its current 40-ish miles (which can vary greatly depending on driving styles and circumstances) to something between 50 and 60, and likely with greater efficiency.

As you can see from our gallery of spy shots above, the 2016 Chevy Volt is indeed being tested by the automaker, right out in the eye of the public. Comparing the new Volt with the old (below), we're pretty sure that the bodywork is completely new, and even if the overall shape is very familiar, it appears to be sleeker than before. If you look closely, you'll see the tell-tale plug-in port, the Volt badging and what appear to be safety shut-down switches on the bodyside and rear end of this test prototype. Oh, and don't miss the plug hanging limply from the front fascia.

Have a look at the 2016 Chevy Volt prototype above, and let us know what you think in Comments.

2016 Chevy Volt spotted testing its electric beating heart originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

2015 VW GTI promises next-level Fahrvergnügen for $24,395*

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 18:30

Filed under: , , , ,



It's taken Volkswagen a little while to finally introduce the seventh-generation GTI to the United States. However, it's finally happening, and even better, VW is finally spilling the beans on the features and pricing for the 2015 model.

All new GTI models come with VW's EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, improvements of 10 hp and 51 lb-ft over the outgoing model. In addition to the extra power, EPA fuel economy is predicted at 34 miles per gallon highway for manual-transmission models, a 3 mpg improvement. All models come standard with a six-speed manual, and the six-speed dual-clutch gearbox is a $1,100 option. The new model is also 2.2 inches longer, 0.5 inches wider and 1.1 inches lower, which translates to more rear seat room and 10-percent more cargo capacity.

The new GTI is being offered in multiple trims, but the base S model with two doors carries a starting price of $24,395 (*plus $820 destination charge). That's just $195 more than the entry-level price for the 2014 model. Standard features include niceties like a drive-mode selector, touchscreen radio, LED foglights and heated front seats.

Buyers can step up to the GTI SE trim for $27,395, which adds a sunroof, rearview camera, leather seats and more. The GTI Autobahn is only available as a four-door priced at $29,595, and it adds navigation, a power driver's seat and automatic air conditioning in addition to the SE's upgrades.

For buyers who want even more performance, later this year, a $1,495 Performance Package will be available that includes a 10-hp boost, an electronically controlled limited-slip differential and larger brakes. SE and Autobahn-spec models will also get adaptive damping.

The GTI is generally considered the daddy of the hot hatch world, and we loved the new seventh-generation when we tested it with all the performance goodies in Europe last year. Sales begin in June, and all US models will be built at VW's plant in Puebla, Mexico. Scroll down to read more about the new GTI, including more available options packages.

Continue reading 2015 VW GTI promises next-level Fahrvergnügen for $24,395*

2015 VW GTI promises next-level Fahrvergnügen for $24,395* originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Worst car unloading attempt ever is quick and painful

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:44

Filed under: , , , , ,



Here's a fun fact: not all automotive calamities in Russia are caught on dash cam. Occasionally, someone with just a cell phone captures some gold, like this woeful attempt at unloading what appears to be a Lada.

First of all, as with most jobs, having the correct tool for the task makes the work considerably easier. In this case, we'd recommend a tow truck or a flat bed. Once you start trying to move a car with a dump truck and a couple of boards, you should know you're in for trouble.

Have a look below for this short-and-sweet video, and then hop into Comments and let us know if you can think of a more bone-headed way of getting a car onto the ground.

Continue reading Worst car unloading attempt ever is quick and painful

Worst car unloading attempt ever is quick and painful originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

2014 Porsche 911 Targa

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:59

Filed under: , , , , ,



I've watched the electro-hydraulic roof panel open and close about 73 times in the past hour, but its fascinatingly complicated operation still has me mesmerized. I've concluded that only a German automaker - Porsche, to be more specific - would go through the trouble of engineering a roof system that essentially lifts the entire greenhouse off a vehicle, rearranges its components like a sliding-tile puzzle, and then reassembles all of them seamlessly (sans roof panel) to accurately recreate one of its most famed bodystyles.

The 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is a near-perfect modern interpretation of the automaker's 1965 911 Targa, a semi-convertible bodystyle that represents nearly 13 percent of all 911 models sold since production started 50 years ago. While the early car's roof was purely manual in operation - that's the period-correct way of saying that the driver did all of the muscle work - today's Targa is a completely automated transformation that requires only that the driver hold down a cabin-mounted switch for a mere 19 seconds to let the captivating show run its course.

After studying the Targa's elaborate roof operation at its launch at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, I was sufficiently intrigued. To that end, I traveled one-third of the way around the planet to southern Italy, hoping that the Mediterranean climate would reveal a bit more about the reintroduction of the automaker's iconic sports car.

Continue reading 2014 Porsche 911 Targa

2014 Porsche 911 Targa originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Is Bentley testing a hardcore Continental GT V8?

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:33

Filed under: , , , ,



The Bentley Continental GT V8 is a darn good car. The GT V8 S, even more so. It's only logical, then that an even hotter Conti GT would be commensurately better. At least, we're hoping that's what the minds at Bentley's Crewe, UK headquarters were thinking when they dispatched this bewinged GT V8 to the Nürburgring.

This Conti GT stands out not only because of its wing, but because of its improved aerodynamics as a whole. A new front fascia, complete with a body-color lip spoiler is the big visual takeaway of this car's sportier intensions, while our spies claim this white whale rides on a lowered, firmer suspension.

The real question about this car has to do with its powerplant, though. What's under hood? The GT V8 S returns an impressive 521 horsepower while the base Conti W12 churns out 567 ponies, meaning there isn't a lot of wiggle room between what is currently the priciest V8 model and the cheapest twelve-cylinder car. The 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, though, is certainly capable of handling more than 521 hp, as Audi uses a 560-hp variant in the RS7. Our spies, meanwhile, suggest that this may merely be an even lighter version of the GT V8 S - maybe like an RS model - that is lighter and stiffer, but no more powerful.

It's really anyone's guess as to what Bentley is up to. Here's hoping we find out soon, though. Take a look up top for our gallery of images from the Nürburgring, and then hop down below into Comments and let us know what you think Bentley is playing at.

Is Bentley testing a hardcore Continental GT V8? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Infiniti readying small crossover for China, is it Juke based?

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:03

Filed under: , , , ,



The small crossover is the superstar segment of the global automotive industry at the moment. With the love that Nissan has for the form with vehicles like the Juke and the Rogue, it should come as no surprise that Infiniti is going to hop into the market as well. However, its luxury CUV is likely going to remain exclusive to China for the time being.

The first hint of the Chinese Infiniti crossover leaked as dark silhouette looking a lot like the Juke, during a brand press conference said to be held in Beijing. It suggested that the model would use the Nissan platform but incorporate unique styling.

Leftlane News speculated that it could be among the company's debuts at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show, but that appears not to be the case. Infiniti spokesperson Kyle Bazemore has confirmed to Autoblog that a "small premium crossover" is under development for China. However, "Details of the vehicle will be announced at a later date. It will not debut at Beijing Motor Show," he said. Also, don't get too excited about the prospects of driving an Infiniti small CUV, because Bazemore says the company has no plans to offer this model elsewhere.

Since its global headquarters recently moved to Hong Kong, Infiniti has been making a big play at the Chinese market, and that is continuing in 2014. To avoid the high import tariffs, it's beginning production of the long-wheelbase Q50 and QX50 there this year, and it's launching multiple new vehicles in the market, as well.

Infiniti readying small crossover for China, is it Juke based? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

2015 Mazda2 spotted on the road

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:15

Filed under: , , ,



When Mazda unveiled the Hazumi Concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, our excitement for the next Mazda2 increased considerably. The Hazumi looks to retain much of the driving character that makes the current 2 one of the very best cars in its segment while infusing it with more aggressive styling. Of course, when the 2 arrives, it won't look exactly like the Hazumi. That's why these spy photos are so important.

This is our very first look at the next-generation 2, and although the Hazumi influence might be difficult to discern, thanks to the swirly camo, it's still there. The grille shape and the headlights are very similar in shape to the items shown on the concept, while the camouflage disguises the shape of the greenhouse, which looks somewhat like the Hazumi.

What we can't see, though, is under the hood. That's where our spies come in, reporting that a pair of 1.5-liter SkyActiv engines will see action in the tossable 2. The former, which we'll almost certainly see in the US, is a gas-powered mill found in the Euro-spec Mazda3. In the larger 3, it produces 99 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of torque, which is broadly similar to what the current 2's 1.5-liter pumps out. The other engine, a 1.5-liter SkyActiv diesel, probably won't be making the trip, although we'll continue to hope.

We should expect the next-gen 2 to arrive at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, with an on-sale date of early next year.

2015 Mazda2 spotted on the road originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments