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Nissan Note getting a little louder with Nismo versions this fall

10 min 12 sec ago

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Nissan's Nismo performance division has been getting more chances to shine recently with tuned models like the Juke Nismo RS and GT-R Nismo. But its latest creation moves closer to the bottom of the Japanese brand's lineup to make a hot hatch out of the (Versa) Note.

At least in Japan, the new model is due this fall, and Nismo is keeping a lot of the details about its latest creation a secret for now. What we do know is that it'll be available in two trims - the Note Nismo and the sportier Nismo S. "The development concept of this model was to build a car that makes you want to keep driving, no matter where your destination may be," said the division's chief product specialist, Hiroshi Tamura, in the company's announcement.

Aesthetically, the Note Nismo looks the way a tuned Nissan should, with the division's signature red trim outlining the car. It also wears a new, mesh grille, lower air dam, red side sills and rear spoiler. Inside, the S gets standard sport seats with full Recaro buckets as an option. Nissan didn't release technical specs for either version, but it promises that the S also gets a tuned engine with a five-speed manual.

But now, allow us to burst your bubble. Autoblog spoke to Nissan North America Product Communications Director Dan Bedore about the hot Note, and he told us, "There are no plans currently for a Nismo Versa Note in the US." That's too bad; if the specs turn out to be competitive, it could be an interesting rival for the Ford Fiesta ST. Scroll down to read the official announcement.

Continue reading Nissan Note getting a little louder with Nismo versions this fall

Nissan Note getting a little louder with Nismo versions this fall originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lamborghini Aventador art car features every color of the rainbow

56 min 12 sec ago

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With a catalog packed with shades of orange and yellow, the Lamborghini Aventador doesn't shy away from bright colors. But the stock palette still pales in comparison to this latest art car.

This technicolor Aventador Roadster was created by Franco-American artist and musician Duaiv, who previously applied his talents to Ferraris like the FF and 458 Spider. Lamborghini Miami, a division of Prestige Imports in North Beach, Florida, applied the evidently very successful artist's painting to a vinyl wrap and fitted to the Lambo along with a Novitec rear spoiler to create a one-of-a-kind supercar that is anything but a sleeper. You know, just in case an Aventador didn't already stand out enough.

Lamborghini Aventador art car features every color of the rainbow originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Porsche announces four flavors of updated Cayenne

6 hours 20 min ago


The new Macan may be getting all the attention lately, but Porsche hasn't forgotten about its larger crossover - the one that put it on the map in 2002 and on the road to profitability, with over half a million sold so far. So to keep the Cayenne at the top of its game, Porsche has announced several key upgrades for the 2015.

For starters, Porsche has updated the Cayenne's appearance with new front- and rear-end styling. The front bumper, fenders and hood are entirely new, with air fins flanking the nose to direct air into the intercoolers (each model now being artificially aspirated), and new bi-xenon headlamps and daytime running LEDs on every model but the Turbo, which goes all-LED. Around back there's also new taillights, tailgate handle, lower rear fascia and exhaust pipes. Meanwhile the interior has been upgraded with a 918-derived sport steering wheel and reformed rear seats with available ventilation.

The bigger news is under the engine bay, where Porsche is offering four choices. The base model is gone as the range starts with the Cayenne Diesel, followed by the Cayenne S, the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid and the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo. The Diesel model carries over the same 3.0-liter turbo diesel with 240 horsepower. The Cayenne S however packs a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 that's similar to the one found in the Macan Turbo and packs the same 406 lb-ft of torque but more power at 420 hp, 20 more than either its little brother or the model it replaces to reach 62 mph in 5.2 seconds.

The new Cayenne S E-Hybrid makes Porsche the world's only car manufacturer to offer three plug-in hybrid models.


Porsche has also ported over the powertrain from the Panamera S E-Hybrid to make what Porsche refers to as "the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment" and, along with the 918 Spyder, make it (almost unbelievably) "the world's only car manufacturer to offer three plug-in hybrid models" (unless, of course, you count the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera as separate from the Chevy Volt and Cadillac ELR). The system mates a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 333 hp to an electric motor with 95 hp to give it a combined output of 416 hp (more than the diesel and almost as much as the S) to propel it to 62 in 5.4 seconds, hit an all-electric top speed of 78 mph and an all-out top speed of 151 mph - offering a substantial improvement over the previous Cayenne S Hybrid.

Those in search of all-out performance at whatever cost, however, will be most intrigued by the Cayenne Turbo that carries over the same 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 but now with 520 hp and 553 lb-ft. That's just about half-way to the power output of the outgoing Turbo S and just as much torque, for a 0-62 time of 4.2 seconds (4.1 with the optional Sport Chrono package) - which ought to make enthusiasts (at least those not turned off entirely by the notion of a Porsche crossover) miss the GTS and Turbo S a little bit less until those new versions arrive as well.

Pricing starts at $61,700 for the Cayenne Diesel, $74,100 for the Cayenne S, $76,400 for the Cayenne S E-Hybrid and a whopping $113,600 for the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo - representing an increase of a few grand for each, before the $995 destination charge. Scope out the full details in the press release below.

Porsche announces four flavors of updated Cayenne originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 03:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Porsche announces four flavors of updated Cayenne

6 hours 20 min ago


The new Macan may be getting all the attention lately, but Porsche hasn't forgotten about its larger crossover - the one that put it on the map in 2002 and on the road to profitability, with over half a million sold so far. So to keep the Cayenne at the top of its game, Porsche has announced several key upgrades for the 2015.

For starters, Porsche has updated the Cayenne's appearance with new front- and rear-end styling. The front bumper, fenders and hood are entirely new, with air fins flanking the nose to direct air into the intercoolers (each model now being artificially aspirated), and new bi-xenon headlamps and daytime running LEDs on every model but the Turbo, which goes all-LED. Around back there's also new taillights, tailgate handle, lower rear fascia and exhaust pipes. Meanwhile the interior has been upgraded with a 918-derived sport steering wheel and reformed rear seats with available ventilation.

The bigger news is under the engine bay, where Porsche is offering four choices. The base model is gone as the range starts with the Cayenne Diesel, followed by the Cayenne S, the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid and the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo. The Diesel model carries over the same 3.0-liter turbo diesel with 240 horsepower. The Cayenne S however packs a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 that's similar to the one found in the Macan Turbo and packs the same 406 lb-ft of torque but more power at 420 hp, 20 more than either its little brother or the model it replaces to reach 62 mph in 5.2 seconds.

The new Cayenne S E-Hybrid makes Porsche the world's only car manufacturer to offer three plug-in hybrid models.


Porsche has also ported over the powertrain from the Panamera S E-Hybrid to make what Porsche refers to as "the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment" and, along with the 918 Spyder, make it (almost unbelievably) "the world's only car manufacturer to offer three plug-in hybrid models" (unless, of course, you count the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera as separate from the Chevy Volt and Cadillac ELR). The system mates a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 333 hp to an electric motor with 95 hp to give it a combined output of 416 hp (more than the diesel and almost as much as the S) to propel it to 62 in 5.4 seconds, hit an all-electric top speed of 78 mph and an all-out top speed of 151 mph - offering a substantial improvement over the previous Cayenne S Hybrid.

Those in search of all-out performance at whatever cost, however, will be most intrigued by the Cayenne Turbo that carries over the same 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 but now with 520 hp and 553 lb-ft. That's just about half-way to the power output of the outgoing Turbo S and just as much torque, for a 0-62 time of 4.2 seconds (4.1 with the optional Sport Chrono package) - which ought to make enthusiasts (at least those not turned off entirely by the notion of a Porsche crossover) miss the GTS and Turbo S a little bit less until those new versions arrive as well.

Pricing starts at $61,700 for the Cayenne Diesel, $74,100 for the Cayenne S, $76,400 for the Cayenne S E-Hybrid and a whopping $113,600 for the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo - representing an increase of a few grand for each, before the $995 destination charge. Scope out the full details in the press release below.

Porsche announces four flavors of updated Cayenne originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 03:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Noted Porsche collector Magnus Walker learns what a TED Talk is firsthand

13 hours 40 min ago

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Porsche collector Magnus Walker has the name and looks of a Viking, but once he starts talking about his life story and what drives him, he's an absolutely fascinating guy. Walker recently gave a Ted Talk at a Tedx conference at UCLA and claimed he didn't really understand the idea behind the speeches. You would never know it, though. Walker is as gifted a speaker as he is a talented restorer of some seriously cool Porsches.

Walker's talk is titled "Go with Your Gut Feeling," and it amounts to his autobiography. He recounts his birth in England, dropping out of school at 15 and moving to the US at 19. Once in Los Angeles, he started selling second-hand clothes and grew it into a fashion business.

Of course, what makes him interesting to us is his passion for Porsches. He fell in love with them when he saw a white 911 as a child at the Earl's Court Motor Show in England, but Walker waited until the '90s to buy his first one. From there he started racing and eventually restoring them. Since the documentary Urban Outlaw about him was released, Magnus has become famous for the love of the brand.

The crux of his talk is telling people to follow what they want to do and be willing to take a leap of faith, occasionally. He didn't know anything about fashion or restoring cars when he started doing them, but "passion goes a long way," he says. Scroll down to hear an eloquent speech about living life happily from someone who is practicing what he's preaching.

Continue reading Noted Porsche collector Magnus Walker learns what a TED Talk is firsthand

Noted Porsche collector Magnus Walker learns what a TED Talk is firsthand originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Noted Porsche collector Magnus Walker learns what a TED Talk is firsthand

13 hours 40 min ago

Filed under: , , ,



Porsche collector Magnus Walker has the name and looks of a Viking, but once he starts talking about his life story and what drives him, he's an absolutely fascinating guy. Walker recently gave a Ted Talk at a Tedx conference at UCLA and claimed he didn't really understand the idea behind the speeches. You would never know it, though. Walker is as gifted a speaker as he is a talented restorer of some seriously cool Porsches.

Walker's talk is titled "Go with Your Gut Feeling," and it amounts to his autobiography. He recounts his birth in England, dropping out of school at 15 and moving to the US at 19. Once in Los Angeles, he started selling second-hand clothes and grew it into a fashion business.

Of course, what makes him interesting to us is his passion for Porsches. He fell in love with them when he saw a white 911 as a child at the Earl's Court Motor Show in England, but Walker waited until the '90s to buy his first one. From there he started racing and eventually restoring them. Since the documentary Urban Outlaw about him was released, Magnus has become famous for the love of the brand.

The crux of his talk is telling people to follow what they want to do and be willing to take a leap of faith, occasionally. He didn't know anything about fashion or restoring cars when he started doing them, but "passion goes a long way," he says. Scroll down to hear an eloquent speech about living life happily from someone who is practicing what he's preaching.

Continue reading Noted Porsche collector Magnus Walker learns what a TED Talk is firsthand

Noted Porsche collector Magnus Walker learns what a TED Talk is firsthand originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What you missed on 7.23.14

14 hours 10 min ago

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Cellphone bans don't reduce accidents?

It's true, though perhaps a bit hard to believe. According to a few recent studies, accident rates do not decline in areas where cellphone use is banned. Are drivers finding themselves distracted by other items, or is cellphone use behind the wheel less dangerous than you might think? We don't know, but experts are doing their level best to figure out what these statistics mean.




Quick Spin: 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

We call it the Jukiest Juke. Clever, right? Of course, it's those clever engineers at Nissan that deserve praise for putting more turbocharged power into the brand's funky looking hatchback/crossover... thing. Sure, it's styling still causes divisions, but one thing can't be argued with: It's a heck of a lot of fun behind the wheel. Check out our Quick Spin for all the details.




Odds of dying in a traffic accident by location

What are the chances? Well, if you're talking about the chances of being fatally struck by lightning, about a million to one (just don't tell that to Roy C. Sullivan). If you're talking about the chances of dying in a car accident, well, that depends on where you live. If you call Massachusetts or Washington DC home, you're in luck. West Virginia, South Carolina or North Dakota? Watch out.



Top Stories

What you missed on 7.23.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What you missed on 7.23.14

14 hours 10 min ago

Filed under: , , , , ,



Cellphone bans don't reduce accidents?

It's true, though perhaps a bit hard to believe. According to a few recent studies, accident rates do not decline in areas where cellphone use is banned. Are drivers finding themselves distracted by other items, or is cellphone use behind the wheel less dangerous than you might think? We don't know, but experts are doing their level best to figure out what these statistics mean.




Quick Spin: 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

We call it the Jukiest Juke. Clever, right? Of course, it's those clever engineers at Nissan that deserve praise for putting more turbocharged power into the brand's funky looking hatchback/crossover... thing. Sure, it's styling still causes divisions, but one thing can't be argued with: It's a heck of a lot of fun behind the wheel. Check out our Quick Spin for all the details.




Odds of dying in a traffic accident by location

What are the chances? Well, if you're talking about the chances of being fatally struck by lightning, about a million to one (just don't tell that to Roy C. Sullivan). If you're talking about the chances of dying in a car accident, well, that depends on where you live. If you call Massachusetts or Washington DC home, you're in luck. West Virginia, South Carolina or North Dakota? Watch out.



Top Stories

What you missed on 7.23.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford's Galhotra succeeds Farley as head of Lincoln

14 hours 39 min ago

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Ford Motor Company is announcing a major personnel shakeup that could have a dramatic effect on the future of the Lincoln division. Kumar Galhotra (pictured above), currently vice president of engineering at Ford for all of its vehicles worldwide, is taking over as the president of the luxury brand on September 1, replacing Jim Farley. The automaker is also hiring a new head of advanced engineering.

Galhotra has a huge job ahead of him as the new boss of Lincoln worldwide, overseeing product development, marketing, sales and service. His task is to turn the luxury division into a world-class brand as quickly as possible, and he reports directly to Ford President and CEO Mark Fields.

"These changes underscore our commitment to build on the success of our One Ford plan by accelerating our pace of progress. They also make clear we are serious about Lincoln as a world-class luxury brand and that product excellence and innovation are what will deliver growth and define our entire company going forward," said Fields in the company's announcement.

Since starting at the Blue Oval in 1988, Galhotra has had a long history of positions in engineering and planning. Perhaps most importantly to his new job, he led product development in the Asia Pacific and Africa regions starting in 2009. The experience may have give him some vital insight for Lincoln's imminent expansion into China.

In one other personnel shift, Paul Mascarenas is retiring from his role as vice president of research and advanced engineering after spending 32 years with Ford. His replacement is Dr. Ken Washington, a VP of R&D for space technology at Lockheed Martin. The new role puts Washington in charge of the Blue Oval's technology strategy. Scroll down to read the full release about all of the changes.

Continue reading Ford's Galhotra succeeds Farley as head of Lincoln

Ford's Galhotra succeeds Farley as head of Lincoln originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford's Galhotra succeeds Farley as head of Lincoln

14 hours 39 min ago

Filed under: , , ,



Ford Motor Company is announcing a major personnel shakeup that could have a dramatic effect on the future of the Lincoln division. Kumar Galhotra (pictured above), currently vice president of engineering at Ford for all of its vehicles worldwide, is taking over as the president of the luxury brand on September 1, replacing Jim Farley. The automaker is also hiring a new head of advanced engineering.

Galhotra has a huge job ahead of him as the new boss of Lincoln worldwide, overseeing product development, marketing, sales and service. His task is to turn the luxury division into a world-class brand as quickly as possible, and he reports directly to Ford President and CEO Mark Fields.

"These changes underscore our commitment to build on the success of our One Ford plan by accelerating our pace of progress. They also make clear we are serious about Lincoln as a world-class luxury brand and that product excellence and innovation are what will deliver growth and define our entire company going forward," said Fields in the company's announcement.

Since starting at the Blue Oval in 1988, Galhotra has had a long history of positions in engineering and planning. Perhaps most importantly to his new job, he led product development in the Asia Pacific and Africa regions starting in 2009. The experience may have give him some vital insight for Lincoln's imminent expansion into China.

In one other personnel shift, Paul Mascarenas is retiring from his role as vice president of research and advanced engineering after spending 32 years with Ford. His replacement is Dr. Ken Washington, a VP of R&D for space technology at Lockheed Martin. The new role puts Washington in charge of the Blue Oval's technology strategy. Scroll down to read the full release about all of the changes.

Continue reading Ford's Galhotra succeeds Farley as head of Lincoln

Ford's Galhotra succeeds Farley as head of Lincoln originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hyundai, Porsche top J.D. Power APEAL study

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 23:29

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Just as they did in the Initial Quality Study, Porsche and Hyundai have taken the premium and non-premium crown, respectively, for the 2014 J.D. Power APEAL study. This is the tenth consecutive year for that Porsche has been rated the best premium make in the APEAL study, which attempts to figure out how pleased owners are with their purchases. For 2014, it asked 86,000 owners of MY2014 cars to rate their vehicles in 77 different categories 90 days after their initial purchase. The resulting figures were plugged in deliver the APEAL score, which is rated on a 1,000-point scale.

The industry average sits at 794 points for 2014, although that's a one-percent decline over last year's rating. In this year's study, premium brands averaged 840 out of 1,000, while non-premium makes average 785. For their part, Porsche netted an impressive 882 points, while Hyundai earned an 804. Interestingly, only four non-premium brands (Hyundai, Ram, Volkswagen and Mini) finished above the industry average for 2014.

It's also interesting to see the clear delineation between premium and non-premium brands, with an eight-point gap between the non-premium champ, Hyundai, and the lowest-rated premium brand, Volvo.

Porsche and Hyundai weren't the only automakers to take home recognition. Dodge managed to tie Porsche for the most segment awards, with three. The Challenger, Charger and Dart all topped their market. There were a number of two-segment winners, as well, with Audi, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan capturing a pair of segments each.

Scroll down for the full press release from JD Power on this year's winners.

Continue reading Hyundai, Porsche top J.D. Power APEAL study

Hyundai, Porsche top J.D. Power APEAL study originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hyundai, Porsche top J.D. Power APEAL study

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 23:29

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Just as they did in the Initial Quality Study, Porsche and Hyundai have taken the premium and non-premium crown, respectively, for the 2014 J.D. Power APEAL study. This is the tenth consecutive year for that Porsche has been rated the best premium make in the APEAL study, which attempts to figure out how pleased owners are with their purchases. For 2014, it asked 86,000 owners of MY2014 cars to rate their vehicles in 77 different categories 90 days after their initial purchase. The resulting figures were plugged in deliver the APEAL score, which is rated on a 1,000-point scale.

The industry average sits at 794 points for 2014, although that's a one-percent decline over last year's rating. In this year's study, premium brands averaged 840 out of 1,000, while non-premium makes average 785. For their part, Porsche netted an impressive 882 points, while Hyundai earned an 804. Interestingly, only four non-premium brands (Hyundai, Ram, Volkswagen and Mini) finished above the industry average for 2014.

It's also interesting to see the clear delineation between premium and non-premium brands, with an eight-point gap between the non-premium champ, Hyundai, and the lowest-rated premium brand, Volvo.

Porsche and Hyundai weren't the only automakers to take home recognition. Dodge managed to tie Porsche for the most segment awards, with three. The Challenger, Charger and Dart all topped their market. There were a number of two-segment winners, as well, with Audi, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan capturing a pair of segments each.

Scroll down for the full press release from JD Power on this year's winners.

Continue reading Hyundai, Porsche top J.D. Power APEAL study

Hyundai, Porsche top J.D. Power APEAL study originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next-gen LaCrosse, Cascada convertible coming to Buick showrooms in 2016

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 23:03

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It's difficult to overstate how significant the post-bankruptcy years have been for General Motors' Buick brand. Arguably the most improved American automaker, Buick has rounded out its range with an excellent compact in the Verano, a well-balanced midsizer in the Regal and a segment-busting mini-CUV, with the Encore.

Seeking to keep that momentum going, the next several years will see the brand address a trio of its most obvious issues. First and foremost will be a replacement for the aging LaCrosse, a vehicle whose only bit of attention since its 2009 debut was a very light refresh in 2013.

According to Automotive News, we should expect the next-generation LaCrosse to arrive late next year or early in 2016, as a 2016 model. AN expects big design changes, as Buick attempts to further the LaCrosse from its popular platform-mate, the Chevrolet Impala. The changes won't be so radical, though, as to do away with its front-drive architecture, as the latest version of the Epsilon platform will underpin the next LaCrosse. The 3.6-liter V6 is likely to carry on, although a smaller, budget-minded offering is also extremely likely (we'll eat our hat if it's not the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder from the Regal, Verano and Cadillac CTS et al.).

The other issue plaguing Buick's lineup is a lack of a midsize crossover. This is particularly damning for the brand as most of its showrooms are shared with GMC, which boasts its own midsizer in the form of the Terrain. With the upcoming Envision (see here for teasers), that problem should be addressed. Like the LaCrosse, the Envision will likely be a 2016 model. It will debut and launch in China early next year, while we can expect it to arrive stateside later next year, or even early in 2016. For American consumers, both a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and the aforementioned 2.0T could see action in the Envision.

Finally, while Buick can boast a pair of vehicles available with manual transmissions, it's still far from what we'd call a brand for fun driving experiences. Of course, one way of solving that problem is with a two-door convertible. Yes, it's extremely likely that the Euro-market Opel Cascada convertible will be sold in the US early in 2016. Whether it keeps the Cascada name is unclear (all in favor of Skylark, say "aye"). Regardless, adding a reasonably priced, relaxed, two-door droptop to the Buick range to fill the space left by the not-so-dearly departed Chrysler 200 Convertible seems like a no brainer.

What are you thoughts on these plans? Should Buick be addressing other needs? Would you consider a Buick convertible? Should the brand push even further to distinguish the LaCrosse from the Impala? Have your say in Comments.

Next-gen LaCrosse, Cascada convertible coming to Buick showrooms in 2016 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next-gen LaCrosse, Cascada convertible coming to Buick showrooms in 2016

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 23:03

Filed under: , , , ,



It's difficult to overstate how significant the post-bankruptcy years have been for General Motors' Buick brand. Arguably the most improved American automaker, Buick has rounded out its range with an excellent compact in the Verano, a well-balanced midsizer in the Regal and a segment-busting mini-CUV, with the Encore.

Seeking to keep that momentum going, the next several years will see the brand address a trio of its most obvious issues. First and foremost will be a replacement for the aging LaCrosse, a vehicle whose only bit of attention since its 2009 debut was a very light refresh in 2013.

According to Automotive News, we should expect the next-generation LaCrosse to arrive late next year or early in 2016, as a 2016 model. AN expects big design changes, as Buick attempts to further the LaCrosse from its popular platform-mate, the Chevrolet Impala. The changes won't be so radical, though, as to do away with its front-drive architecture, as the latest version of the Epsilon platform will underpin the next LaCrosse. The 3.6-liter V6 is likely to carry on, although a smaller, budget-minded offering is also extremely likely (we'll eat our hat if it's not the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder from the Regal, Verano and Cadillac CTS et al.).

The other issue plaguing Buick's lineup is a lack of a midsize crossover. This is particularly damning for the brand as most of its showrooms are shared with GMC, which boasts its own midsizer in the form of the Terrain. With the upcoming Envision (see here for teasers), that problem should be addressed. Like the LaCrosse, the Envision will likely be a 2016 model. It will debut and launch in China early next year, while we can expect it to arrive stateside later next year, or even early in 2016. For American consumers, both a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and the aforementioned 2.0T could see action in the Envision.

Finally, while Buick can boast a pair of vehicles available with manual transmissions, it's still far from what we'd call a brand for fun driving experiences. Of course, one way of solving that problem is with a two-door convertible. Yes, it's extremely likely that the Euro-market Opel Cascada convertible will be sold in the US early in 2016. Whether it keeps the Cascada name is unclear (all in favor of Skylark, say "aye"). Regardless, adding a reasonably priced, relaxed, two-door droptop to the Buick range to fill the space left by the not-so-dearly departed Chrysler 200 Convertible seems like a no brainer.

What are you thoughts on these plans? Should Buick be addressing other needs? Would you consider a Buick convertible? Should the brand push even further to distinguish the LaCrosse from the Impala? Have your say in Comments.

Next-gen LaCrosse, Cascada convertible coming to Buick showrooms in 2016 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Convertible owners more educated, well to do

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 22:27

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A new study from Experian Automotive seeks to quantify the traits that identify the convertible-loving droptop driver. Of course, after reading through the findings, this just kind of confirms a lot of things that have been kind of obvious about convertible owners for kind of a long time.

They're educated, wealthy and older than the average new car customers, with 50 percent holding a bachelor's degree, 19 percent reporting a household income in excess of $175,000 (11.7 percent cleared $1 million), and 72 percent were over the age of 45. Considering the traditionally higher cost of a convertible, and the fact that many are probably second or third cars, these factoids aren't exactly shocking. Even the most popular locations for convertibles aren't all that surprising. Los Angeles is number one, followed by New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta.

What is surprising, though, are the most popular vehicles during the study. We agree with four of the five entries - the Ford Mustang, Mazda MX-5, BMW 3 Series and the Chevrolet Corvette captured positions one, three, four and five, respectively. The number two position, though, is inexplicable. It's held by the Chrysler Sebring (we're thinking Experian is referring to the 200). So, if this study proves nothing else, it's evidence that age, education and money can't totally prevent bad decisions.

Of course, we wouldn't put too much faith in these findings. Our big issue is the perilously short time period that this data was gleaned from. Experian only looked at new vehicle registrations during the first quarter of 2014. Aside from the limited time to collect findings and watch trends develop, analyzing convertible buying trends during the single coldest winter in recent memory hardly seems prudent.

With that in mind, head below and take a look at Experian's findings, including analysis between convertible drivers and the average new-car customer.

Continue reading Convertible owners more educated, well to do

Convertible owners more educated, well to do originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Convertible owners more educated, well to do

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 22:27

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A new study from Experian Automotive seeks to quantify the traits that identify the convertible-loving droptop driver. Of course, after reading through the findings, this just kind of confirms a lot of things that have been kind of obvious about convertible owners for kind of a long time.

They're educated, wealthy and older than the average new car customers, with 50 percent holding a bachelor's degree, 19 percent reporting a household income in excess of $175,000 (11.7 percent cleared $1 million), and 72 percent were over the age of 45. Considering the traditionally higher cost of a convertible, and the fact that many are probably second or third cars, these factoids aren't exactly shocking. Even the most popular locations for convertibles aren't all that surprising. Los Angeles is number one, followed by New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta.

What is surprising, though, are the most popular vehicles during the study. We agree with four of the five entries - the Ford Mustang, Mazda MX-5, BMW 3 Series and the Chevrolet Corvette captured positions one, three, four and five, respectively. The number two position, though, is inexplicable. It's held by the Chrysler Sebring (we're thinking Experian is referring to the 200). So, if this study proves nothing else, it's evidence that age, education and money can't totally prevent bad decisions.

Of course, we wouldn't put too much faith in these findings. Our big issue is the perilously short time period that this data was gleaned from. Experian only looked at new vehicle registrations during the first quarter of 2014. Aside from the limited time to collect findings and watch trends develop, analyzing convertible buying trends during the single coldest winter in recent memory hardly seems prudent.

With that in mind, head below and take a look at Experian's findings, including analysis between convertible drivers and the average new-car customer.

Continue reading Convertible owners more educated, well to do

Convertible owners more educated, well to do originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The cars that won't live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE]

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 21:57

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Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception.

Japan's automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet. Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD, and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC.

From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives.

German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler-made Routan. Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Huracán in the Lamborghini lineup, while Volvo ends production of the XC90 in advance of the new model's arrival.

It's a long list to wrap your head around, but our compatriots over at The Car Connection have summed it all up in the video below, and we've assembled the slideshow above with photos of each. The question is, which of these models will you miss the most? Share your thoughts in Comments.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated that Infiniti is discontinuing the G37 that was already replaced by the Q50. While that's technically true, as we reported earlier this year, the G37 as we know it will continue to live on, and has been renamed Q40 for the 2015 model year.

Continue reading The cars that won't live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE]

The cars that won't live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The cars that won't live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE]

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 21:57

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception.

Japan's automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet. Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD, and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC.

From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives.

German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler-made Routan. Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Huracán in the Lamborghini lineup, while Volvo ends production of the XC90 in advance of the new model's arrival.

It's a long list to wrap your head around, but our compatriots over at The Car Connection have summed it all up in the video below, and we've assembled the slideshow above with photos of each. The question is, which of these models will you miss the most? Share your thoughts in Comments.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated that Infiniti is discontinuing the G37 that was already replaced by the Q50. While that's technically true, as we reported earlier this year, the G37 as we know it will continue to live on, and has been renamed Q40 for the 2015 model year.

Continue reading The cars that won't live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE]

The cars that won't live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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V6 engines will outpace V8s for the 2015 Ford F-150

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 21:26

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How times have changed. Even five years ago, who would have thought the mighty V8 would be just another engine choice for buyers of the 2015 Ford F-150?

Ford is projecting about 28 percent of the next-generation trucks will have the 5.0-liter V8. That's nothing to sneeze at, but consider this: Ford figures its two EcoBoost truck engines - the new 2.7-liter V6 and the existing 3.5-liter V6 - will also each account for about 28 percent of the F-150's sales (56 percent total). That leaves only 15 percent of the pie for the 3.5-liter (non-EcoBoost) V6. The new F-150 goes on sale late this year.

Ford figures its two EcoBoost truck engines will each account for about 28 percent of the F-150's sales.

"In the truck business, it's historically been about the most horsepower, the most towing power and the most torque," Ford trucks marketing manager Doug Scott said.

Obviously those still matter, but Ford has significantly diversified the F-150's engine lineup in a bid to attract new customers and hedge against spikes in fuel prices. The move away from V8s began in earnest in the 2011 F-150, which received the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost with 365 hp and 420-lb-ft of torque to complement the traditional V8 model.

Adding the turbocharged EcoBoost three years ago was fraught with risks, as truck buyers are among the most loyal and resistant to change in the market. But it's paid off for Ford, and the EcoBoost model now makes up about 45 percent of the current F-150's sales.

With that in mind, Ford is adding another EcoBoost V6, the 2.7-liter engine, which will push out 325 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque, numbers that sound more akin to a traditional V8. With this engine, the truck can tow up to 8,500 pounds and will have a payload of 2,250 pounds. Ford envisions this model will be attractive to buyers who don't haul regularly, but still require some of the practical capabilities of a pickup.

"This is an engine that's really designed for that core customer," Scott said.

Ford's expansion of the F-150's lineup comes amid renewed competition from its traditional Detroit truck rivals. This year, Ram added an EcoDiesel model with 240 hp and 420 lb-ft, while General Motors will round out its 2015 truck portfolio with the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, which are slightly smaller than their fullsize, Silverado and Sierra brethren. The moves come as federal fuel economy rules are set to tighten, and consumers continue to be wary of gas-guzzling vehicles.

Ford's new engine lineup will be enhanced by the use of aluminum for the F-150's body, which will reduce weight and improve fuel economy. Depending on the engine and cab size, the F-150 will be anywhere from 625 pounds to more than 732 pounds lighter, compared with 2014 models.

V6 engines will outpace V8s for the 2015 Ford F-150 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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V6 engines will outpace V8s for the 2015 Ford F-150

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 21:26

Filed under: , , , , ,



How times have changed. Even five years ago, who would have thought the mighty V8 would be just another engine choice for buyers of the 2015 Ford F-150?

Ford is projecting about 28 percent of the next-generation trucks will have the 5.0-liter V8. That's nothing to sneeze at, but consider this: Ford figures its two EcoBoost truck engines - the new 2.7-liter V6 and the existing 3.5-liter V6 - will also each account for about 28 percent of the F-150's sales (56 percent total). That leaves only 15 percent of the pie for the 3.5-liter (non-EcoBoost) V6. The new F-150 goes on sale late this year.

Ford figures its two EcoBoost truck engines will each account for about 28 percent of the F-150's sales.

"In the truck business, it's historically been about the most horsepower, the most towing power and the most torque," Ford trucks marketing manager Doug Scott said.

Obviously those still matter, but Ford has significantly diversified the F-150's engine lineup in a bid to attract new customers and hedge against spikes in fuel prices. The move away from V8s began in earnest in the 2011 F-150, which received the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost with 365 hp and 420-lb-ft of torque to complement the traditional V8 model.

Adding the turbocharged EcoBoost three years ago was fraught with risks, as truck buyers are among the most loyal and resistant to change in the market. But it's paid off for Ford, and the EcoBoost model now makes up about 45 percent of the current F-150's sales.

With that in mind, Ford is adding another EcoBoost V6, the 2.7-liter engine, which will push out 325 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque, numbers that sound more akin to a traditional V8. With this engine, the truck can tow up to 8,500 pounds and will have a payload of 2,250 pounds. Ford envisions this model will be attractive to buyers who don't haul regularly, but still require some of the practical capabilities of a pickup.

"This is an engine that's really designed for that core customer," Scott said.

Ford's expansion of the F-150's lineup comes amid renewed competition from its traditional Detroit truck rivals. This year, Ram added an EcoDiesel model with 240 hp and 420 lb-ft, while General Motors will round out its 2015 truck portfolio with the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, which are slightly smaller than their fullsize, Silverado and Sierra brethren. The moves come as federal fuel economy rules are set to tighten, and consumers continue to be wary of gas-guzzling vehicles.

Ford's new engine lineup will be enhanced by the use of aluminum for the F-150's body, which will reduce weight and improve fuel economy. Depending on the engine and cab size, the F-150 will be anywhere from 625 pounds to more than 732 pounds lighter, compared with 2014 models.

V6 engines will outpace V8s for the 2015 Ford F-150 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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