For the third consecutive model year, Honda has given its Civic lineup some substantial improvements, and with the 2014 Civic Coupe and Sedan going on sale this week, the automaker has released pricing and fuel economy numbers for its gas and non-Si models. Honda has not released any images of the 2014 Civic Sedan yet, but we got our first look at the updated Coupe last month at SEMA.
Aside from styling changes introduced on the 2013 Sedan being carried over to the 2014 Coupe, the biggest update to all 2014 Civics might be the addition of the continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy figures carry over for cars with the manual transmission, but models swapping the previous five-speed automatic for the new CVT are seeing a boost in city fuel economy by 2 mpg helping the Civic max out at 31 mpg city for the fuel-miser HF trim level.
In terms of pricing, the 2014 Civic is getting a modest price hike of $225 for the base LX models, which now start at $18,190* for the Coupe and $18,390* for the Sedan (*not including $790 for destination charges). The sedan-only HF trim level is up $175, there's a $275 price increase for the EX and EX-L Coupe and EX Sedan models and an extra $475 has been tacked on to the EX-L Sedan.
Still no word when Honda will drop more info on the Civic Si, Hybrid and CNG models, but the full press release for the LX, EX and HF models is posted below.
2014 Honda Civic priced from $18,190*, new CVT boosts city mpg originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
When Bugatti first introduced the Veyron, production was limited to just 300 coupes (including the original 16.4 and the Super Sport). Those were followed by an additional 150 roadsters (both Grand Sport and Vitesse), of which 100 have now been sold, leaving just 50 examples left before the Veyron finally roars off into the sunset.
The 400th Veyron built was the third and final example of the Jean-Pierre Wimille edition pictured here. Based on the Vitesse roadster, the Wimille edition is the first in a series of six Legend specials that pay homage to the Alsatian marque's history. The second is dedicated to Jean Bugatti, and the third to racer and factory team manager Meo Costantini, with three more of these three-unit special editions to follow out of the remaining 50 cars to be built at Molsheim. We're expecting one of the remaining three to be named after Rembrandt Bugatti, designer of the company's elephant hood ornament.
Given that it has taken the company over eight years to build those 400 cars, it figures to take Bugatti another year or so to complete the final 50, by which point it'll hopefully have a successor in place. For more news on the landmark, see the official press release below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
With the untimely death of Paul Walker last weekend, production of Fast and Furious 7 was put on hold and the future of the franchise has been left in doubt, but showing that even this worst-case scenario means nothing in the grand scheme of things, the creators of the hugely popular car movie franchise have released a touching video tribute to Walker.
The two-minute video is comprised of memorable scenes from the five F&F movies in which he starred, and the finishing shot shows him leaning against the European Mk1 Ford Escort his character piloted in the movie's most recent sixth installment. The video is posted below, and in related news of Paul Walker tributes, fans from around the globe are organizing cruises with hopes of paying homage to the actor and raising money for his Reach Out WorldWide charity.
There are confirmed events happening in British Columbia, Canada and Jacksonville, FL (both with expected turn outs of more than 500 cars) this month, but one planned for February in the UK has already eclipsed 10,000 people who say they'll be attending. There are likely many more such cruises taking place, so if you know of any, let us know in Comments.
Fast and Furious pays tribute to Paul Walker on YouTube originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 12:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It'd be unwise to bet against the sixth generation of this legendary nameplate.The 2015 Ford Mustang is assuredly the most anticipated new vehicle of the year. The redesigned Pony Car has been the subject of frantic gossiping and covert spy photos covering everything from the way it looks to the tech it will include, its performance, mechanicals and a bevy of other aspects of Ford's performance icon.
And now, we've had our first look at it. In a closed backgrounder at Ford's headquarters, we crawled over every inch of the new Mustang in an all-too-short look at the muscle car that will carry the company's performance flag through the rest of the decade. We've now witnessed what is arguably the most comprehensive refit of the Mustang in its 50-year history. We're still months away from our first drive, but after seeing it in the flesh and learning about its systems and mechanicals, it'd be unwise to bet against the sixth generation of this legendary nameplate.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Happy Mustang Day. Are you tired of hearing about the 2015 Ford Mustang yet? No? Good, here's a bunch of mechanical data on Ford's sixth-gen muscle car, along with cutaways of the GT's 5.0-liter V8 and the new 2.3-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder shown above. We also have a smattering of info on the Stang's updated transmissions and an exploded-parts-diagram view of its all-new independent rear suspension.
Ford is set to make waves offering the Mustang with a turbo for the first time since the small-volume SVO of the 1980s. Displacing 2.3 liters, the engine's twin-scroll turbo should help the four-cylinder turn out a projected 305 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, while also returning the best fuel economy in the Mustang's engine lineup. As we said in our Deep Dive, the EcoBoost will be slotted in as a premium engine, above the 3.7-liter V6 but below the 5.0-liter V8.
Speaking of that high-revving eight-cylinder, it's receiving a new cylinder head with high-flow ports. The intake and exhaust valves are larger and the cams have been replaced, among other tweaks. It should rev even higher thanks to a rebalanced crankshaft and forged connecting rods. Ford is still claiming a projected 420 hp and 390 lb-ft, although as many of the changes for the 2015's V8 come from the 2013 Boss 302, we're going to assume there's some sandbagging at work.
Finally, the transmissions have received some attention, with the six-speed manual from Getrag getting a new shift linkage, which should provide a shorter, crisper action. A new set of steering-wheel-mounted paddles on the auto trans will provide rev-matched shifts, although there's no word on how quickly it will swap cogs.
Check out the cutaways and exploded-parts-diagram views of the 2015 Mustang's mechanicals in our gallery. You can also scroll down for our gallery of launch images and a press release from Ford.
Ford dissects the heart of the 2015 Mustang, its engine range originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
There are several ways an automaker can get into Formula One racing. It can start its own team from scratch (like Toyota did in 2002), it can buy an existing team (like BMW did with Sauber in 2005) or it can supply engines to other teams (as so many manufacturers have done over the years). Infiniti chose another direction and opted to sponsor the world-champion Red Bull Racing team.
Infiniti has undoubtedly poured millions into its partnership with Red Bull since it started in 2011, but aside from the Sebastian Vettel edition FX (which technically emerged from the company's sponsorship of the driver as separate from the team), the tie-in has yet to translate into a Red Bull-tuned (or at least -inspired) Infiniti for the road. But that's just what Nissan's premium brand has in store for us at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show in January.
Well, almost, because the concept just announced is still a step or two away from reaching your local Infiniti dealership, but here it is just the same. It's called the Q50 Eau Rouge, and it's based on the company's latest tech-laden sports sedan. It takes its name, of course, from the famous uphill section of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit where Sebastian Vettel won the Belgian Grand Prix earlier this year, but Infiniti isn't telling us much more than that.
The concept is said to incorporate "aerodynamic styling treatments and design elements that are influenced by the company's partnership with Red Bull, and from the solitary teaser image above, we can see a new front air dam and side mirrors crafted from carbon fiber, and some sort of protrusions from the top of the hood at the base of the windshield. We'll have to wait to find out more, but we hope the modifications prove to be more than skin-deep.
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge racing toward Detroit with Red Bull in its veins originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Just how long are the lights at General Motors' Australian subsidiary, Holden, going to remain on? According to a government report obtained by Australia's ABC and reported via the country's News.com.au website, not past 2016. The news comes mere months after Ford announced plans to end its production Down Under, killing the venerable Falcon sedan and Territory SUV.
But not everyone seems to be in agreement about word of the brand's closure - Australian government officials are denying the claim. "Consultations are continuing in good faith with Australian carmakers, the components industry and workers," a spokeswoman for Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said. "The Productivity Commission is continuing its work assessing the Australian automotive industry and will report to the government. That process is unchanged and will continue."
Shutting the doors at Holden in 2016 would line up with the end of production for the current Commodore, although Holden has denied any plans of shutting down. As news has circulated of the closure, Australian politicians, notably South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, have been fighting for government assistance for the struggling automaker. South Australia is home to all of Holden's engine manufacturing.
"It is now time for the Prime Minister to intervene because this cannot be allowed to continue. This ongoing speculation is incredibly damaging to Holden and to the workers," Weatherill said. South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon said, "This is not just about [South Australia]. This is about 50,000 jobs being lost."
If an announcement is going to be made, it's unlikely to come before December 20, which is when workers begin summer/holiday breaks. We've reached out to General Motors Australia to get an official statement, and will update this story if/when we hear more.
UPDATE: A GM Australia spokesperson told us in an email: "We do not respond to speculation. Our discussions with government are continuing." Permalink | Email this | Comments
Prepare the funereal wreaths, dig out the black duds, practice those somber facial expressions; it may just be that the Honda Insight is not long for this world. The car that took the hybrid fight to the Toyota Prius - and lost - could be on its way out, if we are reading our tea leaves correctly.
While Honda is still touting the 2014 model year, inside sources have told AutoblogGreen that some usual preparations (like preparing advertising materials) for a 2015 model are not taking place. If true, this could signal that there is, verily, no 2015 model coming to the US, leaving consumers without a cheaper hybrid alternative to the popular Prius in as little as a year from now. Of course, it could also be that the Insight is undergoing some sort of transformative change. Something, hopefully, beyond the most modest of mile-per-gallon improvements. Something that might enhance the hybrid-driving experience, or at least equal that of its competitors. Somehow, though, we doubt it.
The Insight is getting the squeeze from its stablemates. Honda's own Civic Hybrid has been trouncing it in sales, despite costing a few grand more. As well, budget-minded buyers may soon be able to buy a sweet Fit sedan that returns decent fuel economy figures and is more fun to drive.
We asked, but Honda is not ready to give out any details. Honda public relations manager Chris Martin returned our call to remind us that the automaker doesn't comment on rumors, giving us the old "can neither confirm nor deny" bit. That sure doesn't sound like the message Honda would give if the Insight were sticking around.
The more we think about it, though, the less compelling the business case for this vehicle becomes. Indeed, if the Insight falls from the lineup, we're pretty sure it won't really be missed. If you feel differently, however, let us know in the comments.Permalink | Email this | Comments
If you've taken even a cursory look at GM's European strategy and wondered how it can target the market there with both Chevrolet and Opel/Vauxhall, you're not alone. In fact General Motors itself has found it difficult to justify the two-pronged approach. That's why it's essentially pulling Chevy from the European marketplace.
Instead of trying to ply European buyers with what are mostly former Daewoo products rebadged as Chevys, GM will now let Opel (or Vauxhall in the UK) represent its mass-market aspirations. Chevrolet will keep its presence in Russia and other former Soviet markets, and will continue selling certain niche products in Eastern and Western Europe. The Corvette, for example, has long been sold in Europe through Cadillac dealerships, which for its part is currently "finalizing plans for expanding in the European market".
While the shift in strategy is expected to help GM get a stronger foothold in the European market in the long run, in the short term the restructuring will cost it dearly: between $700 million and $1 billion, according to its own estimates, split between the last quarter of this year and the first half of the next. Jump into the full press release below for more.Permalink | Email this | Comments
General Motors Vice President of Global Design, Ed Welburn, had some dismissive words for a certain cross-town luxury brand during an interview with Car and Driver. When asked about his thoughts on Lincoln, Welburn deflected, before saying, "I don't consider Lincoln to be a competitor for Cadillac."
"They're not a global luxury brand. I don't consider them a competitor. Are they a competitor for Buick? Quite possibly. But not for Cadillac," GM's head designer explained. Welburn, who's been at the helm of GM Design North America since 2003 and is the first to hold the position of VP of Global Design, has been instrumental in the styling renaissance at GM, so predictably, Car and Driver's interview with him focused on the design aspect of cars.
During the interview, Welburn explicitly denied plans for a reborn Cadillac XLR, even as a new Chevrolet Corvette is hitting the market and strides are being made with Cadillac's V-Series performance arm saying, "We have a lot of cars that we're working on for the Cadillac brand. The XLR is not one of them right now."
Predictably, there was also talk of the gorgeous Elmiraj Concept. "I think Cadillac needs to be a full-line luxury brand. There are categories that we don't participate in, presently, that we will in the future," Welburn said. "We have more vehicles under development today than at any other time in the history of the brand. But I'm not going to tell you which ones we're going to do. There's a lot that we're working on. And we're certainly looking at that [points to the Elmiraj] for production."
You can read the entire interview over at Car and Driver. Meanwhile, we've put together a little poll for you below.
GM design boss Welburn says Lincoln isn't a Cadillac rival [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It hasn't yet been 12 hours since the hotly anticipated 2015 Ford Mustang has been let out into public view. After a series of evocative leaks over the course of the last days, we brought you a full deep dive of the sixth-generation pony car at the dawning of today. And yet, here we are rushing to bring you news of a new Mustang variant, already.
Be it part of a plan to keep the Mustang fervor at full boil, or a misunderstood email somewhere in the chain of command, Ford UK has unceremoniously tweeted a picture of the 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible. For a newly global Mustang, getting our first look at the droptop from the convertible-crazy British does make some amount of sense.
As for details, well, you're looking at them. Brandon Turkus reported yesterday that the Mustang 'vert would make use of a fully electric convertible mechanism, and that it would be of fabric construction rather than some kind of retractable hardtop. We see here that the fabric part is clearly true, and it does look as though Ford may still be employing the same kind of manually attached tonneau cover that exists right now. Of course, our view from this angle isn't great, and the particulars are still up in the air.
Overall though, the shape seems very crisp and tailored compared with the profile of the current Mustang Convertible. Here too we find the lowered, ground-hugging stance of the machine to be somewhat enhanced by the roofless look.
Expect to see details and a lot more images pop up in the near future. Until then, weigh in with your opinions of the 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible, in Comments below.
UPDATE: Video of the 2015 Mustang Convertible's reveal in Australia added below. We've also added a gallery of images from the video, and from Ford's new Mustang microsite.
2015 Ford Mustang Convertible shown on Twitter [UPDATE w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 08:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The other day, Porsche announced a new special edition of the Cayenne. We didn't pay it much heed because it appeared to be exclusive to Europe (or, at least, markets other than ours), but now Porsche has announced its availability in North America, as well.
It's called the Platinum Edition, and it's available exclusively on the entry-level models with either the 3.6-liter V6 or 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. You can tell the special edition apart from any other Cayenne by the silver details (accenting the grilles, window trim and rear spoiler) and its two-tone black and beige leather interior. But what makes it a compelling choice is the long list of equipment, which Porsche has identified as the most requested options and fitted them as standard, including the eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission, Power Steering Plus, Park Assist, Convenience Package and Bose audio.
Pricing starts at $63,300 for the Cayenne Platinum Edition, or $66,900 for the Cayenne Diesel Platinum Edition. That represents a premium of approximately $13,000 over a bone-stock model, but actually saves you a few grand if you were going to select all those options anyway. Check out the press release below for all the details.
Porsche goes Platinum with special edition Cayenne originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 08:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
There is no shortage of distractions inside cars these days, but one new study suggests that the biggest drain on a driver's attention might not be what you think. According to The Telegraph, the Monash University Accident Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia has shown that children - not telephones - are more likely to distract people while driving.
For three weeks, the study followed 12 families with children ranging in ages ranging from one to eight. Using four cameras inside of the vehicles, researchers determined that out of 92 trips, a driver was distracted 90 times. Surprisingly, cell phone usage accounted for only 1 percent of these distractions, but kids in the back seat were a distraction 12 percent of the time. It is important to note that Australia has laws outlawing the use of cell phones without a hands-free device.
To qualify as a distraction for the study, the driver must look away from the road for more than two seconds, and some child-related kid distractions that were noted include playing with the child, passing food or drinks and, most commonly, watching the kids in the rearview mirror. The scariest piece of info is that the average parent looked away from the road for more than three minutes total during a 16-minute drive.Permalink | Email this | Comments