Audi just announced its intentions to build the Q1 in 2016. By that time, the company will already have introduced the opposing bookend to that subcompact utility vehicle, the fullsize Q7. The last time we saw the next-gen Audi Q7 out testing, our spy shots were very low quality and didn't reveal much about the luxury SUV. This time around we're able to make out a few key elements about the Q7.
For starters, the unfinished headlights have a stylish, wave-like lighting element with a three-dimensional appearance, while the rear of the Q7 will definitely get a similar wraparound liftgate as the current model. Overall, this prototype looks to be about the same size as the existing Q7, so it will be interesting to see how Audi squeezes almost 800 pounds from the SUV's curb weight. The diet will surely help improve efficiency, and we also hear that Audi is considering a plug-in hybrid model in addition to the standard gas and diesel variants.
Riding on a shared platform with the next-gen Volkswagen Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and the upcoming Bentley Falcon SUV, the next Audi Q7 is expected to bow in late 2014 for the 2015 model year.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Kia is already solidifying its advertising plans for the 2014 Super Bowl, targeting a 30-second spot for its new, rear-drive K900 sedan during during the biggest football game of the year. The cost for this half-minute of air time? $4 million.
Of course, Kia is no stranger to advertising during the Super Bowl, with the Space Babies and Hot Bot ads of last year and the Mr. Sandman spot in 2012. But the stakes with the K900, which see the Korean brand attempting emulate its corporate cousin/bitter rival Hyundai, by moving into the rear-drive luxury space, are far, far greater. After all, Kia's previous Super Bowl ads were all for models in established segments - the K900 is an entering a realm the brand has never played in before.
The Super Bowl spot will be the first exposure to the K900 for many potential buyers, and considering that the South Korean brand is targeting conquest sales, according to the report from AdAge, it's important that it makes a good showing on such a large stage. As for the theme of the ad, there isn't much speculation from the execs this early in the game, according to AdAge. Looks like we'll be waiting until February to find out.
Kia K900 flagship to make advertising debut during Super Bowl originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze that owner Farah Mocquais bought for commuting to work hasn't achieved the fuel economy ratings that the Canadian arm of General Motors advertised, CBC News reports, and the couple is accusing GM Canada of misleading them. Instead of burning 5.5 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers on the highway, which GM Canada advertises for the 1.4-liter Cruze, she and her husband, Pierre-Yves, have struggled to use any less than 7.9 liters of gas per 100 km of highway driving.
The couple reportedly claims the car was driven 99 percent on the highway, commuting between Calgary and Lethbridge. They say that the fuel consumption display consistently showed 8.5 liters per 100 km, and when a CBC News correspondent with a camera went along for a highway drive, it showed 7.9 liters per 100 km. A trip to a Chevrolet dealership failed to produce an answer to explain the discrepancy between the Mocquais' fuel economy numbers and the ones GM Canada advertises.
Independent fuel economy tests performed by Consumer Reports on a US-spec 2014 Cruze with the 1.4-liter engine found that city/highway combined fuel economy of the car was the equivalent of 9.05 l/100 km, a third higher than the combined rating GM Canada advertises, according to CBC News.
The Canadian government approves the consumption numbers that automakers advertise, but the mandatory fuel-economy tests are performed by the manufacturers and reportedly have been criticized for "not being as realistic as US tests done by the same automakers there."
To bring Canadian fuel-economy testing up to US standards, the government is imposing changes on test procedures that are expected to be in place for 2015 models. Jacinthe Perras, a spokesperson for Natural Resources Canada, says, "The resulting new approach will provide Canadians with fuel consumption ratings that better reflect 'typical' driving conditions and driving behavior."
GM Canada under fire for Cruze fuel economy issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
How Yamaha plans to make a sport scar with the Gordon Murray-designed MOTIV.e platform escapes us, but the company has confirmed that it's exploring such a vehicle, Autocar reports. But since there's a lot we don't know about the MOTIV.e (pictured above), and we've yet to fully grasp Murray's innovative iStream assembly process, we'll give the McLaren F1 creator and Yamaha the benefit of the doubt on this one.
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Autocar obtained pictures of numerous body styles (head over there to see them) that could be based on the MOTIVE.e platform from a video loop at Yamaha's manufacturer stand. Masato Suzuki, Yamaha's general manager of innovation, reportedly said that the MOTIV.e platform could be made to accept different body styles. Gordon Murray went a bit further and stated that, in theory, all of the body styles shown in the video loop are possible.
"The manufacturing system allows for a longer vehicle, a wider vehicle and many other modifications, without significant additional costs," Suzuki reportedly said. "The first step is to consider if the reaction is positive enough to put the car into production, but it is my hope and goal that it will be."
Yamaha planning sports car follow up to Gordon Murray MOTIV.e? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
As Jaguar prepares to introduce its first-ever utility vehicle, our spy shooters have captured this jacked-up XF mule out testing. While a production Jaguar crossover will surely resemble something closer to the recent C-X17 Concept, we can't help but think that the automaker could sell at least a few of these lifted, four-wheel-drive sedans.
Other than proving that Jaguar is hard at work developing this new model using a cobbled-together body, there are some details we can put together about this luxury CUV. For one it's about the same length as an XF, while the ride height is obviously taller and the tire track wider. We're not sure what the rig on top of this mule is for, but the whole car has us reminiscing about the old sedan versions of the Subaru Outback and the AMC Eagle (with a luxury spin, of course).
Wacky Jaguar crossover mule is a mind-blowing mashup originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Dec 2013 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Yes, red is the most popular vehicle color for men, and women like silver more than any other color, according to a study by iSeeCars. It's hard to make perfect sense of the study, which explores gender and its relation to vehicle color preference, but it does open a window into the minds of male and female car shoppers.
iSeeCars' study is based on information obtained on its website, which aids users in the search for new and used cars. For a year, the crew at iSeeCars conducted the study on the 30-million used cars posted to their website, analyzing hundreds of thousands of inquiries into used cars by male and female visitors.
Did you know that women prefer blue vehicles more than men? Sure, why not. But would you have guessed that blue is the most common color for minivans? What a coincidence... And while women are 9.2-percent more likely than men to pick a silver vehicle, they're also 9.1 percent more likely than men to prefer brown. And red, the favorite color of men, along with black are the most popular colors of used sportscars. After red, men prefer orange, black, white, green and gray vehicles, in that order. After silver and brown, women prefer gold, beige, blue and yellow, in that order.
For more details on the iSeeCars study, head over to the website, then feel free share your color preferences in Comments.
Gender-based car color study has men seeing red, women seeing silver originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Dec 2013 19:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
If you thought the Honda Civic Type R prototype we drove in Japan looked cool, and that the Civic Tourer that Honda will race in the British Touring Car Championship next year looks even cooler, just take a look at this.
Possibly the ultimate race-spec Civic, this is the car Honda will field next year in the World Touring Car Championship. Like the Type R prototype (but unlike the BTCC-spec wagon) the WTCC challenger takes the form of Honda's latest Euro-spec Civic five-door hatchback.
It's the car with which Honda intends to defend its title and capture the driver's title in next year's championship. It'll face a tough challenge from the new Citroën team headlined by Sebastien Loeb in the new C-Elysee, not to mention the rest of the grid. Fortunately, Honda is entering a whole mess of these Civics in the series, with former champion Gabriele Tarquini and former F1 driver Tiago Monteiro driving the works entries (hence the mixed "Gabriago" tag on the window) and another pair to be entered by privateer teams.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Infiniti's Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) is quite a novelty - the system employs no physical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels under normal circumstances and instead relies on a computer, clutch and steering-angle actuator to guide vehicles down the road with input from the driver.
In our First Drive review of a 2014 Infiniti Q50 equipped with the system, we weren't overly impressed by the artificial feedback. But we can't help but be impressed with how long Infiniti spent on its development: a full 10 years, according to Autoline Daily in the video report below. A staggering 70 percent of the research and development time spent on DAS was devoted to getting the steering feel right, and unfortunately, our first impression suggests their results still leave something to be desired, as we found it lacked the sporty feeling a sport sedan should have.
The weight of DAS is comparable to that of a conventional steering system due to its complexity. For example, three ECUs are used in the first-generation DAS system to ensure there's never a loss of steering, but Infiniti is refining the technology and is working to simplify it to reduce weight. One day Infiniti hopes that only one ECU will be needed to control DAS. We just hope it doesn't take the Japanese automaker another ten years to get the steering feel right.
Infiniti Q50 steer-by-wire system took 10 years to develop [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Dec 2013 17:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
BMW makes some sweet-revving engines, but its own vehicles aren't the only ones running BMW engines. So do the latest from Rolls-Royce and Mini, of course, as well as a handful of Peugeots and Citroëns thanks to its joint engine program with PSA. Wiesmann uses BMW engines, as did the famous McLaren F1. And now we can add one more to the list.
That would be the Toyota Verso, a Corolla-based minivan which Toyota builds in Turkey and sells in Europe and a few other markets overseas. The Verso is also now officially the first beneficiary of the partnership between Toyota and BMW as the Japanese automaker has released the MPV with BMW's 1.6-liter turbodiesel four.
The 111-horsepower engine is coupled to a Toyota transmission and joins the Verso range as the fourth (and least powerful) engine in the lineup, alongside the 122hp 2.0 diesel and the gasoline options with 1.6 liters and 160 hp and 1.8 for 180. Future collaborations between the two automakers will include fuel-cell development, a new joint sportscar platform, lightweight bodywork research and a new generation of lithium-air batteries. See the press release below for further details.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Every year, winners from various motorsport disciplines gather for the Race of Champions. It's a time-honored tradition that anchors the end of the racing calendar, and has been held every year without fail since 1988. But it won't be happening this year as organizers have announced its cancellation.
The reason apparently comes down to the political unrest currently erupting in Thailand, where the race was to be held for the second year in a row. Although the protests have been an ongoing phenomenon since 2010, last year's event in Bangkok was apparently unaffected. However an escalation of violence between protestors and government forces has apparently left the Sports Authority of Thailand with little choice but to shut it down.
In the brief statement below, organizers say they are looking at potentially moving the race to another date, but that would likely depend largely on political tensions calming down.
Race of Champions cancelled due to political unrest originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Dec 2013 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: By the Numbers
The US auto industry will be giving thanks after a month of sales for November worth celebrating. Automakers were facing a potentially tough month, at least compared to the same month last year, which saw increased sales in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy from pent up demand. Volvo, for example, which reported sales fell 31.17 percent, qualified its performance saying, "Excluding a large fleet deal coupled with damaged cars from Hurricane Sandy in November 2012, our dealers actually had a strong November 2013, up 10.97 percent in the retail channel."
Chrysler Group led major automakers with a 16.08-percent rise in sales for November, the Jeep brand being its top performer with a nearly 30-percent sales lift. Credit goes to the all-new Cherokee, which ended its first full month on sale with 10,169 new owners. General Motors came in closely behind Chrysler with sales rising 13.7 percent, followed by Nissan North America (up 10.74 percent), Toyota (up 10.11 percent) and Ford Motor Company (up 7.19 percent). The groups that ended in the red include Honda (down 0.06 percent) and BMW Group (down 0.37 percent).
Among individual brands, Jaguar and Mitsubishi are enjoying some time in the light at the top of our list with sales in November rising 102.81 and 47.61 percent, respectively. Sales for Maserati were even better thanks to the smaller Ghibli joining its lineup, but the brand's overall sales were still below 1,000 units last month. Subaru, meanwhile, continued its impressive and long-sustained growth in November, posting 29.83 percent more sales versus last year.
Check out all of last month's sales figures in the chart below.
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 26 selling days in November 2013 and 25 selling days in November 2012, so there is a difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.Permalink | Email this | Comments