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Teased: Subaru provides first glimpse at upcoming Forester STI

Autoblog - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 16:02

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Have you been patiently awaiting an STI version of the Subaru Forester? Your wait may be over soon, good friend, as teaser images of just such a vehicle have surfaced online.

Set to debut on November 25, the 2015 Subaru Forester STI will reportedly feature more aggressive aero and cooling, upgraded rolling stock and brakes, and Subaru Tecnica International's signature bright-blue paint and red accents.

What we don't know is what will provide the motivation. There's a pretty big gap at present between the 250 horsepower offered in the top-of-the-line Forester 2.0XT and the 305-hp WRX STI, and we don't know where along the spectrum the Forester STI might fall. Nor do we know, for that matter, if it'll be offered Stateside. But we're looking forward to finding out.

Subaru provides first glimpse at upcoming Forester STI originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First drive: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG [Review]

Leftlane - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 15:45
Mercedes book-ends its CLA45 AMG sedan with the high-performance GLA45 AMG SUV.






AMG boss promises V12 engine will survive -- as a hybrid

Leftlane - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 15:33
New 4.0-liter V8 engine will see volume production, replacing current 5.5-liter mill.






SEMA preview: JP Edition Hyundai Sonata

Leftlane - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 15:19
Hyundai's SEMA collection will include a Sonata designed by John Pangilinan.






Official: Ford's Troller introduces even more rugged T4 SUVs in Sao Paulo

Autoblog - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 15:15

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The Bronco may be long gone from Ford dealerships back home, but down in Brazil its spirit lives on in the Troller brand. Founded independently in 1995, Ford do Brasil took over Troller in 2007 and has been teasing us with its rough-and-tumble SUVs ever since. So with the Sao Paulo Motor Show coming up, Troller has revealed this special version of the T4.

Looking even more rugged than the existing three-door sport-ute, this special T4 packs a snorkel, winch, upgraded bumpers and knobbier tires. We're not sure what to make of the "sophisticated" brown and tan paint job, but send it north and the Jeep Wrangler would have a new challenger on its hands... especially since the Toyota FJ Cruiser was discontinued.

Alongside the version seen here, Troller will also exhibit another T4 outfitted for rescue workers. Scope out initial details of both in the press release below, enclosed in both its original Portuguese and auto-translated into English.

Continue reading Ford's Troller introduces even more rugged T4 SUVs in Sao Paulo

Ford's Troller introduces even more rugged T4 SUVs in Sao Paulo originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda delaying HR-V launch amid production trouble in Mexico?

Leftlane - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 15:00
Japanese automaker continues to hit snags as it ramps up production at new $800M plant.






Official: Toyota Avalon celebrates 20 years with Touring Sport Edition

Autoblog - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 14:29

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The Toyota Avalon may not have the sportiest image on the market. Heck, it doesn't even have the sportiest image in the Toyota lineup. But the Japanese automaker is out to fix that perception, at least a little bit, with the launch of the new Touring Sport Edition.

Announced together with some minor updates to the entire Avalon line - consisting primarily of enhanced safety and infotainment systems - the Avalon XLE Touring Sport Edition celebrates the 20th anniversary of Toyota's large sedan line. Setting this special edition apart are a black paintjob, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, 18-inch alloys (similar in design to those on the Scion FR-S) and an interior decked out with perforated leather with dark blue trim... plus, of course, the requisite special badges inside and out.

Only 2,500 units will be offered with a $37,170 sticker price that puts it near (if not quite at) the top of the Avalon range that's capped by the $41,700 Avalon Hybrid Limited. Pricing has increased on most models by around two percent, and you can scope out all the details of the updates to the full range in the press releases below.

Continue reading Toyota Avalon celebrates 20 years with Touring Sport Edition

Toyota Avalon celebrates 20 years with Touring Sport Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler 200 ad campaign builds 'America's Import' theme [Video]

Leftlane - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 14:08
New 200 promoted as Japanese quality, German performance and Swedish safety.






ETC: Fred Savage wants to narrate your home videos to practice for Honda gig

Autoblog - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 13:46

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Honda is getting ready to launch a new advertising campaign with Fred Savage of The Wonder Years (and The Princess Bride) fame, and in order to get his voice in game shape, Savage is taking to social media to get prepared. More specifically, he's apparently interested in adding some voiceover to fun videos provided by fans of the Honda brand, and all you have to do to be considered is to get his attention on Twitter using the hashtag #HondaPromo.

We have no idea how Savage or the Honda PR team plans to choose which videos will be turned into narrated works of art, but we do think it's a pretty fun idea. So, if you happen to have a video that could use some narration, and you think Savage would provide the perfect pitch, hit him up. Oh, be sure to read the terms and conditions first.

Fred Savage wants to narrate your home videos to practice for Honda gig originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Detroit Electric teases SP:01's fastback design

Leftlane - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 13:18
Electric sports car eschews Lotus Elise's roadster roof.






Report: Citroen's offbeat C4 Cactus an early sales success, production boosted

Autoblog - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 13:00

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It may not be everybody's prickly cup of tea, but Citroën has reportedly found enough buyers for its kinda strange-looking C4 Cactus that it has found it necessary to boost production at its assembly plant in Madrid, adding shifts on Saturday to help meet demand. With more markets, including Australia, slated to get the C4 Cactus soon, Spanish newspaper La Tribuna de Automocion reported (via Australia's Go Auto) that facility director Jose Carlo Robredo expects production to increase by 20 percent.

The C4 Cactus competes against compact crossover-like vehicles that include the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur. With a relatively low starting price, offbeat styling and extreme efficiency - 141 miles per gallon on the European cycle, or two liters per 100 kilometers - it's a unique package that is apparently attracting plenty of attention from shoppers in Europe.

Citroen's offbeat C4 Cactus an early sales success, production boosted originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla launches new leasing program, with 90-day return policy

Leftlane - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 12:49
US Bank terms drop monthly lease payments by 25 percent.






Audi axes A6 Hybrid due to low demand

Leftlane - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 09:38
Audi sold just 4,000 examples of the A6 Hybrid since 2011.






Mazda2-based crossover to debut in LA?

Leftlane - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 08:47
The CX-3 will compete in the hotly-contested subcompact crossover segment.






Video: Chevy Silverado takes on big rig in tug-of-war battle

Autoblog - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 00:05

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It's not unusual to see a grown man hitch his pickup truck to another grown man's pickup truck in an attempt to, we assume, prove their chosen engine, brand or tires are better than the other as they face in different directions and start pulling. What is unusual, however, is to see one such pickup truck hitched up to a massive big rig.

We're not going to spoil the ending of this particular tug-of-war challenge, but we will say that we wouldn't be showing it to you if everything went exactly as you'd expect it to. To see who wins and how it all goes down, check out the video.

Continue reading Chevy Silverado takes on big rig in tug-of-war battle

Chevy Silverado takes on big rig in tug-of-war battle originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Lotus Exige S gets automatic transmission option

Autoblog - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 22:17

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A vehicle as light and agile as the Lotus Exige is all about driver involvement, but those enticed by the nimble sports car's handling and performance who aren't keen on working a stick shift now have another option at their disposal.

Lotus has just announced the availability of an automatic transmission on both the Exige S and Exige S Roadster. For an extra couple thousand euros or pounds sterling, customers will now be able to order a six-speed automatic transmission. The two-pedal setup includes paddle shifters and Sport or Race modes that optimize shifting for "a more spirited drive."

Equipped with the slushbox, the Exige S Automatic is just as quick around Lotus' famous factory test track in Hethel, and even pips the manual version's 0-62 time by 0.1 second, now down to 3.9. Unfortunately, since the Exige isn't available Stateside anymore, however, American buyers can't get their hands on either version.

Continue reading Lotus Exige S gets automatic transmission option

Lotus Exige S gets automatic transmission option originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 26 Oct 2014 17:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota introduces SEMA TRD Pro truck trio

Leftlane - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 21:01
The trucks will support the Tundra Race Truck in the Baja 1000.






Motorsports: Audi rumored to ditch Le Mans, DTM for F1

Autoblog - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 20:27

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If you've been scratching your head wondering how - between Audi and Porsche - the Volkswagen Group could possibly support two rival top-tier LMP1 programs at Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship, but stay out of Formula One entirely, you're not alone. In fact, Porsche was said to have been eying an F1 entry if Audi had internally blocked aspirations to return to Le Mans. But according to the latest rumors, it's Audi that's now preparing to shift away from endurance racing and onto the grand prix circuit.

Word has it that, following internal pressures from within the VW Group, Audi is finally gearing up for a full assault on F1. It's said to be developing a new six-cylinder turbo hybrid power unit - potentially at its new racing headquarters in Neuburg - and, in an expanded partnership with Red Bull, either take Renault's and Infiniti's places with the Red Bull Racing team or take over the Toro Rosso team entirely.

Although Ingolstadt has not campaigned in grand prix racing since the pre-war days of the Silver Arrows, it was said to have been the impetus for the FIA's push a couple of years ago for new four-cylinder engine regulations until Audi bailed on the idea altogether and F1 went for six-cylinder engines instead.

The rumors are ostensibly fortified by Audi's recent hiring of Stefano Domenicali. The former Ferrari team principal has no experience in endurance racing and reportedly doesn't even speak German, but while he was nominally hired in a non-motorsport capacity, the F1 shift would certainly make sense of his recruitment. Rumors have even speculated that the big question mark hovering over Fernando Alonso's future could be answered as part of Audi's arrival in the sport.

Audi's move to F1 would not come without its costs, though, and that would not only spell the end of its nearly unbroken thirteen-year winning streak at Le Mans stretching back to the turn of the millennium, but also potentially the end of its DTM touring car program. Its customer GT racing program, however, would remain unaffected, according to reports. Meanwhile, along with Honda's imminent arrival on the grid and perennial participants Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault, Audi's move would bring the number of engine manufacturers participating in F1 from a low of three this season up to five - just short of the six that competed years ago before BMW, Toyota and Honda withdrew.

Audi rumored to ditch Le Mans, DTM for F1 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 26 Oct 2014 15:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Nissan GT-R's hybrid future grows more certain

Leftlane - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 18:33
The head of Nissan UK's sports car development discusses the R36.






Report: NHTSA undergoing Congressional scrutiny over Takata scandal

Autoblog - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 18:14

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With the Takata airbag debacle still yet to be resolved, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found itself in hot water again. Parties both from within and from without the agency's ranks are asking hard questions about NHTSA's handling of the widespread recall, and now the agency's leadership will have to answer some of those hard questions.

Chief among the inquiring parties is Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), who is calling agency administrators back in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that he chairs (and which also questioned the government agency over the GM ignition switch recalls) in an effort to determine if NHTSA has properly addressed the issue. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) may also invite NHTSA to brief the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and the White House has reportedly also instructed the Transportation Department to look into NHTSA's response.

The agency, which has been under the direction of deputy administrator David Friedman since his boss David Strickland stepped down in January, has been under criticism for its handling of the Takata issue. Although NHTSA issued a strongly worded advisory for owners of affected vehicles to have their airbags replaced post-haste, the website dedicated to informing the public of which vehicles are being recalled crashed and remained down for most of last week.

Dealers tasked with replacing the faulty airbags have not had the parts with which to complete the recall, leaving untold numbers of unsafe vehicles on the road and their owners with little recourse but to wait.

NHTSA undergoing Congressional scrutiny over Takata scandal originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 26 Oct 2014 13:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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