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Porsche Reveals The 2013 Cayman In Los Angeles: Video 29
Nov
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Porsche Cayman, 2013 Porsche Cayman S, Automotive, featured, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show, porsche, video on 11 29th, 2012

2013 Porsche Cayman S – image: Porsche AG

Porsche has done a remarkable job of improving its new 911 and Boxster models, and the revamped Cayman has been eagerly awaited by fans for months. Nowhere is this more evident than in Cayman sales, which have been absolutely flat since the launch of the updated Boxster. The real danger appeared to be this: would the new Cayman be able to stand up to Porschephiles’ expectations?

We’ve yet to get behind the wheel of one, but from what we can see the answer is a resounding “yes.” Where the previous generation Cayman was a bit ungainly in its proportions, the new car is elegant, and it’s lines flow in a much more integrated manner. On looks alone, we’d call the new car a triumph over the previous generation, though some would say the new version’s lost a bit of styling personality.

2013 Porsche Cayman – image: Porsche AG

The specs are impressive, too. New Caymans are as much as 66 pounds lighter (depending upon model) and consume up to 15-percent less fuel while delivering higher performance than models past. The base Cayman now comes with a 2.7 liter flat-six rated at 275 horsepower, which is good enough to get the car from 0 – 62 mph in as little as 5.4 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 165 mph.

2013 Porsche Cayman S interior – image: Porsche AG

If that’s not impressive enough for you, the Cayman S gets a 3.4-liter flat-six rated at 325 horsepower. That gives the car a 0 – 62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 175 mph, when properly equipped. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but Porsche’s seven-speed PDK double clutch gearbox is an available option to maximize both performance and fuel economy.

There are new options of note as well, including an adaptive cruise control system and a Burmeister audio system, meaning that the Cayman can rival higher Porsche models for content. Look for the new Cayman models to hit dealerships next spring, priced from $53,550 (Cayman) and $64,750 (Cayman S) including a destination fee of $950.



Fiat Debuts The Topless 500c Abarth In Los Angeles: Video 28
Nov
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth, Automotive, Fiat, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show on 11 28th, 2012

Do you prefer your Italian motoring al fresco? Would you buy a Fiat 500 Abarth, if only it came in a convertible version? In that case, get ready for some good news: Fiat is debuting the open-air 500c Abarth at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Like the existing 500c Convertible, the 500c Abarth uses a retractable cloth top to provide access to the sky. Yes, you still have the solid roof rails (for rollover protection), so perhaps its best to think of the Fiat models as having really, really big sunroofs. The advantage, however, is that the top can be retracted back to the spoiler at speeds up to 60 mph, and can be fully opened at speeds up to 50 mph.

Under the skin, everything we liked about the hardtop Fiat 500 makes a return appearance. That list includes the sonorous exhaust, which will be even more pleasing to the ear with the top down. On the other hand, your cranky neighbor who complains that your car is too loud won’t like it one bit.

The 500cAbarth comes with the same 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo as the regular Abarth, and it’s still good for 160 horsepower, which works out to be an impressive 117 horsepower per liter. The only available gearbox is a five-speed manual, which all but ensures that only enthusiast drivers will be parking a 500c Abarth in their garage. Expect the run from 0-60 mph to take around seven seconds, but trust us on this – it feels faster.

Since Fiat is the parent to Ferrari, it seemed fitting to have Ferrari’s best-known drivers introduce the 500c to the U.S. market. In case you don’t follow Formula One, the drivers in the video are Scuderia Ferrari stars Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Just like in real life, Alonso is ahead of Massa at the end of the video, too.

Expect the 500c Abarth to hit Fiat dealers in the first quarter of 2013. Pricing hasn’t been set, but we’d expect a similar mark-up as the standard 500c carries, which should put the price at $25,500.



Fiat Debuts The Topless 500c Abarth In Los Angeles: Video 28
Nov
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth, Automotive, Fiat, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show on 11 28th, 2012

Do you prefer your Italian motoring al fresco? Would you buy a Fiat 500 Abarth, if only it came in a convertible version? In that case, get ready for some good news: Fiat is debuting the open-air 500c Abarth at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Like the existing 500c Convertible, the 500c Abarth uses a retractable cloth top to provide access to the sky. Yes, you still have the solid roof rails (for rollover protection), so perhaps its best to think of the Fiat models as having really, really big sunroofs. The advantage, however, is that the top can be retracted back to the spoiler at speeds up to 60 mph, and can be fully opened at speeds up to 50 mph.

Under the skin, everything we liked about the hardtop Fiat 500 makes a return appearance. That list includes the sonorous exhaust, which will be even more pleasing to the ear with the top down. On the other hand, your cranky neighbor who complains that your car is too loud won’t like it one bit.

The 500cAbarth comes with the same 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo as the regular Abarth, and it’s still good for 160 horsepower, which works out to be an impressive 117 horsepower per liter. The only available gearbox is a five-speed manual, which all but ensures that only enthusiast drivers will be parking a 500c Abarth in their garage. Expect the run from 0-60 mph to take around seven seconds, but trust us on this – it feels faster.

Since Fiat is the parent to Ferrari, it seemed fitting to have Ferrari’s best-known drivers introduce the 500c to the U.S. market. In case you don’t follow Formula One, the drivers in the video are Scuderia Ferrari stars Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Just like in real life, Alonso is ahead of Massa at the end of the video, too.

Expect the 500c Abarth to hit Fiat dealers in the first quarter of 2013. Pricing hasn’t been set, but we’d expect a similar mark-up as the standard 500c carries, which should put the price at $25,500.



2013 Dodge Charger Daytona To Debut In Los Angeles 27
Nov
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Dodge Charger Daytona, Automotive, Dodge, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show on 11 27th, 2012

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona – image: Chrysler Group LLC

If you grew up in the muscle car era, the Dodge Charger Daytona was the stuff of legend. Built to race in NASCAR, the original Daytona featured an aerodynamic front end and a comically large, “basket handle” rear wing as its most memorable styling traits. Under the hood lurked either a 226 cubic-inch Hemi V-8 or the 440 cubic-inch Magnum V8, and the limited-production cars are among the most sought-after by Mopar collectors.

While the original Daytonas were built only in 1969, Dodge has marketed a few tribute cars over the year, including the utterly forgettable Chrysler Cordoba-based Charger Daytona of 1976 and 1977 that was little more than a trim package. The limited production Chargers of 2006-09 were a step in the right direction, since the cars boasted increased performance to match their appearance upgrades.

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona – image: Chrysler Group LLC

For 2013, Dodge is bringing the Charger Daytona back, again as a limited production offering with only 2,500 units planned. Outside, buyers get Satin Black hood stripes, a vinyl roof wrap, a rear deck lid spoiler and 20-inch polished wheels with black-painted pockets. Exterior color choices include Daytona Blue, Bright White, Billet Silver or Pitch Black.

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona – image: Chrysler Group LLC

Inside, buyers get sport seats wrapped in either Nappa leather and suede (with the Road & Track package) or cloth (on base models). The black upholstery is offset by Daytona Blue stitching, and the seats sport an embroidered “Daytona” logo, also in blue. Dark brushed aluminum is used for trim, and a Beats audio system is standard issue. Completing the package is a serialized number plate, identifying the car as one of 2,500 built.

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona – image: Chrysler Group LLC

To up the performance over a standard Charger R/T, Chrysler has added a 3.06 rear axle ratio, a “high-speed” engine controller, performance-oriented steering, a sport suspension and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters with a sport mode.

Pricing starts at $32,990 for R/T models and jumps to $36,495 for the better-equipped R/T Road & Track models. Look for inventory to hit dealerships in the first quarter of 2013.



2013 Dodge Charger Daytona To Debut In Los Angeles 27
Nov
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Dodge, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show on 11 27th, 2012

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona – image: Chrysler Group LLC

If you grew up in the muscle car era, the Dodge Charger Daytona was the stuff of legend. Built to race in NASCAR, the original Daytona featured an aerodynamic front end and a comically large, “basket handle” rear wing as its most memorable styling traits. Under the hood lurked either a 226 cubic-inch Hemi V-8 or the 440 cubic-inch Magnum V8, and the limited-production cars are among the most sought-after by Mopar collectors.

While the original Daytonas were built only in 1969, Dodge has marketed a few tribute cars over the year, including the utterly forgettable Chrysler Cordoba-based Charger Daytona of 1976 and 1977 that was little more than a trim package. The limited production Chargers of 2006-09 were a step in the right direction, since the cars boasted increased performance to match their appearance upgrades.

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona – image: Chrysler Group LLC

For 2013, Dodge is bringing the Charger Daytona back, again as a limited production offering with only 2,500 units planned. Outside, buyers get Satin Black hood stripes, a vinyl roof wrap, a rear deck lid spoiler and 20-inch polished wheels with black-painted pockets. Exterior color choices include Daytona Blue, Bright White, Billet Silver or Pitch Black.

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona – image: Chrysler Group LLC

Inside, buyers get sport seats wrapped in either Nappa leather and suede (with the Road & Track package) or cloth (on base models). The black upholstery is offset by Daytona Blue stitching, and the seats sport an embroidered “Daytona” logo, also in blue. Dark brushed aluminum is used for trim, and a Beats audio system is standard issue. Completing the package is a serialized number plate, identifying the car as one of 2,500 built.

2013 Dodge Charger Daytona – image: Chrysler Group LLC

To up the performance over a standard Charger R/T, Chrysler has added a 3.06 rear axle ratio, a “high-speed” engine controller, performance-oriented steering, a sport suspension and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters with a sport mode.

Pricing starts at $32,990 for R/T models and jumps to $36,495 for the better-equipped R/T Road & Track models. Look for inventory to hit dealerships in the first quarter of 2013.



Here’s What The Subaru BRZ Will (Probably) Look Like 17
Nov
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Subaru BRZ, auto show, Automotive, Concept Cars, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show, Subaru on 11 17th, 2011

Subaru's BRZ STI Concept. Image: Subaru

The Subaru BRZ and it’s platform-sharing cousin, the Toyota FT-86 (or Scion FR-S) won’t be unveiled until the Tokyo Motor Show, which kicks off at the end of this month. Subaru chose to show an “STI concept” of its upcoming BRZ sports coupe, and we suspect that the final product will look a lot like what you see here. The wing may not make production versions (especially in base model trim), and the aero package may be slightly less aggressive, but the basic lines of the car should be nearly identical, and we say that’s a good thing.

Subaru's BRZ STI Concept. Image: Subaru

Subaru's BRZ STI Concept. Image: Subaru

Subaru is careful not to reveal many details about the car, and it isn’t yet clear if an STI version will be produced (but we certainly hope so). The engine in the show car is a naturally aspirated, 2.0-liter boxer-four, but Subaru isn’t saying what kind of horsepower it will produce. We’ve heard “under 300,” but seriously doubt that Subaru is making that much from a 2.0-liter engine without forced induction. Maybe that’s a sign that a turbocharged STI version is in the works after all.

Subaru's BRZ STI Concept. Image: Subaru

Subaru's BRZ STI Concept. Image: Subaru

Here’s what we do know about the BRZ: it’s designed to have a very low center of gravity for optimized handling, and it’s going to be front-engine, rear-drive in layout. Aside from that, anything else is just speculation, so we’ll wait another two weeks for the details.



2012 Fiat 500 Abarth: “Small But Wicked” 16
Nov
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth, Automotive, Fiat, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show on 11 16th, 2011

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

As Karl Abarth’s tuned Fiats grew in popularity during the 1960’s, fans began to refer to them as “small but wicked.” That same design philosophy carries over to the new-to-the-U.S. Fiat 500 Abarth, which will soon be making its way to a Fiat dealer (and autocross course) near you. Unlike other front drive “sporty” cars, the Fiat 500 Abarth is actually designed with track days in mind, and it’s got more than 2 million development miles under its belt.

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

The Abarth’s suspension is lower and stiffer than that of the Fiat 500, and the car benefits from larger brakes and wider tires as well. Up front, the Abarth’s springs are 40 percent stiffer than those used in the Fiat 500, and the car rides 15mm lower. Out back, the springs are 20 percent stiffer and the ride height is dropped the same 15mm. An Abarth-spec rear stabilizer bar ensures that understeer is kept in check, and additional negative camber up front maximizes lateral grip.

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

The Fiat 500 Abarth gets a turbocharged and twin-intercooled 1.4-liter four-banger, good for 160 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque. That may not sound like much, but keep in mind that the Abarth only weighs 2,533 pounds, which should make acceleration “brisk.” The MultiAir Turbo engine comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox only, which has been beefed up to handle the engine’s additional torque. The Abarth even uses thicker half shafts to ensure long-term durability

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

While the Abarth’s differential isn’t a true “limited slip” model, traction is handled via the electronic stability control system, similar to what VW does with its GTI. An included “Sport” traction control mode allows a higher degree of wheel slip and adjusts traction based on factors such as speed and lateral acceleration.

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

We can’t wait to drive the new Fiat 500 Abarth, and we’re sure it’s going to give the Mini Cooper a run for the title of “best handling FWD car.” We understand the Fiat 500 Abarth, and we hope that others in the U.S. get it, too. Fiat isn’t doing well with the 500 on these shores, and the Abarth could be just the right image car at just the right time.



2013 Jaguar XKR-S Convertible: The Fastest Ragtop Cat, Ever 16
Nov
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Jaguar XKR-S Convertible, Automotive, Jaguar, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show on 11 16th, 2011

The Jaguar XKR-S Convertible. Image: Jaguar Land Rover

If you ask us, the front end of the new Jaguar XKR-S is just a bit overdone. Sure, the flares before the front wheel arches are probably functional, reducing air pressure buildup (and lift) in the front wheel wells, but the overall effect is that someone threw a cheap body kit on a Jaguar. The drooping snout doesn’t help, either, and makes the front of the XKR-S Convertible look like a cross between a grasshopper and a channel catfish.

That said, it in no way diminishes our lust for the 550-horsepower ragtop. Let’s put it this way: if Scarlett Johansson knocked on your door and said, “let’s party,” would you say “pass” if she was wearing too much makeup? We didn’t think so.

The 2013 Jaguar XKR-S Convertible joins the XKR-S Coupe in Jaguar’s lineup, and shares the same supercharged V-8 as its hardtop stablemate. As mentioned, it’s good for 550 horsepower and 502 lb.-ft. of torque, which is good enough to get the ragtop XKR-S from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds, on the way to a 186 mile per hour top speed.

Thanks to the extensive use of aluminum, the Jag’s body is the stiffest in its class, despite the loss of its top. The suspension has been revised to improve handling, but Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics system will ensure that the ride isn’t punishing on the way to the track (or your favorite canyon road).

On more sedate XK models, the convertible commands a $6,000 premium over the price of the coupe. Expect a similar markup for the XKR-S Convertible, which would put the price at $138,000 when the car hits Jaguar dealers in early 2012. In the meantime, enjoy the video (hosted by Left Lane News) of the XKR-S stretching its legs in Germany, below.



The 2012 Fiat Abarth: Worth Waiting For 31
Oct
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth, Automotive, Fiat, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show, News on 10 31st, 2011

The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

Living on this side of the Atlantic, the name Abarth isn’t exactly well known. In Europe, however, Abarth is widely recognized as the in-house tuner for Fiat, similar to what AMG is to Mercedes or NISMO is to Nissan. Abarth earned a reputation by tuning and racing cars in the 1960s and 1970s, and despite the diminutive size of the cars built, they proved more than capable of beating larger, more powerful rivals around tight European road courses.

We’ve known for a while that Fiat would bring an Abarth-tuned version of the Fiat 500 into the U.S. market, but here are the very first images of a U.S. spec car. The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth will make its official debut at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, so Fiat hasn’t released any specific details on the car’s output. We know it will use a tuned version of Fiat’s 1.4-liter Multi-Air Turbo engine, and we know the Fiat 500 Abarth makes 133 horsepower in Euro trim. That’s good enough for a zero to sixty time of under 8 seconds, or roughly two and a half seconds quicker than the base Fiat 500.

The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

Still, worrying about a zero to sixty time on a car like the Fiat 500 Abarth misses the point entirely. There will always be faster cars in a straight line, but the strength of Abarth models has always been more about how the car works as an overall package. Like Mazda’s MX-5 Miata, going fast in an Fiat 500 Abarth is all about preserving momentum, and I suspect that the Mini Cooper will soon have a serious challenger to the title of best handling front-wheel-drive car.



Hyundai Elantra Coupe Gears Up for LA Debut 8
Jun
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Event Coverage, Honda Civic coupe, Hyundai Elantra Coupe, Los Angeles Auto Show on 06 8th, 2011

Some recent reports indicate that Hyundai is all set to unveil its Elantra coupe at the Los Angeles Auto Show.


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The model will be powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 148 hp (110 kW / 150 PS) and 131 lb-ft (177 Nm) of torque. We have been hearing some rumors of an R-Spec variant, which could adopt the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine from the 2012 Veloster. If so,  Elantra R-Spec will feature 208 hp (155 kW / 211 PS) and 265 Nm (195 lb-ft) of torque, under the hood.

The model will be facing stiff competition from Honda Civic coupe, unveiled at the New York Auto Show earlier this year.

We have no other option other than waiting till November, when the Los Angeles Auto Show will kick off to know further .

via (insideline)



2013 Infiniti JX Spied 8
Jun
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Concept car news, Infiniti JX, Los Angeles Auto Show, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on 06 8th, 2011

We have for you the latest spied snaps of 2013 Infiniti JX undergoing testing in the United States. Have a look.


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As you can see in the pictures, the model is heavily camouflaged. No matter, one could easily figure out that the seven-seat variant is inspired from EX and Etherea concept. Earlier, official sources had said that the JX will feature “a stunning interior”, exceptional seating flexibility, easy access to the roomy third row, and the latest in-vehicle technology – including next-generation telematics.

Infiniti is reported to have been on plans to unveil a JX concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. However, the production model will be introduced only at the Los Angeles Auto Show. JX will eventually be launched probably by the spring of 2012.

So, stay tuned to know more.

via (wcf)



Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid in 2012 10
Mar
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, honda, Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid, hybrid, Los Angeles Auto Show, plug-in hybrid technology, rapid charger on 03 10th, 2011

Honda will introduce an Accord Plug-in Hybrid in the coming year, say the latest reports. Only scarce details are out yet. As the name suggests, the vehicle is likely to feature the plug-in hybrid technology, the same that was showcased at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Thus we assume that this upcoming Hybrid will be equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine. Accord will most probably feature an electric motor that produces161 hp (120 kW / 163 PS).

If so, the vehicle definitely will travel 10 to 15 miles that is 16 to 24 km on electricity alone, offering speeds up to 62 mph (100 km/h). The battery which is expected to feature will be a 6 kWh lithium-ion battery.

The time required to get the battery full charged is 2 to 2.5 hours with a conventional 120 volt household outlet or 1 to 1.5 hours with a 240 volt rapid charger. We will get you more details on 2012 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid as soon as they are out.

Here’s a video that explains it.

(via WCF)



Porsche Promises New Model for Los Angeles Show 15
Nov
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Boxster, Boxster Syder, cayman, Cayman Club Sport, Cayman S, Los Angeles Auto Show, porsche, Upcoming Events on 11 15th, 2010

The Los Angeles Auto Show will have a brand new model from Porsche featuring in it. Not many details were revealed, however Porsche has stated that it will be a mid-engine sports car.

Wonder if it will be a car looking like a Boxster or a Cayman. Or it could even be the Cayman Club Sport, coming close on the heels of the Boxster Spyder launch.

If it is indeed the Cayman Club Sport, it will probably be a lightweight model, which is a close relative of the Boxster Spyder.

Fans can expect a few changes, like modified fascias, aluminum doors, a fixed rear spoiler, and a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine with 330 hp (246 kW / 335 PS) – a 10 hp (7 kW / 10 PS) increase from the Cayman S.

But all of this speculation will be put to an end in a few days when the media day at the LA Auto Show begins.



Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Gears up for Los Angeles Auto Show 1
Oct
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Camaro, Chevrolet, convertible, Los Angeles Auto Show, Mustang Convertible, Six-Speed, Upcoming Events on 10 1st, 2010

The upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show will see Chevrolet bringing forth on the display platform its new Camaro Convertible.  The drop top model will be powered by 312 hp (233 kW/ 316 PS) 3.6-liter V6 and a 426 hp (318 kW / 432 PS) 6.2-liter V8 engines. The company will ensure that six-speed manual transmission will be standard in the car, while six-speed automatic could be offered as optional.

To arrive in February next, the car will sell for around $30,000. Now, that tag seems like a bit too high doesn’t it?  Rival Mustang Convertible sells for $27,995, making the $30,000 price tag too much to ask for.

Maybe, Chevrolet has something more to offer than what the Mustang model does. We will wait for February to dawn to know what it would be.



Saab 9-4X Leaves Behind Delays, Gets Set For Global Launch at Los Angeles Auto Show 19
Aug
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, Cadillac SRX, LA Show, Los Angeles Auto Show, Saab, Saab 9-4X, Upcoming Events on 08 19th, 2010

Saab seems to be getting over all its delays and is now set to bring forth its 9-4X for a world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show this  November. We get to know that the car takes off from the Cadillac SRX, and boasts of admirable styling.

The new Saab 9-4X will come sporting a 7″ dash, a console-mounted ignition, and egg-crate air vents. To be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 245 hp (183 kW / 248 PS) and a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 with 300 hp (224 kW / 304 PS), the car is expected to come with capabilities to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.4 seconds and have a top speed of 250 km/h. Not many details are available right now, though. However, it is speculated that the car might roll out into US dealerships by early spring.

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Saab 9-4X-4

(Via Twitter)







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