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Report: Expect more battery life and increased range for the next-gen Nissan LEAF

AutomotiveNews received a brief scoop regarding the 2016 Nissan LEAF, which is destined to apparently receive a new lithium-ion battery with a 30 kWh capacity, versus the current model’s 24 kWh rating.

This also means the electric motor will gain some extra power, though how much wasn’t exactly noted.

Thanks also to the extra power, Nissan’s hoping for an estimated EPA range of around 125 miles, which is a large improvement over the current model’s rating of around 84 miles. Real-world estimations would most likely hover around the 105-110 mile figure.

Source: AutomotiveNews

Report: Mazda downplays high-performance variants of Miata MX-5

Top Gear recently had a word with the man currently responsible for the Miata MX-5, manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto.

In those bits of words exchanged, the magazine learned that Mazda has no desire to produce any high performance variants of the Miata MX-5, despite there being MazdaSpeed versions in the past.

“It’s important not to get hung up on numbers,” noting that the Miata’s experience is more about the actual act of driving and feeling the car, rather than magazine racing and strictly comparing numbers without context.

Additionally, Yamamoto said that a high-performance Miata would jack up the price too much, defeating the basic principle of the Miata’s simplified, cheap and low-cost concept. He also said that naturally-aspirated engines are ideal for this kind of car, when prodded with the question as to whether or not the Miata could see a turbocharged mill.

Source: Top Gear via WCF

Report: Jaguar’s new compact crossover to be built in Austria

Jaguar’s in the midst of researching and developing their first-ever crossover SUV models.

As of now, there are two types of crossovers due from the Coventry-based automaker, with the first being a midsize model, previewed by the C-X17 Concept. In addition to the midsize version, a new compact model is due as well to sit below said midsize version.

And through a new report from AutoExpress, word is the new E-Pace (as it’s guessed to be called) will be built in Austria after Jaguar-Land Rover signed a deal with Magna Steyr. Magna Steyr is also a renowned name for they’ve been responsible for building Mercedes-Benz’s Gelandewagen and Unimog trucks.

That said, if there were any skeptical thoughts about Jaguar’s future for build quality, this move could probably put some of those thoughts to rest as we know the Germans and Austrians don’t really skimp on build quality. But then again, the build quality of Jaguar’s future crossovers are dependent on how they’re contracted.

Source: AutoExpress


Production for the 2016 Honda Civic Type R commences in Europe

Honda of the UK officially announced to have begun production for the all-new 2016 Honda Civic Type-R in Europe.

The latest Type-R was revealed at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, sporting one of Honda’s newest turbocharged four-bangers, in 2.0L form, for a result of around 305hp and 295 lb-ft of twist.

It’s mated solely to a six-speed manual, allowing for a 0-62 time of just 5.7 seconds.

Check out the press release after the jump.

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Report: Next-gen Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG to have more than 400hp

When the current Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG line came out in the form of the A45, it stunned people with how much power Mercedes-AMG was able to coax out of its 2.0L turbocharged four-banger.

That mill is good for a whopping 355hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, which is more than what a lot of V6s put out. But now, AutoExpress reports that the next-generation model could have even more than that–400hp to be exact.

The outlet sat down with AMG’s Tobias Moers, who said that the next-gen A45 will get at least 400hp to compete with rivals like the new Volkswagen Golf R 400.

Moers didn’t say when the new beast will come out, but he did say Mercedes plans to break the eight-minute mark for the A45 AMG’s lap record at the Nurburgring.

Source: Auto Express

Report: Nurburgring to lift ban on manufacturer-set record attempts

Not too long ago, the Nurburgring hit the headlines after banning automobile manufacturers from attempting record lap times, following a tragic accident in March.

But now, Road&Track reports the ban was only temporary as the track’s management plans to lift the ban and restrictions.

It wasn’t formally or officially announced, though an inside at Capricorn Nurburgring GmbH hinted at the possibility.

As of now, the fastest manufacturer-set lap time goes to Porsche with the 918 Spyder, lapping the ‘Ring in just six minutes and 57 seconds.

Source: R&T

Report: Mazda supposedly mulling a Mazda6-based RX-9

Australian outlet Motoring seems to have caught wind of a rather peculiar rumor regarding Mazda.

According to their finding, some “sources” within Mazda supposedly hinted at the possibility of a new flagship model called the RX-9.

We already know Mazda’s on the fence about making a new RX sports car, but not much news has developed regarding the automaker’s successor to the RX-8 given that a lot of it has remained to be rumors, or ideas that Mazda backed out on.

Though, we’re not sure this RX-9 rumor comes with much substantiation since Motoring’s report says the new RX-9 could use a heavily-modified version of the Mazda6’s platform, which is front-wheel drive. The RX sports cars were always rear-wheel drive. So ultimately, Mazda would have to do some serious work to the current 6 platform in order to make this work.

An estimated reveal time of around 2017 is expected for the concept, while the production version should be scheduled for a debut in 2020.

What do you think of this rumor? We think you should take this one with a grain of salt.

Source: Motoring

Report: NEVS in discussions for new SAAB EV factory in China

Believe it or not, SAAB just isn’t quite dead yet, after several declarations of bankruptcy and restructurings.

They’re currently owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden and since their acquisition, NEVS has been trying to save SAAB by paying off its debt and fixing the company’s potential future.

According to AutomotiveNews Europe, NEVS is currently in talks for a new EV factory in southeast China, where SAAB will be manufacturing their new models. The plant is being designed to offer a capacity of up to 200,000 cars per year. It will cost around 1.2 billion yuan, or $193 million to build.

Source: AutomotiveNews Europe

Report: The current Jeep Cherokee’s facelift should maintain its current polarizing looks

The Jeep Cherokee has been with us since last year and it’s been a mixed bag in terms of reception, mainly with its aesthetics.

It’s a love it, or hate it sort of ordeal, with the traditionalists hating it and missing the classic, boxy look of the classic XJ Cherokees.

And the news doesn’t get better for its planned facelift in 2016, which Jeep’s CEO, Mike Manley said, should maintain its overall, core looks.

“The overall styling, the overall shape, the overall accommodation of that vehicle is spot on,” remarked Manley. And while many car enthusiasts might be divided with their agreement on this comment, Jeep has sold quite a few number of Cherokees since it was revealed, making it a hit and the best selling SUV in the United States from January to June of this year.

Do you think the Cherokee just needs an overall redesign? Or have you gotten used to its looks?

Let us know.

Source: AutomotiveNews


Report: BMW’s M boss says manuals are dying and horsepower is at its peak for current and future cars

AutoCar recently had a sit-down with BMW M’s chief, Frank van Meel.

And in that sit-down, van Meel expressed his outlook on the future of manual transmissions, which he says are on their way to being phased out since dual-clutch and automatic transmission technology are making them obsolete.

This outlook has been floating around the BMW M pool for quite some time, with BMW touting such technology like their SMG gearbox and dual-clutch automatics.

van Meel did provide some insight, suggesting it won’t be retired any time soon, but the future of the manual overall just looks bleak.

On the other side of things, van Meel also said that their cars’ current outputs are at their maximum capabilities, of around 600 metric horsepower, meaning the next-gen M5 is most likely going to feature no more than 600PS.

Source: AutoCar