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Report: Lexus may finally be working on a GS F and a possible four-door RC F by 2016

Lexus could finally be in the works with a GS F to compete against the likes of the BMW M5, the Jaguar XFR-S and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, according to a new find from AutoCar in the UK.

The Japanese luxury auto giant has been on a big branding trend, pushing their newly coveted F brand, following models such as the LF-A, the IS F, and their new F Sport models. To keep the ball rolling, the new Lexus RC F was just introduced and now, Lexus could be F-ifying the GS–it’s about time.

Numerous GS F test mules have been spotted over time, tackling the infamous Nurburgring a.k.a the Green Hell, further bolstering the fact that Lexus is definitely working on something GS F related. Although no confirmation exists at this time, speculation suggests the use of the RC F’s current 5.0L V8 with 500hp and 400 lb-ft of torque serving duty under the hood, while an eight-speed auto sits in between the rear-wheels and the mill. Of course, expect high-performance suspension, brakes, steering, and chassis tuning to complement the package and to handle the extra oomph.

On a separate note, AutoCar also heard of a possible four-door coupe version of the RC F, which could compete against BMW’s rumored M4 Gran Coupe.

- By: Chris Chin

Source: AutoCar


Report: Alfa Romeo confirms a new model due next summer

Photo rendering by Thorsten-Krisch

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne recently confirmed to be introducing a new Alfa Romeo next year, specifically on June 24, 2015, just as the automaker turns 105 years old.

Specifics as to what model this exactly may be haven’t been released, though speculation suggests it could be the new BMW 5-Series competing Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan.

Nicknamed the “Tipo 952,” the new model sports Alfa’s latest Giorgio modular platform, built to also underpin future Chrysler and Dodge models, after being developed by Maserati. As for the Giulia, it’s anticipated to receive a new line of gas and diesel fours–though we Americans can wager to receive the gas versions only. Maserati’s 3.0L twin-turbo V6 should also find its way under the hood, donning around 480hp to 520hp for the rear-wheels to handle via a dual-clutch auto tranny and a limited-slip rear. Sounds great to us, on paper, to say the least.

We’re not quite sure what to expect visually, but if it looks anything like the rendering shared with the article, we’d imagine Alfa could have a serious winner.

- By: Chris Chin

Source: Autoedizione


Cadillac announces plans to have semi-autonomous cars within two years
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General Motors’ CEO, Mary Barra, officially revealed Cadillac’s plans to begin introducing semi-autonomous cars and systems within two years, which is colloquially named, Super Cruise.

Due for a reveal sometime in 2017 on an undisclosed model, the Super Cruise system features similar tech to other models with semi-autonomous features, including an array of cameras, sensors, and lots of computers, enabling owners to be able to drive hands-free in various conditions while controlling lane tracking, braking, and speed on the highway.

In addition to the Super Cruise systems, Barra confirmed the 2017 Cadillac CTS is set to offer new vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology as a part of GM’s plan to make allow cars to talk to each other to boost on-road safety and awareness to other drivers.

For the press release, check it out after the jump.

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Report: Tesla announces joint project with Toyota

AutomotiveNews reports Tesla recently announced possibly be working with Toyota on a new project despite the fact their first joint venture, the Toyota RAV4 EV, was a bit of a flop.

According to the report, Tesla’s Elon Musk recently hinted the two companies could reunite once again to work on a “significant project” in the next two or three years. However, there are currently no concrete plans in existence for a cooperatively built vehicle, yet.

Despite this, Musk did suggest the new project could be a more high-volume model than the RAV4 EV, though what could be in the works is anyone’s guess at this point.

- By: Chris Chin

Source: Automotive News


Recalls: Several Porsche 918 examples recalled over rear-axle control arm woes

When one dollies up about $845,000 for a new car, expectations for perfection aren’t irrational. But it seems over-engineering and eye-watering price tags still don’t buy perfection as Porsche and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have just issued a recall for five US-spec 918 Spyder supercars over problems with the rear-axle control arms. A total of 45 units worldwide are affected.

There’s a risk of the arms just flat-out breaking under use, and that’s not good by any stretch of means, especially at the speeds the 918 Spyder is capable of. Should a control arm fail, one could immediately lose control of their precious 918. Porsche is obviously on call to repair and replace all affected cars, free of charge.

No incidents and accidents have been reported, though Porsche stumbled upon the issue in June during the 918′s heavy-duty durability testing at the Nardo test track in Italy, where the automaker found and began investigating problematic parts while issuing a stop-sale.

Check out the press release after the jump.

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Report: Volkswagen to execute five-year product cycles in the US

The automobile industry is already fast paced as is, in order to keep customers interested in new products since products that become stale lost interest–this is quite the given.

As a result, Volkswagen Group of America’s Vice President of Quality and Service, Marc Trahan, recently told Edmunds that the People’s Car maker is going to implement five-year product cycles for cars in the US. Currently, the average running time for a model generation lasts for anywhere between six to eight years.

The new move to introduce new model generations every five years should allow Volkswagen to “keep models fresh and attractive.” Trahan didn’t say which models would see shortened lives, first, though this should usher in a radical new change for anyone who directly competes with Volkswagen. If Volkswagen introduces a new model every five years, others will have to do the same in order to keep up.

Speculation suggests the next-gen Jetta and Passats are the first to last only five years, though confirmation hasn’t been published since Volkswagen Group of America’s CEO, Michael Horn, did still say facelifted versions would happen three years after a product gets launched.

- By: Chris Chin

Source: Edmunds


Kia Soul EV offers up to 93-mile range, available for $26,200
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Kia released specifications and pricing on their latest model, a compliance car, that like the standard Soul, resembles a milk carton when entirely white.  Starting at $33,700 (before the $7,500) tax credit, the car’s price is inline with other EVs, save for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which starts at $22,995 before the $7,500 tax credit. Under the hood is a 109 bhp and 210 ft-lbs of torque producing monster antelope; this output is midpack for the class but the 27kWh lithium ion battery pack is not. Kia claims that this car has the best combined range, short of a Tesla Model S (265 miles), at 93 miles. The Chevy Spark EV (82 miles), Fiat 500e (87 miles), Ford Focus Electric (76 miles), Honda Fit EV (82 miles), Nissan Leaf (84 miles), Mitsubishi i-MiEV (62 miles) and Smart ForTwo ED (68 miles) offer lower ranges.

Is there a cost to the extended range? Second only to the 66bhp i-MiEV ‘s 13-second trip to 60 mph, the Kia takes a lengthy 12 seconds to accomplish the feat. For reference, the Chevy Spark EV pulls this off in 7.9 seconds and a Prius takes just over 10 seconds. Furthering its street cred as a green car, Kia has decided to spring for 52 pounds of plant-based interior plastics, which use a cellulose and sugar cane base, which is a first in this segment. Given the distinctive smell of Kia’s interior plastic choices, this can only improve things.

Efficiency ratings for the Soul EV are midpack at 105 MPGe on the combined cycle and as this is a roomy five-door FWD hatch, rear passengers lose only 3 inches off their feet as a result of the battery packs. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

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Report: Mazda MX-5 starts out with a 128 horsepower four
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Though we’ve been promised the full specifications of the MX-5 at the Paris Auto Show next month, a couple of details have dribbled out: power will come from a 1.5 liter Skyactiv gasser producing 128 bhp and 106 ft-lbs of torque. Given that Mazda’s stable incorporates quite a few different power outputs for their small four, this will likely be the base engine with optional upgrades, though how big the jump will be to the next level is unclear. Mazda has 181 bhp and 155 bhp options in the ’3, but there could be more options coming out down the road.

Click here for more news on the Mazda MX-5

Further removed from the options list are things like a power operated hard top; the top on the prototypes that have been shown appear to be power operated soft tops and this likely has a lot to do with the car’s 2,200-lb curb weight and a weight savings of 220 lbs over the previous (NC) generation. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details on the best selling roadster in history that makes up one percent of Mazda’s global sales.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

Sources: Autoblog and Worldcarfans


Land Rover Discovery Sport: Resembles the Ford Explorer less, may offer a stick

Last week, Land Rover foisted their 7 seater quazi Discovery replacement on us. The car depicted above and in the video after the jump should slot in just slightly below the current Disco. With a footprint that is similar to many five-seater SUVs and crossovers such as the Acura MDX etc., the new little Disco offers a two-liter turbo four with an unknown amount of power on tap and fording ability that is somewhere shy of a yard. It offers up approach and departure angles of 25 and 31 with a breakover angle of 21 degrees, nothing to write home about, but an improvement over many cars in this class; given the styling, LR will likely attract buyers who have little interest in these figures.

For those cross shopping offerings from the VW group, BMW, and Mercedes, only time and on road manners will tell if this car will be a viable Q5/Q7-fighter. Though there’s no word on whether it will come stateside, a 6-speed manual transmission is available along with a 9-speed automatic. To scoop one up, you’ll have to wait until early 2015 to pick up the Liverpool-built SUV. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

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Report: Tesla to offer a $35K car in 3 years, fully autonomous capability in 5

Though Tesla doesn’t seem to have any difficulty with selling its existing $70-90 Model S sedan, the company has an agenda to affect widespread change among the car-buying public. Though we’ve seen this through Elon Musk’s recent tweets about leaving their patents for all to use, the evidence that this is more than just an effort to raise capital comes in the form of comments during an interview with Nikkei.

For the price of a well-optioned family sedan, Tesla promises a more accessible electric car; though most of the compliance car market is floating around this price point, Tesla’s offering will likely offer greater range that the paltry 80 miles that seems to be the high water mark for most cars such as the Chevy Spark EV, Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, etc. Though the company will be partnering with Toyota to deliver batteries and share electronics know-how, Musk stated that “I think in the long term, all Tesla cars will have auto-pilot capability.” For those of us interested in being more than a piece of meat though, the word “capability” was bandied about, thankfully not suggesting that it would be a defining feature of the cars.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

Source: Nikkei