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Report: Mid-engined Corvette Zora ZR1 in the works

Little is known about this car, and given that the Z06 chucks out 650 bhp and costs just south of $80,000; anything turned up to 11 should cause quite a scene. The revisions to the chassis will not be updates to the C7, but major changes to be realized in the C8. For this highly tuned version, the price may start around $150,000 and production numbers will be limited to C6 ZR1 levels, somewhere around 1,500 copies.

As is tradition, the future car will use leaf springs and will go on a diet, likely a re-engineering of the existing aluminum frame and a preference to carbon fiber body panels over the tried-and-true fiberglass. According to Car and Driver, some of these weight saving and performance enhancing techniques have already been developed but the engineering required for mass production is still in process. Though we’re still in the nebulous phase of the next Corvette, one thing will remain unchanged: the use of a small-block V8.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

Source: Car and Driver


AutoNation Hennessey

AutoNation, America’s largest automotive retailer, has announced a partnership with Hennessey Performance to bring the tuner’s performance upgrades to it stores.

AutoNation operates a total of 273 franchises with 33 brands across 15 states.

“We’re excited and honored to team up with AutoNation,” said company founder and president, John Hennessey. “Now performance enthusiasts across the country can come see our specially built vehicles in person, take a test ride and order their new vehicle from AutoNation and then be sent to us for upgrades.”

In order to celebrate the new partnership, AutoNation and Hennessey will be going on a road show to offer customers an up-close look at Hennessey’s latest creations including the Supercharged Chevrolet Silverado and a Hennessey HPE650 Supercharged Chevrolet Corvette. The event will kick off at the AutoNation Chevrolet Fort Lauderdale store on September 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

“The Hennessey Performance vehicles have become the benchmark for high performing supercharged vehicles. We look forward to the kick-off of this program at AutoNation,” said Mike Jackson, Chairman.

More details here.


2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible unveiled – 4 engines available
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BMW has yanked the wraps off their latest convertible, which starts out at just a tick over $38K; over here in the US, we probably will not be getting the diesel, but it seems that a manual transmission is standard equipment for these cars, which will come in the existing 2 series variants: the 220i, 228i, and M235i, each cranking out 184, 245, and 326 horsepower, respectively. Both the 228i and the M235i top out at 155 mph per German green party rules and the latter car should have no trouble getting to 60 mph in five seconds flat when equipped with the 8-speed automatic.

Representing some of the few cars in BMW’s lineup that are in keeping with their heritage, this will likely be the last entry-level rear wheel drive 4-seat convertible with a manual transmission that we will be seeing from the Bavarians for the foreseeable future. The next-generation 1 series has been designated as a front wheel drive car.

BMW touts this car as being the only car in the segment with rear wheel drive, which they say “ensures outstanding dynamics.” The company also desperately wants the consumers to think of this car as an updated version of the 2002, which along with the Isetta, was the salvo of the less-than-profitable company in the late 1960s. Given where the next model is headed, this could be a pretty sought-after car 25 years down the road. If you’re looking to scoop one up, you will have to wait until February of 2015. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

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“Turn Around, Don’t Drown” It’s cliched and sounds like something that OSHA might cough up, but as indicated in the video below, it’s decent advice. Thanks to a bit of a hurricane, both a Toyota Sienna and sections of roadway are now slowly making their way out to sea.

Though it’s never enjoyable to watch infrastructure and people getting washed away in weather events, less of California will likely be on fire as a result of this storm, which has claimed the lives of at least two people and has weakened significantly after heading inland. Feel free to check out the video after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

Source: Road and Track

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2016 Mercedes AMG GT-S gets released for Spring of 2015; 0-60 in 3.7s
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Though we’ve already seen its rough shape before, it’s here now. We know that the GT-S’ power comes from a 4.0 liter direct injected, twin turbo V8, and that 500 horsepower is on tap for the initial launch with a 456 bhp GT version following shortly. The ‘in-the-flesh’ debut comes as part of the Paris motor show in October, but for now, the media on display here will have to suffice.

Click here for more news on the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT.

Nestled within the two cylinder banks are two turbos, allegedly a world’s first for a sports car. (Feel free to let us know in the comments if this is, indeed true; given the sliding definition of a sports car, this seems unlikely) The engine is tied to an seven-speed automated manual gearbox and features dry-sump lubrication to cope with the purported face-distorting grip.  Mercedes hasn’t stopped there; with a nod to the 911 it intends to irritate, the car features dynamic drivetrain mounts that mitigate drivetrain shifting and rolling during aggressive maneuvers. This optional system, dubbed the AMG Dynamic Plus Package is allegedly another world’s first, as mount adjustments for the engine and transmission are independent of each other.

193 miles per hour are available from the AMG GT-S and 189 from the AMG GT and typical passive and active safety systems found in most of the marque’s lineup are available. For more information, check out the video and the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

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2015 Dodge Viper now stickers for $84,995

It should not be hard to win over hearts and minds with a 645 bhp two seat sports car that was recently developed in a non-American fashion, but sales of the shouty, vulgar, and visceral Viper have been pretty short. Dodge announced that they will be offering what they argue is the lowest price ever for a Viper. They even go so far as to graph the prices from previous examples of the Viper, adjusted for inflation.

It doesn’t end here, Dodge is so desperate to sell these cars that they are offering current model owners $15,000 vouchers for the purchase of a new copy in addition to the existing $15,000 price drop. For the 2015 model year, the Viper gets new colors including Y’Orange, Stryker Orange and Stryker Purple as well as interior seating surfaces upgrades, an aerodynamic package for the TA model, and the special Ceramic Blue Color for the GTS Ceramic Blue edition. For more information, check out the press release after the break.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

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Opinion: The 2016 Mazda MX-5 is a new day for the company
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Let’s get this out of the way quickly: it’s important to understand that the power to weight ratio, the weight, the engine, transmission and overall setup of the 25-year old MX-5/Miata name are its attraction for a huge portion of buyers.

I am not here to discount the sensation of sliding into anything from a 1989 Miata to today’s MX-5 and feeling the similarities. Like the Mini or Porsche’s 911, the basic package has remained the same for many years and the styling has been thinly revised over the model’s lifetime, until now. BMW slotted little hallmarks in like the Hoffmeister Kink and the kidney grille, and somehow managed to chuck out a very wide variety of designs throughout the years. It is the often risky and sometimes blind and blunt ambition to be different that has made the Bavarians look interesting.

If Mercedes were to introduce an all-new R-Class or M-Class, one would have to dig deep through the vast ‘interwebs to learn this. Why? Because Volvo’s designers have been consuming capsacin (not something offered in Scandinavian Cuisine), and spurning styling throughout each of their concept cars, and now, the XC 90. Who gets excited about a new soccer mom mobile? No one, unless there’s a compelling reason, and Volvo has made more than one reason for us to be interested. Though Mazda had not been languishing and picking through stale parts bins to build their cars like Volvo had, the constant insistence to keep the MX-5′s performance essentially the same and for the styling to have all of the carnal pleasure of a toll plaza kept anyone other than existing MX-5 owners uninterested.

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2016 Jaguar XE-S is released, it’s almost like they care again.
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While BMW slowly dribbles into luxurious obscurity with the front wheel drive 1 series, Motorsport edition SUVs, and a second round of the 4-door M3, Jaguar quietly popped out a traditional sport sedan at Earl’s Court. Though Jag made several half-hearted attempts at a second rung sedan, the poorly rebadged and built Ford Mondeo of the early aughts certainly didn’t suffice, and though the circa-1995 S-Type shape blew many ’90s cars out of the water, it disappointed in other areas. Lincoln’s LS used the same Ford DEW platform as the S-Type and emerged as a pearl in the dynamic arena, but Jaguar’s S-Type emerged as nothing more than a flaccid clam, echoing the traits of its remaining DEW sibling, the Ford Thunderbird.

To some, the last legitimate small sedan from Jaguar was the 1967 Mark II. 220bhp came out, 0-60 happened in just over 8 seconds, and weight was down around 3,000 lbs. BMW was known for airplanes, motorcycles, and the overpriced and soft 502 sedan. In 1968, BMW upchucked something that had been hinted at during the 1966 Geneva Auto Show: an entry-level luxury sports sedan. From this point on, BMW became known for meshing tight little sedans together with an eager four or six cylinder, while Jaguar, knitted beautiful but rapidly decomposing luxury cars. For those who measure a car not by its story and personality, but by the maths it makes, here are the stats on the 2015 Jaguar XE, the company’s 3-series fighter:

  • 0-60: 4.9 seconds
  • Drive wheels: Rear
  • Engine (for the ‘Yanks): 3.0 liter V6, 335 bhp, 332 ft-lbs
  • Transmission: 8-speed ZF Automatic
  • Top speed: 155 mph (governed)
  • Weight: 3,249 lbs

Inside, the story slightly falls apart; it’s not out of keeping with the existing Jaguar line, but the “bespoke” term that British marketers love to throw around is not a viable means to describe the attractive interior. Though the car-buying public may be slipping into a passive stupor and the color palette of the current luxury market can only be described as “fifty shades of gray”, enthusiasts and therefore the target market for a “driver’s car” as it is referred to by Jaguar’s own marketing machine, should be catered to. However, the XE does seem like a compelling effort in the $40-60,000 world of the sports sedan and, given a fairly crowded market, that’s not easy to say. Seat-of-the-pants testing though will be necessary to determine this. Feel free to check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

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Report: Cadillac to spawn new crossover with next-gen SRX

The Cadillac SRX is nearing its point of replacement and CARandDRIVER recently spoke to Caddy’s chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, who apparently shared some future details.

According to the report, Cadillac is keen with not just introducing a new SRX, but a completely new SRX overall, one that may just be named as a different variant to the Escalade. Previous reports and rumors suggested Cadillac could be working on a large crossover with the Escalade badge, however, this has yet to be confirmed.

Alternatively, Cadillac could be working on a new entry-level compact crossover to compete against the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, the Mercedes-Benz GLA, and the Lexus NX. It’s backbone may be sourced from the same platform underpinning the Buick Encore.

As for the SRX, Ellinghaus did say the front-wheel drive layout will continue for the SRX because it’s been successful for the brand, versus the first-generation model’s rear-wheel drive setup. Additionally, there are advantages with packaging, boosting interior size and reducing cost. Expect the new SRX sometime in 2016.

Source: CARandDRIVER

 


Report: Chinese-made elongated Volvo S60L to come stateside
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Volvo was rumored in the past to be sending one of its first Chinese-made models to the US: the new long-wheelbase Volvo S60L and it’s apparently going to happen as early as next year.

Volvo Car Group’s CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, shared the news as production of the S60L began in Chengdu, China. The normal S60 still gets its assembly completed in Torslanda, Sweden. Now, this may or may not be a bad thing because Chinese quality control can be spotty at best, despite being under the supervision of the Swedish. So there’s a bit of an underlying fear that the S60L may not be built as well as its twin in Sweden.

Regional assembly does matter–remember the stories with Volkswagens made in Mexico versus their other market vehicles from Wolfsburg?

The Volvo S60L would also mark the US’s first ever China-built model sold in the US.

- By: Chris Chin

Source: AutomotiveNews