Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Lexus is developing a seven-seat crossover

According to a recent report, Lexus is working on a seven-seat crossover.

 Lexus is developing a seven-seat crossover - report

Details are limited but Automotive News is reporting the company could develop an all-new crossover or add a third row of seating to the next-generation RX which is slated to arrive in late 2015.

It remains unclear which direction the company is leaning but Lexus USA's Group Vice President and General Manager said "We feel like we're missing a 35,000-units-a-year opportunity. We're working hard to rectify that." Jeff Bracken went on to say "We could bring it to market in 2016 or 2017."

While nothing is official, speculation suggests the model could be called the TX and it be based on either the front-wheel-drive platform from the Toyota Camry or the rear-wheel drive platform from the Lexus IS / GS.

Source: AlAin Japan

Monday, 28 April 2014

Subaru isn't currently planning a BRZ STi

Subaru's Australian division has announced the company isn't working on a BRZ STi or another performance-oriented model in collaboration with Subaru Tecnica International (STi).

 Subaru isnt currently planning a BRZ STi or other performance models

Sad news for those who were waiting for a turbocharged BRZ or at least an STi-prepared version of the rear-wheel drive coupe as Subaru isn't planning a hotter model. What's even worse is they aren't currently developing other performance models, following the introduction of the WRX STi. Speaking of the WRX STi, it seems the hatchback might not happen after all even though Subaru said they will consider it to meet U.S. demand.

Getting back to the inexistent BRZ STi, the reason why it won't happen is due to limited resources which have to be targeted to improving global sales, according to Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior. However, some distributors are still lobbying for hotter versions but for the moment an STi model is not being prepared.  

Source: Al Ain Japan

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Acura & Honda to field six models at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Acura and Honda have announced plans to field a variety models in seven classes at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb which kicks off on June 29th.

 Acura & Honda to field six models at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Honda declined to go into specifics but confirmed plans to enter a Fit EV in the electric vehicle class and a Fit B-Spec racer in the Exhibition class. The company will also enter an S3700 in the Time Attack class, a first-generation Acura NSX in the Open class, a CBR600RR motorcycle in the Middleweight class and a TRX450 in the 450 ATV class. Last but not least, Romain Dumas will compete in the Unlimited class with a Honda-powered Norma.

According to Honda Performance Development President Art St. Cyr, "Pikes Peak presents us with a unique opportunity to showcase Honda's diverse product lineup and to energize Honda fans around the world, as we work to further strengthen Honda's presence in racing at all levels." St. Cyr went on to say "Our associates will be working hard between now and race day to prepare this diverse field of race vehicles and showcase the Honda Racing Spirit."

Source: Acura

Friday, 25 April 2014

Lamborghini Urus to be assembled in Slovakia starting 2017

Sources within the Volkswagen Group have revealed the Lamborghini Urus will be manufactured at VW's factory in Slovakia.

 Lamborghini Urus to be assembled in Slovakia starting 2017 - report

Slated to go on sale early 2018, the production version of the Lamborghini Urus concept will be put together in Bratislava, Slovakia at a Volkswagen factory where it will be assembled together with the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg as well as the bodies for the forthcoming Bentley SUV due in 2016.

It will be Lamborghini's first SUV after the LM002 which was phased out in 1993 and will share its platform with the next-gen Q7, Touareg, Cayenne and Bentley SUV. Little else is known about the Urus but it could be offered with a hybridized V8 generating approximately 680 PS (500 kW). Audi's boss Rupert Stadler previously said it "won't be a softie" and that it will carry over most of the concept's design.

Named after the Aurochs bull - a large, wild ancestor of domestic cattle - the Urus is the spiritual successor of the LM002. It features aggressive styling with a prominent front fascia, a ventilated hood and LED headlights. There's also a tailgate-mounted spoiler, a rear diffuser and a four-tailpipe exhaust system. Other highlights include an adjustable suspension and 24-inch wheels with a matte aluminum finish

Source: Al Ain Japan

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Toyota reveals significant facelift for Yaris

Toyota has released a couple of images with the facelifted Yaris set to go on sale in the following months, following some brochure scans which surfaced the web in March..

 Toyota reveals significant facelift for Yaris

Essentially a rebadged Vitz, the European-spec Yaris will be built in France and launched this summer. Additional information is limited, but the car will feature a 6.1-inch touchscreen display and three different engines: a 1.0-liter VVT-i, a 1.33-liter dual VVT-i and a 1.4-liter D-4D diesel. 

The Yaris has received a major styling change as the front fascia is now derived from the all-new Aygo with the large trapezoidal lower grille combined with the upper one to create an "X" shape. While on the smaller Aygo the LED daytime running lights sit next to the fog lights, on the facelifted Yaris these have been integrated within the darkened headlights.

Photos of the Yaris' rear have not been provided but most likely the changes will carry over from the JDM-spec Vitz with the updated taillights, altered license plate area and a mildly tweaked bumper. They also prepared new alloy wheel designs along with a revised interior cabin packing the latest version of the Toyota Link infotainment system.

The changes are skin deep as the face-lifted Yaris now benefits from a modified suspension to provide better handling and comfort while the noise levels have be reduced. Engine lineup will be taken from the pre-facelift variant, including the hybrid powertrain.

A full reveal should occur in the following days.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

2015 Lexus NX bows in Beijing

Lexus has officially unveiled the entry-level NX crossover at the Beijing Motor Show.

2015 Lexus NX [11th Apr, 2014]

Previewed by the LF-NX concepts, the production model has an aggressive exterior that will provoke love or hate it reactions. Regardless of which side you're on, the model has a prominent spindle grille which is flanked by LED headlamps and LED daytime running lights. The model also has plastic body cladding and 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels.

The NX 200t can also be equipped with an F SPORT package that adds a new front bumper, a mesh grille, black mirrors and unique alloy wheels. The package also includes sport seats, revised instrumentation and paddle shifters.

Speaking of the interior, it features a three-spoke steering wheel, metallic trim and an angular center stack. Detailed specifications were not released but the model can be equipped with leather upholstery, wood trim and an optional Wireless Charging Tray which can recharge Qi compatible smartphones.

In the United States, two engines will be available. The NX 200t has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 235 bhp (175 kW) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque. Likewise, the NX 300h has a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and an electric motor that produce a combined maximum output of 194 bhp (145 kW). Front-wheel drive will be standard but all-wheel drive wheel be optional.

The 2015 Lexus NX will go on sale in the United States this fall and pricing will be announced closer to launch.

Source : Al Ain Japan

Monday, 21 April 2014

2015 Nissan Maxima - resemble the Sport Sedan concept

Nissan North America Chairman Jose Munoz has revealed some new details about the 2015 Maxima.

Nissan Sport Sedan concept [13th Jan, 2014] [13th Jan, 2014]

Speaking at the sidelines of the New York Auto Show, Munoz said the Maxima will look virtually identical to the Sport Sedan concept which debuted at the North American International Auto Show earlier this year. As he explained to Automotive News, “The difference between the concept car and the production car will be very small." Munoz declined to elaborate but said the model will go on sale this fall.

Designed to preview an upcoming production model, the Sport Sedan concept has a "V-Motion" front fascia with a chrome grille that is flanked by boomerang-shaped LED headlights. The concept also has a Strad Amber exterior with a "floating" roof and 21-inch aluminum wheels.

The two-tone interior is undeniably elegant as it features quilted leather seats, a sport steering wheel and metallic trim.  We can also see a floating center stack and a futuristic infotainment system.

Little else is known about the Maxima but it will likely feature a "V-Motion" front fascia with a prominent grille and boomerang-shaped shapes headlights. The model could also be equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces at least 260 bhp (194 kW).
Source: Al Ain Japan

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Volkswagen Golf Sportswagon

Volkswagen is offering a sneak preview of a US-spec Golf estate with a near-production Sportwagon concept currently showcased at New York Auto Show.

 Volkswagen Golf Sportswagon concept shows its practical side in New York

We don't understand why Volkswagen is calling this Golf Sport-wagon a concept since it looks like what you would expect from a production model. Designed for those who want a "sportier alternative to compact SUV s", the Golf wagon will be offered with 18-inch wheels, automatic climate control, panoramic sunroof and bi-xenon headlights.

Customers will have the possibility of selecting from either a 4-cylinder, 1.8-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with 170 bhp (126 kW) or a more frugal 2.0-liter TDI rated at 150 bhp (111 kW). Opt for the gasoline engine and you will have to choose between a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission whereas the TDI engine can be coupled to a standard 6-speed manual or an optional DSG.

Although the New York show-car features a 4Motion system, Volkswagen says the AWD arrangement is currently "under consideration" for the production model.

The Volkswagen Golf Sport-wagon is slated to go on sale early next year.

Source: Volkswagen

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Peugeot 408

A couple of fully revealing photos with the Peugeot 408 Sedan have emerged, prior to the vehicle's debut on Sunday at Beijing Motor Show.

 Peugeot 408 Sedan fully uncovered in latest photos

Attached images show the China-spec 408 Sedan but most likely the European version will look virtually the same although it's not known whether it will receive the 408 or 308 Sedan moniker, probably the latter. The obvious changes compared to the hatchback are at the back where the sedan sports a longer overhang together with wider horizontal taillights sending out a bit of a pre-facelift E-Class vibe.

It will ride on the same EMP2 platform as the hatchback and wagon 308s and in China it will be manufactured by the Dongfeng-PSA joint venture. The China-spec variant will be powered by a 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated engine with 117 bhp (82 kW), a larger 1.8-liter with 140 bhp (104 kW), as well as a beefier 1.6-liter turbo rated at 163 bhp (121 kW).

The European version will make use of the same Euro 6-compliant engines as its two cousins and most likely Peugeot will offer the recently introduced economical three-cylinder 1.2-liter PureTech e-THP turbocharged gasoline engine that churns 130 PS (96 kW).

The China-spec model will be unveiled on Sunday at the Beijing Motor Show while its European sibling will likely be shown early October at the Paris Motor Show.

Source: Al Ain Japan

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Infiniti announces 2015 QX80

Infiniti has introduced this week at New York Auto Show the facelifted 2015 QX80 together with a new range-topping Limited trim level.

 Infiniti announces 2015 QX80, adds high-end Limited trim

Joining the refreshed Q70/Q70L on Infiniti's stand in NY is the updated QX80 full-size SUV featuring tweaked full LED headlights and taillights, a revised front grille, two new alloy wheel choices and three fresh paints. On the inside there are two new finisher colors along with two color schemes while the Tuscan Burl trim was replaced with darker Mocha Burl.

The biggest change is the addition of a high-end Limited trim which comes with three unique exterior paint schemes, bespoke 22-inch dark alloys, smoked headlights & taillights and a special Truffle Brown interior finish combining brown, black and silver leather with wood appointments and trim. Other updates include dark-finished upper and lower grille surround, side vents, roof rails, fog light surround, side mirror caps, door handles and crossbars.

Slated to arrive in dealerships this fall, both the 2015 Infiniti QX80 and QX80 Limited will be powered by a V8 5.6-liter delivering 400 bhp (298 kW) and 413 lb-ft (559 Nm) delivered to either the rear wheels or both axles through a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Infiniti Q70 & QX80 facelifts to debut in New York

The New York Auto Show has revealed Infiniti will showcase the facelifted Q70 and QX80 on April 17th.

 Infiniti Q70 & QX80 facelifts to debut in New York 
The show declined to go into specifics but said the 2015 Q70 will have a "fresh look" with changes to the front and rear ends. There will also be a new long-wheelbase model, named the Q70 L, which will provide more than five inches of additional legroom.

Engine options will apparently carryover as they are slated to include a 3.7-liter V6 with 330 bhp (246 kW) and a 5.6-liter V8 with 420 bhp (313 kW).

Likewise, the 2015 QX80 have revised styling inside and out. There will also be a new range-topping Limited model that features "special leather soft-touch and seating surfaces, unique new open-pore wood trim throughout, as well as dark-accent trim on the exterior."

Monday, 14 April 2014

2015 Nissan Murano unveiled with Resonance

Nissan has unveiled the 2015 Murano, ahead of its debut at the New York Auto Show.

Previewed by the Resonance concept, the Murano has a bold exterior with a V-Motion front fascia, boomerang-shaped headlights and a "floating" roof. Unfortunately, the rear end is a bit haphazard as the LED taillights clash with the massive amount of black plastic which attempts to hide the D-pillar. Regardless, the model can be equipped with a panoramic moonroof, LED headlights and 20-inch aluminum wheels.

While the exterior styling won't win everyone over, the cabin boasts premium materials and a modern design. Notable highlights include "Zero Gravity" seats, wraparound wood trim and metallic accents. There's also a push button ignition, a dual-zone automatic climate control system and a 7-inch high-resolution display in the instrument cluster. Options include premium leather upholstery, heated / cooled front seats and a Bose audio system.

Power is provided by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 260 bhp (194 kW) and 240 lb-ft (325 Nm) of torque. It is connected to an Xtronic transmission which can be paired to an optional all-wheel drive system.
The Murano will go on sale later this year and pricing will be announced closer to launch.

Source: Nissan

Friday, 11 April 2014

Toyota introduces a new range of fuel-efficient engines

Toyota has unveiled a new range of fuel-efficient engines that promise to achieve fuel efficiency improvements of at least 10 percent over current vehicles.

 Toyota introduces a new range of fuel-efficient engines

One of the engines is a newly-developed 1.3-liter petrol that runs on the Atkinson cycle which is typically associated with hybrid engines. As Toyota explains, "Use of the Atkinson cycle provides an increased expansion ratio and reduces waste heat through a high compression ratio (13.5), resulting in superior thermal efficiency." The engine has also been equipped with a distinctive intake port that creates a strong tumble flow - a vertical swirl of the air-fuel mixture - inside the cylinder. This and other innovations should enable the engine to be about 15 percent more fuel efficient than current models.

The company also unveiled a 1.0-liter engine that was jointly-developed with Daihatsu. It eschews the Atkinson cycle but has a similar tumble flow-generating intake port, a cooled EGR system and a high compression ratio. When combined with a start/stop system and "various other fuel consumption reduction technologies," the engine can be up to 30 percent more fuel-efficient than current models.

The engines will be used in several upcoming models and Toyota says we can expect a total of 14 new engine variations to be introduced by 2015.

Source:AlAin Japan

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Leading Car Exporter in Japan

Lamborghini has revealed a one-off Aventador Jackie Chan Edition which will be displayed later this month at Beijing Motor Show in China.

 Lamborghini Aventador Jackie Chan Edition goes official

The special Aventador is part of Lamborghini’s Ad Personam program and has received a unique titanium gray exterior paint scheme along with shiny Nero Ade alloy wheels. The interior adopts a red and black theme along with the word "Long" embroidered in the headrests and doors as a reference to the actor's Chinese name - Cheng Long.

The car will go up for auction and all the money gathered will be directed towards the China Film Institute "Jackie Chan Charity Fund" which supports the development of China's film industry. The unique supercar will probably be sold for a lot more than 7.38M yuan (about 1.2M USD) which is the Aventador's starting price in China.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

2015 Ford Focus Sedan

Following the introduction of the facelifted Focus hatchback and wagon in Geneva last month, Ford has revealed the refreshed Focus sedan which will be shown in public at next week's New York Auto Show.
As expected, Ford has applied the Aston Martin-inspired grille on the Focus sedan along with the restyled headlights seen on its two siblings. The front bumper has also gone through surgery and looks more refined than on the pre-facelift model while at the back there are updated taillights, a slightly modified trunk lid and bumper but the overall appearance is not that different compared to the outgoing model.

 2015 Ford Focus Sedan officially revealed

Ford has worked on the interior cabin where there's a standard rearview camera working together with either a 4.2- or 8-inch touchscreen display on the models equipped with MyFord Touch. Moreover, there are new driver assistance systems, an updated Sync system, modified seats and a tweaked center console as well as updated cup holders.

The changes are skin deep as the 2015 Focus Sedan facelift has received suspension and chassis upgrades to offer "a more connected feel to the road" and an "improved interior quietness." Ford is offering an SE Sport Package encompassing a firmer touring suspension, subtle body kit, 17-inch rims and paddle shifters for the automatic model.

In terms of engine lineup, the revitalized Focus Sedan will be available with the well-known three-cylinder 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine coupled only to a six-speed manual transmission.

The 2015 Ford Focus Sedan facelift will be showcased next week at the New York Auto Show together with the updated Focus Electric, while the Focus ST is going to be introduced later this year.

Source: Al Ain Japan

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Honda Car Dealer

A new report indicates Honda will use the "HR-V" moniker in United States for its Fit-based crossover.
Honda's Urban SUV concept eventually became the Vezel crossover for Japan and now it seems the model is heading to the United States but with the HR-V name. The vehicle was reportedly shown to North American dealers at a recent meeting and Honda also filed an application for the "HR-V" name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark offices.

 Honda Vezel to receive HR-V nameplate in United States - report Al Ain Japan

Production of the Honda HR-V will take place at the company's Celaya assembly plant in Mexico where they also produce the 2015 Fit upon which the HR-V is based on. The model will go on sale in the second half of the year while in 2015 it will be introduced in Europe possibly with the same HR-V designation. The JDM-spec Vezel has been on sale since November last year.

The previous Honda HR-V (Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle) was produced between 1999 and 2006 and was available as a three- and five-door model with a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter gasoline engine delivering 105 PS (77 kW) and 125 PS (92 kW) in the VTEC version.

Source : Honda Car Dealer

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X to be axed this year

Japanese media is reporting Mitsubishi will kill the Lancer Evolution X towards the end of the year.

If we were to believe Japanese newspaper Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (Automotive News Daily), production of the Lancer Evolution X will be terminated by the end of 2014. This decision has apparently been taken due to a decreasing demand for the hot sedan and it seems Mitsubishi isn't planning an Evolution XI at all so the model will likely be canned for good.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

On sale since 1992 when the original model came out, Mitsubishi managed to deliver 92,000 units in Japan and another 154,000 units worldwide. The most recent iteration of the Evo X is a UK-only special edition called "X FQ-440 MR" which packs a respectable 440 bhp (328 kW) punch from the familiar 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

Although this latest report indicates a direct replacement is not planned, we should remind you that back in November last year there was a rumor about a hybrid Lancer Evolution but such a model is still a few years off.

Source: Al Ain Japan

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Mazda MX-5 four-seater officially revealed

Mazda has made a surprising announcement on April Fools' Day by introducing a four-seater version of the outgoing MX-5.

 Mazda MX-5 four-seater officially revealed - Al Ain Japan

While everyone is waiting for the all-new MX-5 to come out, Mazda decided to breathe life into the outgoing Miata by stretching its wheelbase in order to make room for two rear doors. Although you now can take the whole family for a ride, the downside is due to the added weight the car has probably lost some of its great handling abilities for which it has become so popular during its 25 years of existence.

Word on the street is that Mazda will introduce the next generation MX-5 in a couple of weeks at the New York Auto Show, possibly on April 16 during the first press day

Porsche Macan GTS

The 2015 Porsche Macan GTS has been spied completely undisguised.

 2015 Porsche Macan GTS - Al Ain Japan

Designed to slot between the Macan S and Macan Turbo, the GTS is heavily influenced by the latter model as it features LED daytime running lights, high-performance brakes and a four tailpipe exhaust system.

There's no word on what will power the crossover but the Macan S has a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 with 340 HP (250 kW) while the Macan Turbo has a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 with 400 HP (294 kW). This likely means the GTS will have an output of approximately 360-370 HP (265-272 kW). If these numbers pan out, the model will likely accelerate from 0-100 km/h in roughly five seconds

The crossover is 4699mm long, 1923mm wide and 1624mm tall which makes it 146mm shorter, 16mm narrower and 82mm lower than its bigger brother. Compared to the Q5 on which is based upon, the Macan is 70mm longer, 24mm wider and 30mm lower.

It adopts a double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear arrangement with variable damping control and an electro-mechanical steering system, while optionally available is an air suspension. Compared to the Audi Q5, the Macan's track widths are 35mm bigger at the front and 36mm at the back, while the suspension components are unique to this model. In addition, the software and geometry have been updated to make sure the Macan is "the most agile handling in its class."

Later on during the car's lifespan there will be a new base model equipped with a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbo engine providing 280 HP, along with a Macan Diesel with a 2.0-liter turbo. The duo will represent the first 4-cylinder-powered Porsche models since the demise of the 968 in 1995.

The Macan S and S Diesel ride on 18-inch alloys wrapped around in 235/60 R18 front and 255/55 R18 rear tires, while the Macan Turbo gets larger 19-inch rims with 235/55 R19 and 255/50 R19 rubbers. Clients can optionally configure their car with various wheel designs in sizes of up to 21 inches.

Available at German dealers next April, the Macan S and Macan S Diesel have a starting price of 57,930 EUR and are followed by the Macan Turbo from 79,826 EUR (VAT included). UK will get the new Macan also in April at these prices: Diesel S (43,300 GBP), S (43,300 GBP) and Turbo (59,300 GBP).

Source: AlAin Japan

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Suzuki Car Dealers in Japan

Several patent sketches depicting the Suzuki Authentics production version have hit the web, prior to an official launch slated for later this year.

 Suzuki Authentics production version leaked through patent sketches

At last year's Auto Shanghai we saw Suzuki's rather attractive Authentics concept and now they are getting ready to introduce its production sibling. Seen here are several patent sketches of the model which as you would expect will look slightly toned down and less attractive than the concept. The C-segment model will likely be unveiled next month at 2014 Auto China in Beijing before going on sale in the second half of the year.

Production will be done by the firm's Chinese joint venture Chongqing Changan Suzuki Automobile Co., LTD and in some markets it will replace the smaller SX4 Sedan, including India where the model will be commercialized as a Maruti Ciaz. Engine lineup will likely encompass a 4-cylinder, 1.6-liter gasoline engine connected to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT.

Auto China 2014 will be organized between 20-24 April at the China International Exhibition Center.