Tag Archives: Auto Show

2013 Detroit Auto Show, Day 1: What You Missed

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And it’s a wrap! Day One of the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is in the books. Several new and redesigned vehicles from here and afar made their debuts at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

High-powered sports cars like the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette and Audi R8 stole the show, but new luxury sedans like Infiniti’s Q50, the Mercedes CLA and the BMW 320i also made a big splash. In SUV news, Jeep brought out the redesigned Compass and Grand Cherokee while Mini introduced a sporty John Cooper Works version of its new Paceman. Unique prototypes and concepts like Volkswagen’s CrossBlue, the BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe and Toyota’s radical Corolla Furia also set the stage.

Check out all our coverage from Day One below. You also can get an overview of our coverage from this year’s Detroit auto show on our Auto Show page, which sorts everything by model. 

  • 2014 Infiniti Q50, Q50 Hybrid at the 2013
    Detroit Auto Show
  • BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe: Photo Gallery
  • Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept: Up Close
  • 2014 Chevrolet Corvette: Photo Gallery
  • 2014 Jeep Compass: Up Close 
  • With SRT Rebranding, New Engines May Follow
  • 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Video: Rolling
    Out On Stage
  • Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept at the 2013
    Detroit Auto Show
  • 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe: Photo Gallery
  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, SRT at the 2013
    Detroit Auto Show
  • Marchionne: Dodge Dart May Get Nine-Speed
    Transmission
  • BMW Introduces the 2013 320i at the 2013 Detroit
    Auto Show
  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT: Photo Gallery
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA: Photo Gallery
  • 2013 Mini Paceman JCW: Photo Gallery 
  • 2014 Audi SQ5 at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show
  • Lincoln MKC Concept: Photo Gallery
  • Honda Urban SUV Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto
    Show
  • BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe Video
  • 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible: First Look
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show
  • More 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S Photos
  • 2014 Audi RS 7 at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show

 

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2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition Unveiled at 2012 L.A. Auto Show

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Using intimidating adjectives like “ominous” and “foreboding” to describe the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition, the automaker seems to be warning the world that the compact crossover is a force to be reckoned with.

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Developed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Mitsubishi’s arrival in North America, the automaker said it set out to create the most dynamic-looking compact crossover on the continent. The special-edition Outlander Sport owes its bad-boy looks to features like black side mirrors, center bumper, wheel arch trim and roof rails, in addition to argent alloy wheels. The fashion statement is emphasized by special Limited Edition badging.

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The interior follows sinister-looking suit with its two-tone Dove Grey and black leather seating surfaces. A power driver seat is standard on the limited edition model. In addition to its tough-guy aesthetic, the automaker says performance also is beefed up by a new engine balancer shaft that provides smoother, quicker acceleration.

Via  KickingTires

2013 Honda Civic at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show

2013 Civic Front

  • Competes with: Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra
  • Looks like: Honda took criticism of its Civic to heart and worked to improve the car
  • Drivetrain: 140-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder; 110-hp, 1.5-liter four-cylinder gas-electric hybrid; and 201-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder or 110-hp, 1.8-liter natural-gas four-cylinder with five-speed manual, six-speed manual (Si) or five-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Civic sedan is on sale now, with full lineup available by February 2013
  • MSRP: $18,755 to $27,255, inlcuding destination

It was only one model year ago that Honda launched a redesigned version of its popular Civic compact car, but the 2012 model was criticized in some circles for not being a big-enough leap forward and, where interior materials were concerned, taking a step back.

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That criticism appears to have been overblown — the Civic remains one of the best-selling cars in the country — but Honda has put together an extensive list of appearance and content changes for the 2013 Civic. It begins arriving at dealerships today with a starting price of $18,955 (including a $790 destination charge) for the LX sedan. That represents a $160 price increase, which all 2013 Civics see. The value-oriented DX trim level has been discontinued.

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The Civic sedan gets some of the biggest design changes, with updated front and rear styling. Chome accents adorn the new grille and lower front bumper, making the car look more distinctive in a class that’s gained a lot of style in recent years — just take a look at the new versions of the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. The hood is also new. There’s more chrome in back, with a strip of it running the width of the trunk lid, which gains sections of the car’s new taillights. Even though these changes are limited to the front and rear of the car, they significantly affect the sedan’s appearance. The Civic coupe’s exterior styling carries over unchanged, but all models get restyled wheels.

The revisions are more than skin deep, though. The 2013 Civic gets the latest version of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, dubbed ACE II. It features additional structures designed to disperse crash energy in small-overlap front-end collisions, something the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently begun evaluating. Honda expects the 2013 Civic will get the top rating in this new IIHS crash test. Other safety features include side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, and forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems go in the Civic Hybrid.

Honda has also updated the car’s steering and suspension. The electronically assisted power-steering system has a quicker ratio, while the springs are stiffer and the stabilizer bars are thicker to reduce body roll in corners.

2013 Civic Interior
The cabin is quieter, with a thicker windshield and front side windows, Honda says. It also added soundproofing material in the dashboard, floor, doors and rear tray.

Changes to the Civic’s interior are designed to give it a more premium feel, according to Honda. They include new headliner material, soft-touch surfaces on the dashboard and upper portion of the doors, and new trim textures. Honda says the seat fabric has been improved, and an all-black color scheme is newly available.

Standard features across the 2013 Civic range include Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, a backup camera, Honda’s i-MID display screen, iPod connectivity, Pandora compatibility, steering-wheel audio controls, an outside temperature gauge and a sliding center armrest.

It’s practically unheard of for a car to get so many changes the year after a redesign. These kinds of large-scale changes typically occur three or four years later as part of a midcycle refresh. Value-minded buyers might be miffed the DX trim is no longer offered, as its departure effectively raises the Civic’s base price by about $2,000. But shoppers considering one of the higher trims get many new features for that $160 price bump.

Via  KickingTires

2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Day 1: What You Missed

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As Day One of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show comes to a close, many exciting vehicles took the stage, from wild concepts like the Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force, Nissan Hi-Cross and BMW’s i pair to exciting compact cars such as the Mini Paceman, Ford’s refreshed Fiesta and Kia’s all-new 2014 Forte. Even a few hot performers made their debuts like the Fiat 500c Abarth, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black  Series and the upgraded GT-R from Nissan.

Check out all our coverage from Day One below. You also can get an overview of our coverage from this year’s L.A. auto show on our Auto Show page, which sorts everything by model.

Via  KickingTires

2014 Kia Sorento at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show


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  • Competes with: Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Edge, Subaru Forester
  • Looks like: Like its Santa Fe sibling, the Sorento gets a more sophisticated look for 2014.
  • Drivetrain: A 191-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder returns; a 290-hp 3.3-liter V-6 is new.
  • Hits dealerships: Early next year

The Kia Sorento’s corporate cousin, the Hyundai Santa Fe, was just redesigned, so it makes sense that Kia is following suit.
The automaker’s midsize crossover gets fresh styling, a new powertrain, an updated interior and the next generation of Kia’s
voice-activated multimedia system.

More than 80% of the Sorento’s parts are new or significantly redesigned, according to Kia. The crossover is lower and wider,
with a more aggressive-looking stance. Its grille gets a makeover,  too, with silver or black mesh finishes. Also new are LED-
accented headlights. Optional 19-inch wheels are another first for the Sorento.

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Trim levels carry over and include LX, EX, LX V6, EX V6 and SX; a top-of-the-line SX Limited is new for 2014. LX and EX
models use a version of last year’s 191-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Optional on those versions and standard on all
others is a new 290-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 with direct injection. It replaces a 276-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. A six-speed automatic
transmission is standard.

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The redesigned Sorento has room for five passengers in two rows; a third row is no longer available. Other interior changes
include a revised instrument panel and gauge cluster layout, making room for a larger 8-inch touch-screen. It’s used with the
next generation of Kia’s Uvo multimedia system. Other newly available features include a programmable power liftgate, blind spot
detection, panoramic sunroof, second-row sunshades, cooled front seats and a driver-selectable steering system similar to the
Santa Fe Sport’s. It gives drivers a choice of three steering settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport.

The SX Limited will go on sale during the second quarter of next year. SX Limited-specific standard features include high-
intensity-discharge headlights, 19-inch chrome wheels, Nappa leather-trimmed seats, a heated wood steering wheel and heated rear
seats.

The 2014 Kia Sorento goes on sale early next year.

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2014 Kia Forte at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla
  • Looks like: A Kia-fied Hyundai Elantra
  • Drivetrain: 148-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic or 173-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with six-speed automatic; front-wheel drive 
  • Hits dealerships: Early 2013

Kia sales are up 18% this year despite the fact that one of the brand’s staple products, the Forte, has been around since mid-2009. That will change with the nameplate’s 2014 redesign, which is longer and wider than its predecessor. Characteristic of Kia, it will offer amenities unusual to the class. The second-generation Forte sedan hits dealerships early next year; there’s no word yet on forthcoming redesigns for the Forte hatchback and Koup. If there is, we hope Kia will learn to spell “coupe” correctly.

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Styled in part at Kia’s Southern California design studios, the Forte has a similar windswept profile as the Elantra from related automaker Hyundai. LEDs accent the headlights, and the lower bumper cutouts borrow cues from the stately Volkswagen Passat. Length and width are up 1.2 inches and 0.2 inch, respectively, and Kia says the new Forte rides about a half-inch lower than its predecessor.

We don’t have photos of the interior, but Kia promises a cabin awash in “gentle ripples” and “organic curves.” An optional 4.2-inch LCD screen with a trip computer and vehicle settings sits between the gauges. Trim levels include the LX and EX, and as compact cars go, the LX comes well-equipped. Steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, power windows and locks, and air conditioning are standard. Move up to an EX with options and you can get a backup camera, xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, a power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated leather front and rear seats, and a ventilated driver’s seat — not typical compact-car fare.

The Forte LX has a port-injected 1.8-liter with 148 hp, and the EX gets a direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 173 hp. Expect a noticeable bump in passing power with the 2.0-liter thanks to its extra torque (154 pounds-feet versus 131 pounds-feet in the LX). Both engines work through a six-speed automatic transmission, though a six-speed manual is available on the LX. An Eco Package adds a stop-start system that should improve gas mileage, but mpg figures are pending. The Forte represents Kia’s first shot to regain the vaunted 40 mpg EPA highway figure that’s fast become par for the course among compact and subcompact cars. Several Hyundai and Kia models fell off the 40-mpg wagon after this month’s EPA mileage downgrades.

A 2-inch-longer wheelbase could help the Forte’s ride quality, but the revised suspension still employs a semi-independent rear torsion beam rather than the fully independent setup Honda, Mazda, Dodge and Ford use in their compacts. Still, Hyundai managed decent ride quality in the Elantra with a semi-independent rear, so we’re anxious to drive the Forte. Kia swapped out the car’s hydraulic power steering for a more efficient electric setup, with Comfort and Sport modes in an optional Flex Steer Package. Fifteen, 16- and 17-inch wheels are available.

Stay tuned for our up-close impressions at today’s L.A. auto show.

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2014 Acura RLX at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Lexus LS, Hyundai Equus, Infiniti M, Lincoln MKS, Jaguar XF
  • Looks like: The return of a big luxury sedan for Acura
  • Drivetrain: 310-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with direct injection and a six-speed automatic transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2013

Acura plans to replace its current RL model with a new luxury flagship, the RLX, for 2014. It debuted as a hybrid concept at this year’s New York Auto Show, but the RLX’s architecture inside and out changes for the initial production model. It’s set to hit showroom floors in spring 2013.

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The new RLX gets a fair share of high-tech safety and entertainment features like cloud-based AcuraLink connectivity system and Precision All-Wheel Steer, which allows for independent, continuous control of both rear wheels for improved handling during high- and low-speed driving. Parent-company Honda first used this steering system on its Prelude sports cars in the late 1980s.

A new direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 makes 310 horsepower and teams with a six-speed automatic transmission. The RLX’s V-6 engine features cylinder deactivation and is to get 20/31 mpg city/highway. While complete details have yet to emerge, a 370-hp RLX Sport Hybrid with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive will launch after the gas-powered model; the hybrid is expected to get 30/30 mpg.

Wearing a wide, sleek appearance, the all-new RLX features full-LED headlamps and standard 18-inch wheels designed to reduce tire noise. The cabin has leather and wood trim, a dual-screen center console for available navigation and various multimedia systems, Milano leather seats and an available Krell Audio premium stereo system.

Safety features on the upcoming 2014 RLX include lane departure warning and lane keep assist systems, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, multiview rearview camera, Agile Handling Assist, which helps navigate curves, and a blind spot monitoring system.

Pricing has yet to be released but expect the gas-powered Acura RLX, which will be available in five trims, to go on sale this spring, with the RLX Sport Hybrid following soon after.

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2013 Porsche Cayman at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show


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  • Competes with: Audi TT, BMW Z4, Lotus Evora
  • Looks like: The new Boxster’s hardtop sibling has arrived 
  • Drivetrain: 275-hp, 2.7-liter flat-six-cylinder or 325-hp, 3.4-liter flat-six-cylinder with six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2013 
  • MSRP: $53,550 (Cayman) or $64,750 (Cayman S)

When Porsche showed a new version of its Boxster roadster earlier this year, we knew a redesigned version of its sibling, the Cayman coupe, couldn’t be far behind. Now it’s here, and its formula of less weight and greater efficiency is, not surprisingly, similar to the soft-top Boxster’s. It hits dealerships this spring with a base price of $53,550, including a $950 destination charge.

The drive for better fuel efficiency has touched all segments of the car market, including the realm of high-priced sports cars where Porsche competes. You can see the results in the new Cayman, which makes slightly more power, weighs slightly less, gets better estimated gas mileage and is a little quicker to 60 mph compared with the previous model.

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The base Cayman is powered by a 275-horsepower, 2.7-liter flat-six engine while the S version gets a 325-hp, 3.4-liter flat-six; power is up 10 hp and 5 hp, respectively. As before, the engine is mounted behind the seats, and power is fed to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The engine position improves weight distribution and enhances practicality, as the Cayman has front and rear luggage compartments that measure 5.3 and 9.7 cubic feet, respectively.

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The Cayman can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in the low 5-second range while the S can sprint to 60 mph in the mid-4-second range, according to Porsche. The automaker estimates fuel economy to be as high as 22/32 mpg city/highway with the base engine and dual-clutch transmission, whereas the 2012 model was rated at 20/29 mpg.

The 2013 Cayman’s new sheet metal consists of steel and aluminum pieces, and the car’s overall curb weight is down 44 to 66 pounds, depending on the trim level. Like the Boxster, the new Cayman’s exterior design builds upon familiar styling, as opposed to striking out in a different design direction. The new cabin styling, meanwhile, is similar to the Boxster’s, featuring the same flow-through center console and dashboard.

The Cayman isn’t the priciest Porsche, but its blend of handling poise and driver engagement has made it revered in sports car circles. The redesigned model’s specs raise the bar in a number of areas, but the real test will be how it performs on your favorite winding road.
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2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Infiniti QX56, Lexus LX 570 and Cadillac Escalade
  • Looks like: A supersized GLK-Class with a CL-Class nose
  • Drivetrain: 550-hp, twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 with a seven-speed automatic transmission
  • Hits dealerships: First quarter 2013

The growing second generation of the Mercedes-Benz GL family welcomes its first high-performance member; the 2013 GL63 AMG made its North American debut today.

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The GL63 AMG’s drivetrain puts the most power behind the seven-speed automatic transmission common to all four GL-Class vehicles for the 2013 model year; the other three bowed earlier this year at the 2012 New York Auto Show. The all-wheel-drive GL63 AMG’s new twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 offers 550 horsepower and 560 pounds-feet of torque and a top speed of 174 mph.

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The GL63 AMG is fitted with flared fenders that increase body width by nearly 2 inches, making room for the 21-inch AMG alloy wheels with tires measuring nearly a foot wide, Mercedes-Benz said in a news release. The front apron has large air intakes and a border of LED daytime-running lights in the side air intakes.

Matte-silver trim along the lower fascia and a gloss-black grille complete the new look. “V8 BiTurbo” badges are mounted on the front fenders, and aluminum-finish running boards under the doors are illuminated. The rear fender flares blend into an AMG rear apron, which incorporates matte-silver chrome trim and sport exhaust outlets.

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With an MSRP of $116,925, excluding a destination charge, the GL63 AMG carries all the equipment of its loaded sibling, the GL550, and more. Additional features include the Mercedes-Benz designo interior, panorama moonroof, standard Driver Assistance Package and surround-view camera.
It goes on sale during the first quarter of next year.

Via  KickingTires

2013 Toyota RAV4 at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson
  • Looks like: RAV4 loses its rear-mounted spare tire and gets more athletic styling
  • Drivetrain: 176-hp, 2.5 liter four-cylinder and a new six-speed automatic; the V-6 has been discontinued
  • Hits dealerships: Early next year

The fourth generation of Toyota’s compact crossover met the press today at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show. More athletic styling, a new transmission and a host of additional convenience features are the big news for 2013.

A more sloping roofline, sweeping headlamps, pronounced side character lines and sculpted front and rear bumpers combine for a more athletic look. Also new is the arrangement of the spare tire and cargo door. The tire moves from the door to underneath the cargo floor, and the door now uses a roof-hinged liftgate instead of the previous side-hinge setup.

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The 2013 model’s four-cylinder is a carryover: The 2.5-liter makes 176 horsepower. Toyota retired the RAV4′s V-6. Also gone is the four-speed automatic; a new six-speed takes its place. Two- and all-wheel-drive versions are available, with the former getting an EPA-estimated 24/31 mpg city/highway. The previous version was rated at 22/28 mpg with the four-speed automatic. Toyota says a new Eco mode helps promote more efficient driving and enhances fuel efficiency. 

The new Sport mode alters shift timing and steering and throttle responses for a sportier feel, Toyota says. The Dynamic Toque Control all-wheel-drive system sends power to the rear wheels when cornering to improve handling. It offers three modes: Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto, power goes to the front wheels, and all-wheel drive is switched on automatically when needed. Lock mode acts as a full-time all-wheel-drive system and delivers power to all four wheels in low-speed driving. Sport mode provides “nearly instantaneous torque transfers between the front and rear wheels to help enhance cornering performance,” Toyota said in a statement.

LE, XLE and Limited models round out the trim levels for 2013. Standard on all RAV4s are a backup camera and a 6.1-inch touch-screen for displaying audio info. Standard on the Limited grade is a one-touch power liftgate with driver-selectable memory height settings. XLE and Limited models also get dual-zone automatic climate control, integrated fog lights, power moonroof with sliding sunshade and heated outside mirrors with turn-signal indicators. A blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert systems are new options.

All RAV4s feature a 60/40-split second row; seats recline but don’t slide. A third-row option is no longer available. Toyota says the cargo area is larger, deeper and easier to access compared with the previous generation. The 2013 RAV4 offers 38.4 cubic feet of space with the seats up and 73.3 cubic feet with the seats folded. The outgoing model offered just a touch less—73 cubic feet of cargo space.

No word yet on pricing. The 2013 RAV4 goes on sale early next year.

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