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2015 Mazda2 revealed ahead of Paris debut [w/videos]

07/17/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Paris Motor Show, Hatchbacks, Mazda

2015 Mazda2

Small cars may be big business, but the world's automakers don't seem to be in any particular rush to keep them fresh. The new Smart Fortwo unveiled yesterday replaces a model that's already been around for seven years, and based on a structure dating back to the late '90s. The new Opel Corsa revealed just last week replaces a model that had been around for eight years. And the Mazda2 has been on the market in its current form for seven years now, but not for much longer because Mazda has finally revealed its successor.

Set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show this October, the new Mazda2 follows the stylistic lead of the Hazumi concept remarkably close, from the sharply creased front end right down to the wheel design - bringing the supermini hatchback in line with the KODO design language that characterizes its bigger siblings: the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5.

Although details released thus far are rather limited, and power will vary from one market to another, engine options center around a 1.5-liter four in both gasoline and diesel versions, joining the manual and automatic transmissions and the chassis itself under Mazda's Skyactiv technology umbrella. We wouldn't expect the diesel version to make it across the Pacific (or across the border from the plant that will build it alongside a new Toyota hatch in Mexico), but rumors have surfaced of a potential rotary hybrid. The new 2 will also include the company's MZD connectivity suite and i-Activsense safety technology.

Also sold as the Demio in certain regions (like the Japanese Domestic Market), the new Mazda2 represents a vital product for Mazda, which has sold over 2.4 million of them since the model line's introduction 1996. Production has already begun at Mazda's plant in Hofu near Hiroshima, Japan. Scope out the videos and press release below for a closer look.

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The cars that won't live to see 2015 [w/video]

07/24/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Infiniti, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Scion, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo

Acura TL

Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception.

Japan's automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet. Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD, and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC. Meanwhile Infiniti is finally discontinuing the G37 that was already replaced by the newer Q50.

From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives.

German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler-made Routan. Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Huracán in the Lamborghini lineup, while Volvo ends production of the XC90 in advance of the new model's arrival.

It's a long list to wrap your head around, but our compatriots over at The Car Connection have summed it all up in the video below, and we've assembled the slideshow above with photos of each. The question is, which of these models will you miss the most? Share your thoughts in Comments.

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Nissan to pursue FWD Nurburgring lap record with Pulsar Nismo

07/31/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Euro, Hatchbacks, Nissan

2015 Nissan Pulsar

Europeans get very serious about their hot hatches. So do the Japanese. In fact there's been a whole back-and-forth lately over who makes the fastest one, and now Nissan looks set to throw its racing hat into the 'Ring.

That would be the Nürburgring, of course, where automakers trade bragging rights like baseball cards - only they don't give them up willingly. Renault set the front-drive lap record in 2008 with the previous Mégane R26.R then set the bar even higher with the Mégane RS 265 Trophy. That was before Seat stole the honors with its Leon Cupra 280, only for Renault to take them back again with the Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R. Seat is rumored to be considering a renewed assault, but it won't be the only one nipping at Renaultsport's heels in the coming years.

Honda, for its part, has made no secret of its ambition to set the record with the upcoming Civic Type R, and now word has it that Nissan is planning an assault of its own. Its weapon of choice would be an upcoming Nismo version of the new Pulsar hatchback which is just hitting the European market now as a rival to the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, et al. There's no word on what its specs would be, but if it's going to challenge these players, it's going to need between 270 and 300 horsepower, a stiff suspension, big brakes and probably some sort of trick differential.

Now if you're thinking that Nissan would only be stealing the record away from its own sister company, consider first of all that, despite their alliance and common CEO, Renault and Nissan operate as two separate companies. If anything, one could end up lending its expertise to the other, much like Audi did with Bentley at Le Mans where the latter interrupted the former's winning streak in 2003. Not that Nissan needs any tips on how to tackle the Nordschleife: with the GT-R it has, after all, been trouncing everything this side of the record-holding Porsche 918 Spyder.

7:54 is the time to beat. Game on.

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2018 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Review: Manual vs. automatic transmission

05/30/2018   [Original: Autoblog]

Filed under: Ford,Driving,Long-Term Garage,Coupe,Performance,Comparison One of the biggest changes to the 2018 Ford Mustang was the addition of a 10-speed automatic transmission that we've seen in different forms in both Fords and Chevys. And because of its newness, and the fact that nearly half of you readers wanted to know more about it, we ordered up our long-term Mustang with the 10-speed to see what it's like on a daily basis. We also, as luck would have it, got a six-speed manual Mustang at the same time, so we decided to take a close look at them back-to-backContinue reading 2018 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Review: Manual vs. automatic transmission 2018 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Review: Manual vs. automatic transmission originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 May 2018 16:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Callaway hints at show car for V16 Cyclone engine

11/17/2008   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Tuner Tuesdays, Tech, Callaway

Click above for more pics of the Callaway Cyclone V16

Perhaps best known for his customized Corvettes, Reeves Callaway is also the brains behind a technical and engineering consulting company. A few years ago, he showed the world a V16 motor he built using four Yamaha 1,000 cc motorcycle engines mounted on a unique block. Dubbed the Cyclone, this 4.0L mill was good for 550 hp @ 10,000 rpm. While it is undeniably long at just over 36 inches, the aluminum block helps keep its dry weight down at just 334 lbs. Callaway used the Yamaha motors because his company helped develop their 5-valve heads and Reeves believes they are still among the best-built engines he has ever seen.

While the Cyclone project was started for little more than shits and giggles, Reeves and his son Peter dragged it out to Cars & Coffee in Irvine, CA yesterday morning and hinted that we might be seeing this engine again soon, in the engine bay of a new Callaway show car. Alluding to such great automotive designs as the legendary Auto Union Type D, Callaway said we shouldn't be surprised to see this engine in something that marries that type of design ethos with a modern sensibility. No date was given for the car's debut, but Reeves said it will be completed eventually. Whatever it ends up looking like, we think we might like a ride in it. In current tune, the redline has been lifted to 11,500 rpm, allowing horsepower to swell to 640. it will certainly be entertaining.

Gallery: Callaway Cyclone V16

Photos copyright (C)2008 Frank Filipponio/Weblogs, Inc.

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Review: 2010 Cadillac SRX charts a new course for thick part of the market

07/08/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Garage, Crossovers/CUVs, Cadillac

2010 Cadillac SRX - Click above for high-res image gallery

The first generation Cadillac SRX brought General Motors' premium brand into the crossover segment, providing better fuel economy compared to similarly sized SUVs while also delivering significantly improved driving dynamics. We bought into that first-generation, rear-wheel-drive SRX when we reviewed it way back in 2007, but the luxury car-buying public apparently wasn't all that interested. Sales of the sharp handling SRX never took off, largely keeping Cadillac off of the luxury crossover gravy train long dominated by the Lexus RX 350.

Cadillac hopes to change its crossover fortunes with the introduction of the all-new 2010 SRX. This time out, the SRX is very different from the one it replaces, with a fundamental shift from a rear-wheel drive platform (with available all-wheel drive) to a front-drive setup (also with available AWD). Along with that shift in powered wheels, the 2010 model goes with smaller, more efficient powertrains. Cadillac doesn't try to hide the fact that the new SRX is gunning for the RX, but GM's designers and engineers didn't want to simply copy the strong-selling Lexus. Cadillac wanted its crossover to be more expressive inside and out, with state-of-the-art tech and superior driving dynamics. Does the new SRX have what it takes?

Follow the jump to find out.

Gallery: Review: 2010 Cadillac SRX

Photos Copyright (C)2009 Chris Shunk / Weblogs, Inc.

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PICS + VIDEO: Mansory Vincero costs $1 million... on top of the price of a Bugatti Veyron

07/17/2009   [Original: WCF; Nick Hall via Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, Tuner Tuesdays, Supercars, Bugatti, Special/Limited Editions

Mansory Vincero - Click above for high-res image gallery

Bugatti always finds ways of making their Veyron more exclusive, with a seemingly endless procession of special edition models. But for some, that still ain't enough. Inherently, Bug customers also tend to be the same people for whom cost is no object. And for them, tuning house Mansory created the Vincero.

With updated aero, LED lighting, new wheels and carbon fiber galore, Mansory also managed to coax out an extra 108 horsepower from the Veyron's thousand-horse, quad-turbo W16. And the cost of these otherwise rather modest modifications? A whopping $985k - nearly a million dollars - on top of the price of a stock Veyron to begin with. At those kinds of prices, it's no wonder Mansory decided to build just three of 'em. Although we gave you a first glimpse at the Geneva Motor Show this past March, you can check out our massive updated gallery of images below and a video after the jump.

Gallery: Mansory Bugatti Veyron Vincero

Continue reading PICS + VIDEO: Mansory Vincero costs $1 million... on top of the price of a Bugatti Veyron

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Officially Official: Chevrolet replaces Daewoo name in Korea

01/20/2011   [Original: GM via Autoblog]
Category: Chevrolet, GM, South Korea, Daewoo

Chevrolet Camaro in Korea Chevrolet Camaro in Korea - Click above for high-resolution image

There once was a time when Daewoo was one of the biggest companies in South Korea. It was larger than both LG and Samsung, and second only to Hyundai. But these days the name is all but gone.

The Korean government disbanded the Daewoo Group in 1999. At that point GM already owned about half of Daewoo Motors, a stake that has varied over time. Ever since, the General has used Daewoo's resources to develop and produce a range of vehicles sold under other GM divisions, principally Chevrolet, which has already replaced Daewoo in many markets to become GM's principal global brand. (The globalization of Chevrolet has escalated to such an extent that, over the course of last year, somewhere in the world, a Chevy was being sold every 7.4 seconds.)

One of the few exceptions has been in Korea itself, where the Daewoo name still means something. But that something isn't necessarily good, and so GM is phasing out the name even in the brand's own domestic market. The development has been a long time coming, and will encompass both the cars themselves and the company that builds them. GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. is officially changing its name to GM Korea Co by the end of the quarter.

In an odd bit of history repeating, the company was called GM-Korea once before, after Detroit stepped in to take over half the company from Toyota, which had collaborated with what was then known as Shinjin Motor until 1972. Full details of the announcement in the press release after the jump.

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Tokyo: Mitsubishi Fuso targets female truckers with pink polka dot Canter

11/23/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Trucks/Pickups, Etc., Japan, Tokyo Motor Show, Commercial Trucks, Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Fuso Canter

We take it for granted that women can enter just about any career they want now. But there are still countless occupations where females are underrepresented. You don't see too many women truckers, for example - particularly in a country that's still as deeply traditional as Japan. But Mitsubishi Fuso is showing just how forward thinking - and simultaneously, how traditional (pink polka dots are a bit 'on the nose') it can be with this hybrid pink truck.

Now for those unfamiliar, the Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation has nothing to do with Mitsubishi the car company these days. Instead, it's owned by Daimler, which we know best as the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. Yet Daimler also owns a number of truck and bus manufacturers - among them Freightliner, Thomas Built and Mitsubishi Fuso. One of latter's most popular products is the Canter, the model seen here coated in the shade of Pepto pink at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The point? To make truck driving more attractive to women, of course! We're not sure it'll catch on, but apart from the color scheme - which extends, incidentally, from the cab to the box and inside the cabin - this particular Canter (which Fuso has dubbed Canna) features a hybrid powertrain that produces 130 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, paired to a 7.5Ah lithium-ion battery good for 270 volts. The whole package weighs 6,250 pounds and can carry three Japanese school girls dressed up as Sailor Moon in the front and plenty of Hello Kitty merchandise in the back.

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Chicago: Ford Mustang pinball machine has supple wrist, plays by sense of smell [w/video]

02/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show, Ford, Toys

Ford Mustang Pinball Machine

Ford didn't have anything major to show off at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, so it seems it instead opted to have some fun - it brought a row of pinball machines to the show. Yes, pinball machines.

We originally told you about the Stern Pinball Ford Mustang machine a few days ago, and as day two of the Chicago show is a bit of a slow one, we opted to head to the show floor and get some snaps of the bank of new machines. Not surprisingly, there's plenty for the Mustang fan in each of these machines, ranging frond different models, to logos to a full model.

Take a look below for our full gallery of live shots, available up top. Then head below for our original gallery of stock images, along with a video and press release on the new machines.

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