Cadillac is showing off a low-lying two-door coupe that likely is the prototype for the brand's re-entry into the big, elegant and expensive luxury car market.
The four-seat Elmiraj concept car, with steep angles at the corners, vertical LED headlamps and huge 22-inch (55.8-centimeter) wheels, was unveiled Thursday at a luxury car event in Carmel, California.
The car, about the length of an Audi A8 or Mercedes S-Class, is built on the underpinnings of a new full-sized Cadillac sedan that is under development, said David Caldwell, a spokesman for the General Motors brand. GM CEO Dan Akerson has said a new ultra-luxury rear-drive Cadillac is coming in the next two years.
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The look of the Elmiraj could show up in the new sedan, and a coupe is an option as a variation of the new car, Caldwell said. ( Continue… )
Audi has had its fair share of criticism from plug-in car fans, but the automaker now seems to be coming around to the idea of electric propulsion after some rather public dismissals of the technology.
Autocar reports the 2015 Audi A4 could come with not one, but three plug-in hybrid models--offering varying degrees of efficiency and performance.
In addition to the usual range of gasoline and diesel models, the A4 could use variants of a 2.0-liter, 220-horsepower gasoline engine, a 180-hp 2.0-liter diesel, and a 250-hp version of Audi's current 3.0-liter supercharged V-6.
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The full hybrid power figures are likely to be higher than those above. For perspective, the A3 e-tron's plug-in hybrid drivetrain uses a 1.4-liter gasoline engine and electric motor to develop a combined 204 horsepower--not far from the 2.0-liter engine on its own.
Layout should also be similar. Autocar says a 110-hp electric motor will live within the gearbox casing, just as it does in the A3. In the A3, power is transmitted through a dual-clutch automatic transmission, but the new cars could use an 8-speed gearbox. ( Continue… )
Hyundai will issue two separate recalls of about 260,000 total vehicles, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), for possible problems with corrosion and axle separation. No crashes or injuries have been reported in relation to either recall, according to the South Korean automaker.
The first Hyundai recall involves approximately 240,000 Sonata and Azera sedans manufactured between 2005 and 2011 and sold in the District of Columbia and 20 US states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
According to the NHTSA filing, the salt used on roads during colder weather in these states could rust the steel undersides of the vehicles, which could cause misalignment of the rear wheels.
Affected models include 2006 to 2010 Sonatas manufactured between March 1, 2005, and Jan. 21, 2010, and 2006 to 2011 Azera sedans manufactured between Sept. 27, 2005, and Nov. 22, 2010.
The second recall includes 20,300 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs with front-wheel drive and 2.4-liter engines. The driveshaft on the right front axle could crack, separating the shaft and possibly causing a crash.
Separately, Kia Motors recalled 9,345 Sorrento Crossovers for the same issue.
Last month, the NHTSA investigated the Hyundai Santa Fe’s axle issue after two owners complained about losing vehicle control.
Hyundai will contact affected owners next month, and dealers will inspect and repair damaged parts free of charge.
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Many automakers offer performance driver training for customers eager to learn the ins and outs of their vehicles and how to make the most of their performance, whether on the road or at a track. Aston Martin is taking it a step further by introducing a new training program aimed specifically at budding racing drivers.
Aston Martin Racing, the official motorsport arm of the British automaker, has launched a new driver training program that turns complete novices into racing drivers with a recognized license to compete in championships both in the U.K. and overseas.
The comprehensive course can be completed in a matter of weeks and sees participants receive a National B racing license. It covers everything including track sessions, the supply of a Vantage GT4 race car, racing suits and helmets, and the all-important insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, the program is currently being offered in the U.K. only. If you’re interested, contact Aston Martin Racing today. Who knows, perhaps you’ll be strapped into a Vantage GTE and competing as an Aston Martin works driver at Le Mans next year.
Prior to the last decade, Toyota sold a trio of sports cars that catered to a relatively wide spectrum of the new car market. Even now the names of those sports cars, Supra, MR2 and Celica, hold a certain cachet with performance buyers, despite Toyota losing its way and dropping all three model lines years ago.
In the next several years, Toyota will once again have a trio of sports cars in its lineup, and while they may feature new names the spirit of those old nameplates will at least be able to live on in the new cars. Already we have the GT 86, which is sold here as the Scion FR-S, but soon there will be a mid-size sports car that some are already calling a Supra and beyond that there are plans to launch a third sports car that is described as being smaller than the FR-S.
The information was revealed by the FR-S’ chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada.
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"We have started on the car below the 86," Tada, told Drive. "It is not yet decided if it will be two-seat or two-plus-two; we are developing the concept now."
Tada went on to reveal that the new sports car will be lightweight, feature rear-wheel drive and be priced below $20k. He also said that all three Toyota sports cars will have rear-wheel drive. ( Continue… )
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that more Model S variants were in the pipeline, which led us to speculate that one would likely be an all-wheel-drive version built using the dual-motor setup previewed in the Model X crossover. Since both cars are spun from the same underlying structure, installing the Model X’s all-wheel-drive system in the Model S should be a no-brainer for the Californian electric car startup.
Now The Verge, citing an inside source, is reporting that the all-wheel-drive Model S is a sure thing and that the car may be launched as early as next year. Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is likely to initially offer it on its range-topping P85 trim and, depending on demand, may extend it across the range.
All-wheel drive would improve the car’s popularity in the Northern states, where winter driving demands extra traction for performance-oriented vehicles. It’s one of the reasons Mercedes-Benz’s go-fast division AMG is gradually switching its full lineup to all-wheel-drive cars and Jaguar is offering the option for the first time on its XF and XJ sedans.
If you’re a performance fan, which you must be since you’re reading Motor Authority, you’re probably wondering what the extra traction could do for the Model S’ acceleration times (we've seen one do 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds). Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to find out.
For decades, cruise control has been a common feature on automobiles. It's beloved by many road-trippers, who say that it reduces fatigue and boosts fuel economy.
But others aren't so sold on the technology. When it debuted, for example, older drivers worried about their ability to deactivate it. That's not much of a concern nowadays, but a new study from the VINCI Autoroutes Foundation suggests that cruise control poses other dangers.
The study employed 90 subjects, who were put into a driving simulator and challenged with four different scenarios: approaching a toll booth, encountering an 18-wheeler accident in the passing lane, encountering construction in the driving lane, and entering an area in which their speed was tracked by radar.
Subjects went through each scenario three times -- once using cruise control (which sets a car's minimum speed), once using a speed-limiter (which sets a car's maximum speed and is uncommon in the U.S.), and once using neither device.
Researchers identified a number of problems among those using cruise control and speed-limiters: ( Continue… )
We've spilled a lot of virtual ink discussing Generation Y (aka Millennials) and their love/hate relationship with cars. Among the findings in recent years:
- Millennials aren't buying cars.
- Millennials aren't buying cars, but their parents are probably buying cars for them.
- Millennials aren't driving as much as they should be.
- Millennials aren't driving as much as they should be, and that's not going to change.
Understandably, these doom-and-gloom predictions have automakers worried . Some are planning for a future filled with alternative mobility options. Others insist that, no, the kids are all right, just give them time and they'll come around. The latter have occasionally attempted to create cars just for Millennials, with mixed results.
And so, the younguns have taken matters into their own hands. According to Auto News, a team of grad-student engineers at Clemson University recently pulled the wraps off a long-awaited new car, built as a concept for Mazda.
Dubbed "Deep Orange 3", the vehicle looks like many other concepts at auto shows, right down to the itsy-bitsy, would-never-get-approved side-view mirrors and the lack of door handles. But there is something fairly unique about the car: it's a six-seater.
Apparently, Millennial drivers want to carry around exactly six people -- not five, like you could fit in a sedan, and not seven, which would require an SUV or minivan. They want seats for six. (Related prediction: triple-dating will be a thing in the future.) ( Continue… )
It's not hard to see why small cars have increased in popularity over the last decade or so.
Always popular among some buyers for their gas-saving abilities, today's small cars are also now quicker, more comfortable, better-equipped and safer than ever before.
IIHS has been discovering just how safe in its latest wave of testing, and it's good and bad news for models in the small car market.
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The best news is reserved for Honda, whose Civic and Civic coupe earned the maximum Good rating in IIHS's strict small offset frontal crash tests. The small offset test puts the impact's maximum force through just a small area of a car's structure, and really separates the safest cars from those that need more work.
The 2013 Kia Soul and 2014 Kia Forte received 'Poor' ratings in this offset test, with body and dashboard intrusion and a worrying tendency for the driver's head to slide off the airbag and impact upon the car's structure. ( Continue… )
Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] has recently announced a new line of option packages and pricing for various items.
The good news is that Model S buyers can now enjoy even more kit. The bad news, at least for those still deciding whether they want a Model S, is that some of the new packages add significant cost to the price of the car.
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Where previously the panoramic roof option cost $1,500, it's now $1,000 more expensive. XM Satellite radio used to cost $950; now it's available only as part of the Ultra High Fidelity Sound package for $2,500.
A tech package, with seven years of maps and navigation, LED daytime running and cornering lights, keyless entry, memory seats and more costs $3,500. Smart Air Suspension is $2,250, but only if you've forked out for the tech package, while leather trim is $2,500 and an Alcantara headliner $1,500. Upgraded 19" tires are $1,000 with the 60 kWh model, standard with 85 kWh cars. ( Continue… )