Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hot News: New Renault Megane to be Launched Next Year

Renault plans to build on the momentum of its Clio supermini with radical replacement for the Megane next year.

The new Megane, due around the same time as the 308, will follow the latest Renault family design, with a big lozenge badge and full-width front grille flowing into the headlights. But it won’t shake things up like the 308 – as Anthony Lo, Renault VP of exterior design, told us. “We don’t want to change the Megane radically,” he said. “We have to do more of the same and resist making it bigger.”

As with the current range, the new Megane will be offered as a five-door, three-door (which will spawn a Renaultsport version) and an estate. And like the 308, it will use a three-cylinder petrol engine. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: New Peugeot 308 (309) is on the Way

Peugeot plans to build on the momentum of its 208 supermini with radical replacement for the 308 next year.

As you can see from our artist’s illustrations, it’s the Peugeot 308 – set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next September – that will get the most extreme overhaul. Our sources say it’ll be shorter and lower than the current 308, with a more dynamic silhouette.

Peugeot’s new design language will give it a smaller grille, narrower headlights and a series of bold creases along the bodywork. The company will continue with the 308 name as part of a new strategy that sees all its models end in 1 or 8. Using a development of the current car’s platform, the 308 will initially only be offered as a five-door hatch, with estate and drop-top models to follow. Engines will include 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels, plus a three-cylinder 1.2 petrol and a diesel-electric HYbrid4. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Mercedes Plans to Launch B45 AMG

Mercedes is considering putting a 350bhp AMG version of the B-Class MPV into production. Called the B45 AMG it will join the A45 AMG, set to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March, in the new small car family.

"If the marketing guys tell me we have the numbers then it's not a big deal," Tobias Moers, head of development for AMG told us. "If there's a market for it, there's a good chance we'll have it."

Bringing a B45 AMG to market wouldn't require too much development work either, as Moers explained: "The development work for the A45 AMG actually began in a B-Class, because the A-Class didn't exist. We have three four-wheel-drive B-Class sitting around at AMG."

If it makes production, the B45 will use the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine as the A45, producing 350bhp and 450Nm of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission will be the only gearbox option, while 0-62mph will take around 4.5 seconds. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2013 Subaru WRX & STi Special Edition

The 2013 Subaru WRX and STI may be audibly loud, but depending on the color, aren’t always visually loud. Subaru has a Halloween-themed fix for that: a pair of limited-run models painted in black and orange that made their debut at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show this week.

The Halloween-inspired color scheme is the only upgrade to the Subaru sedans outside is an “Orange and Black” custom paint job using Tangerine Orange paint and jet-black wheels, fender badging, decals, and mirror caps. Inside, the WRX gains the dark interior trim and black headliner from the STI, while both cars receive orange stitching on the seats, doors, shifter, and floor mats.
 The WRX’s and WRX STI’s mechanicals stay the same. That means both cars are powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four, producing 265 hp and 244 lb-ft of torque in the WRX and 305 hp and 290 lb-ft in the STI. Both cars power all four wheels; the WRX uses a five-speed manual and the STI gets six forward gears.

Just 200 of the special-edition WRX sedans will be produced. If you want one of the hotter WRX STI sedans, the chances of buying one are even slimmer, as only 100 of them will be made. Pricing for the special-edition models has yet to be announced, but the 2013 Subaru WRX sedan starts at $26,565 and the 2013 Subaru WRX STI sedan starts at $35,065 (both prices with destination).

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Car: 2013 Rolls-Royce Ghost

Rolls-Royce has announced that the Ghost will be upgraded next year, with revisions to the in-car entertainment and comfort.

The new Ghost will feature an advanced amplifier and the addition of ‘exciter’ speakers to the audio system, as well as natural grain leather and cross-banded wood veneers.

On the exterior an additional alloy wheel option is available, alongside a Comfort Access boot – opened by foot, which activates a sensor under the rear bumper, should both hands be full.

Production of the 2013 Rolls-Royce Ghost will start later this year.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2014 BMW 5-Series Touring

With Mercedes set to unveil a significantly revised E-Class Estate at the Detroit Motor Show in January, BMW is giving the 5 Series Touring a subtle facelift to help keep it competitive with its big-selling rival.

These spy pictures of a lightly camouflaged 5 Series estate show a series of minor styling changes to the front and rear end of the current model, which was introduced in late 2009.

A new front bumper will be the most obvious change, with redesigned air intakes and a larger kidney-grille. New light clusters are also set to feature both at the front and rear, along with new LED taillights. The rear bumper will also get a slightly tweaked design.

The interior is expected to remain largely unchanged, while the existing range of petrol and diesel engines will be carried over.

The new BMW 5 Series Touring is expected to be priced similarly to the current model, which starts from around £33,000, when it goes on sale in spring 2013.  For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2013 Kia K7/Cadenza

Buyers in Gangnam have a new model to look at – Kia has updated its Cadenza/K7 sedan for 2013. While the current Cadenza may be on sale elsewhere in the world, we will probably (finally) get the Cadenza in the U.S. with the introduction of the 2013 model.

The Kia Cadenza shares much of its underpinnings and mechanicals with the Hyundai Azera (it is to the Azera what the Optima is to the Sonata). That means front-wheel drive, V-6 power, and a six-speed automatic transmission. While we have get to see any final specifications for the U.S.-bound Cadenza, we now have a look at the car’s design.

We previously caught the Cadenza out testing, wearing enough camouflage to obscure the 2013 model’s updates. The styling tweaks are pretty minor, but help to keep the sedan fresh and bring the look of the Cadenza more in line with the rest of the Kia lineup. The grille is now a more aggressive interpretation of the brand’s “tiger nose” grille is most noticeable, and there is a new hood, updated light clusters, and revised bumpers. Around back there are new taillights, and a set of air vents now adorn the front fenders.
Kia has yet to release any images of the 2013 Cadenza’s interior, but we don’t expect it to be much updated from the previous model. The 2012 car’s cabin topped the center stack with a large infotainment screen and used fairly straightforward buttons and knobs for the audio and climate controls.

Timing has yet to be confirmed on when we can see the Cadenza in our shores, but expect Kia to introduce the sedan some point within the next 12 to 15 months.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Toyota Corolla

The next-generation 2014 Toyota Corolla is a big deal for the Japanese automaker. With rivals stepping up their game in the compact segment, Toyota must make sure the 2014 Corolla is still competitive with cars like the soon-to-be-refreshed Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, and Nissan Sentra to stay near the top of the sales charts.

A Motor Trend reader spied this 2014 Toyota Corolla prototype testing with a next-generation Lexus IS not far from Toyota’s Torrance, Calif. headquarters.

The 2014 Corolla looks like it’ll rely heavily on the Toyota Camry for styling cues – not the worst strategy for Toyota. The most obvious connection to the Camry is in the taillights, which appear to feature the same boomerang design seen on the Camry. We expect rounded sheetmetal as well as a profile not unlike that of the Camry.

Styling of the 2014 Corolla’s front end will borrow heavily from the Camry and the Avalon, and inside it’ll offer more an updated interior with the latest version of Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, which is already offered on the 2013 Corolla.

Not much is known about the next-gen Corolla’s powertrain, but it wouldn’t surprise us to see a slightly modified version of the current car’s 132-hp 1.8-liter I-4 carry over. With a six-speed manual replacing the five-speed, and a six-speed automatic or CVT replacing the dated four-speed slushbox, the current Corolla’s 27/34 mpg city/highway rating will likely approach 28-30 mpg in the city and 38-40 mpg on the highway.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Bugatti is Rumored Preparing Super Veyron

Bugatti is reportedly preparing to debut a new car at next year’s Frankfurt show, but it won’t be the much-delayed Galibier sedan. The staff in Molsheim is working on yet another special edition Veyron that’s faster, more powerful, and well, just more super: the SuperVeyron.

Since updates to the Veyron are all Bugatti can offer its customers until the Galibier arrives, the automaker went all-out to make the updates good. The SuperVeyron wears more carbon fiber, helping it shave off about 550 pounds over the Veyron SuperSport W16. It will also look slightly different with new front and rear ends, and more active aerodynamics. The biggest news, though, is what’s under the hood: a more powerful 8.0-liter (or 9.6-liter) engine putting out 1600 hp. That translates to a maximum top speed of 288 mph (up 29 mph over the SuperSport), and a rumored 0-62 mph time of just 1.8 seconds.

It gets better: the 3527-pound supercar will reportedly have a power-to-weight ratio of one kg (2.2 pounds) per hp. Until the Galibier arrives, Bugatti customers will have to do with the SuperVeyron, which will likely cost north of $2.5 million.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C

What It Is: Believe it or not, proof of the Alfa Romeo 4C, which we first saw in concept form at the 2011 Geneva auto show. This is a running prototype, and it looks every bit as exciting as the show car. The doorsills are simplified and the rear window seems to have slightly grown, but that’s about it as far as changes go, from what we can tell. Thank you, Alfa, for staying true to a wonderful idea.

Why It Matters: The mid-engined 4C will spearhead Alfa's latest plan to return to the U.S., and it will be an eminently important car for the brand's global image, as well. The brand's diminutive lineup of vehicles has become stale, but the 4C promises to serve as a convincing foundation for a reinvigoration of the lineup. For sports-car enthusiasts, the 4C could bridge the gap between the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S and the Porsche Cayman

Platform: The 4C will use an entirely new mid-engine platform. Details are sketchy, and we hope that the high-performance, lightweight approach of the concept remains intact. That concept, for instance, made liberal use of aluminum and carbon-fiber chassis elements. If, as claimed for the concept, the weight remains below 2000 pounds, Alfa engineers will have pulled off a triumph.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hot News: Nissan Will Return to Hatchback Segment

Nissan will launch a direct rival to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf in 2014, and will build it in Sunderland. It will be the first time the Japanese manufacturer has offered a new car in the European small family hatchback class since 2006, when the Sunderland-built Almera was withdrawn.

Since then Nissan has marketed the Qashqai crossover, after it concluded in the early 2000s that it could only compete in the family car segment by offering something different.

It subsequently applied the same formula to the supermini segment, launching the Juke in 2010 to further sales success.

Following the success of those two models, company officials have said the firm has the confidence, and European market share, to offer a more mainstream model again.

The decision to go with a mainstream C-segment hatchback was made 18 months ago, according to Nissan’s head of product planning Andy Palmer, but the model is still two years from completion.

The new hatchback is expected to look similar to the current and next-generation Qashqai, as well as the production version of the Invitation concept - shown at the Geneva show earlier this year - which replaces the Note. “The designers have created a very emotional design that draws on the Qashqai,” said Palmer. “It’s a little bit cheeky.”

According to Palmer, Nissan will invest the car’s content and character with a mix of “innovation and excitement for everyone”, twin themes that are intended to resurface in every future model. He also said the car will be “beautifully designed, with exciting technology”.

Features are expected to include Nissan’s around-view monitor, a self-parking option, affordable satellite navigation and live music streaming.

The engine line-up is likely to include Renault’s recently revised 1.5 dCi diesel and downsized petrol power units, the three-cylinder 1.2 supercharged DIG-S potentially being among them.

Meanwhile, just a five-door bodystyle will be offered.

Nissan needs a new Focus rival if the company is to maintain its impressive momentum, which is currently over-dependent on the Qashqai and the Juke. Nissan’s UK sales were up almost 10 per cent in the first nine months of 2012, while its European share has also grown modestly.

The new hatchback should also offset the possibility that the next-generation Qashqai will fail to maintain the growth of the present model. Palmer admitted that replacement of the Qashqai is a challenge. “There’s always a risk, because you tend to be conservative when you’re replacing a successful model,” he said. “We need to create Qashqai-ness and be bold.”

Thanks to: Autocar

Spid Up Date: 2014 Skoda Octavia

The all-new Skoda Octavia is set to be revealed late next month. The new car is the fourth to use the VW Group’s new MQB modular platform, after the new Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Leon and Audi A3.

The new car will also become the longest MQB car so far. The Golf, A3 Sportback and Leon five-door measure 4,199mm, 4,292mm and 4,315mm respectively. The Skoda Rapid, which fits under the Octavia in the Skoda range, is 4,483mm, while the larger Superb is 4,838mm.

This means that the Octavia will measure around 4,650mm, thanks in part to its larger saloon-style boot than the current model, which measures 4569mm.

The new Octavia - seen here almost undisguised - will follow the design language of the Vision D concept car more closely than the new Skoda Rapid, too. As you can see from the spy pictures, the Octavia features the same arrow-head-shaped C-pillar, narrow headlights and creased bonnet as the concept car.

The new car is also expected to get a more upmarket interior to distance it from the value-focused Rapid. Prices will rise accordingly, with the new Octavia expected to start from around £15,000 – cheaper than its MQB brothers, but more than the current entry-level Octavia's £13,385.

The new Octavia will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013, with UK sales beginning shortly afterwards.  For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Fiat to Introduce 500E & Abarth Convertible at LA Show 2012

A press release from the Los Angeles auto show has prematurely revealed two new models that will debut at the show. The Fiat 500e electric car and Fiat 500 Abarth convertible will both debut at the L.A. show in late November.

Both cars were long expected, but their debut hadn’t yet been publicly confirmed by Fiat. The Fiat 500e had been rumored for a long time; last month, the car was revealed at a Chrysler Group dealer meeting in Las Vegas. It makes sense for Fiat to create an all-electric version of the tiny Italian hatchback: the car’s low weight will help keep driving range relatively high, and the model will compete with the promised Chevrolet Spark electric.

As for the Fiat 500 Abarth convertible, the L.A. auto show release says the car will have a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four engine with 170 lb-ft of torque, and a 34-mpg highway rating. Those specifications all exactly match the ratings of the Fiat 500 Abarth hatchback — the feisty turbo-four engine cranks out 160 hp. Adding a convertible variant makes sense as Fiat tries to broaden the appeal of its go-fast Abarth model. From prototypes we’ve spied in southeast Michigan (pictured below), the convertible will adopt the same aggressive body kit, dual exhausts, larger alloy wheels, and plethora of scorpion emblems as the regular Abarth hatchback.

After the Fiat 500e electric and Fiat 500 Abarth convertible make their public debuts next month at the L.A. auto show, expect them to go on sale in spring or summer 2013.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Spied: 2015 Mercedes S-Class Convertible

What It Is: The first true S-class convertible by Mercedes-Benz since the W111/112 convertible of the 1960s and ’70s—cars that will set you back upwards of $200,000 in today’s market. This will be a true soft-top convertible and thus clearly distinguished from the current SL-class with its folding hardtop. The roof will be conceptually similar to the Porsche 991 cabriolet’s and will offer superb high-speed capability. Inside, there will be a dashboard full of chrome and wood, with two TFT displays, and likely the S-class sedan's two-spoke steering wheel.
Why It Matters: It will give Mercedes a unique vehicle that is virtually without competition. Neither Audi nor BMW offer anything of similar size; the closest vehicle in concept is the Bentley Continental GTC, which is loosely based on the Volkswagen Phaeton. The S-class cabriolet also will be important because Benz has come under pressure for its styling, which is not deemed as classic and timeless as it used to be. This upmarket cabriolet will offer an opportunity to correct this perception.

Platform: The S-class cabrio will be based on the next-generation S-class, which means it will be huge, powerful, and full of technology. All the latest telematics and driver aids, such as night vision, LED headlights, huge screens, and voice recognition will be available.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sneak Peek: 2014 Honda Brio Sedan

Honda has released an official teaser image of the upcoming Brio-based saloon on its Thailand website.

This new saloon is scheduled to hit our shores mid-next year. It will be powered by the all-new 1.5-litre diesel engine. Honda will plonk this diesel engine in the Brio hatchback as well.

The Brio-based saloon will be sub-four-metre in length and will hence benefit on the excise duty front.

When launched, this new saloon will compete with the likes of the Indigo eCS, Swift Dzire and the upcoming sub-four-metre Mahindra Verito.

Thanks to: Autocar India

New Car: 2013 Chevrolet Spark (India Version)

General Motors has launched an updated version of the Chevrolet Spark. The new Spark gets  upgrades to the front and the rear styling, along with refreshed interiors.

Changes to the exterior include re-profiled front and rear bumpers, a new split honeycomb grille with chrome inserts, a bigger Chevy bow-tie emblem and new fog lamps. There are minor tweaks to the tail-lamps as well. 
The refreshed interiors will feature dual-tone shade and different seat fabric. The centrally mounted instrument cluster  is new as well and the company says it has been inspired by the wing design. The new Spark also gets a double-DIN audio system with USB and Bluetooth. 
The design changes were carried out at General Motors’ technical centre in Bangalore. Going forward, styling updates to all its legacy models (vehicles phased out globally, but still in production in India) will be carried out at its tech centre. The Tavera Neo 3 had also been updated at the Bangalore facility.
Thanks to: Autocar India

Hot News: 2014 Range Rover Sport

Land Rover is putting the final touches to the new Range Rover Sport ahead of a showroom debut a year from now. It is thought that the Range Rover Sport will make its public debut in the spring at the Geneva or New York show.

The new model is based on the same riveted and bonded aluminium monocoque as the new Range Rover and is expected to follow it closely in terms of specification.

Today’s car is priced from just under £50,000, but with the switch to a much more sophisticated aluminium platform, all-new suspension and improved features, insiders expect a price hike of at least 10 per cent for the new model.

The new Sport is expected to weigh the same as its sister model, which means that the entry-level V6 diesel variant should hit 2160kg — 300kg lighter than the current entry-level model. This in turn will ensure that the new Range Rover Sport is a markedly more dynamic proposition than the current model.

The range will kick off with the new-generation 255bhp, 442lb ft turbocharged V6 diesel engine. The familiar V8 supercharged motor is good for 504bhp and 461lb ft in its standard application, but with Porsche having just unveiled the 542bhp Cayenne Turbo S, Land Rover bosses may see fit to launch a new extreme-performance version.

The new Sport is also expected to get the option of the 335bhp twin-turbo V8 diesel engine. With 516lb ft on tap from just 1750rpm, this engine could outrun the petrol V8 for through-the-gears acceleration.

Also new to the Range Rover Sport range will be a V6 diesel-electric hybrid model, which has a claimed combined 333bhp, a 0-62mph time of 7.4sec and CO2 emissions of just 169g/km. It’s thought that the Sport hybrid will be on sale from launch.

Judging by the spy shots on which our artist’s impression is based, the Sport uses the same under-structure and even the same doors as the new Range Rover. Although the windscreen and windscreen angle are also common to the two cars, Land Rover designers have used a number of visual tricks and relatively inexpensive changes to give the Sport a much more dynamic appearance.

The bonnet tapers more sharply to its leading edge and the roofline slopes more aggressively towards the tailgate. The rear overhang is shorter than that of the new Range Rover and its tailgate glass is raked more steeply.

Another trick to give the Sport a more dramatic appearance is the use of deeper door skins, which make the side windows shallower and, along with the big sill extensions, give the car deeper body sides. At the front, the headlights will be more aggressive than on the Range Rover and the bumpers will be blockier.

The interior has more of a slope to its dashboard and centre console than in the Range Rover, but almost all of the switchgear is shared. The Sport also gets an upright automatic shift lever, something that will be shared with the Jaguar F-type.

The interior will be aiming for Range Rover levels of luxury but will feature a more sporting treatment. One source said that Bentley-style quilted leather upholstery will be offered as a trim option.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Aston Martin Plans to Produce Cygnet V12

The Aston Martin Cygnet city car could be sold with the firm’s V12 engine if there is sufficient customer demand.

Sources suggest that a feasibility study has already been completed, and that the 6.0-litre V12 from its range-topping cars will fit the tiny city car’s engine bay without extensive modifications.

Other upgrades to allow the Toyota IQ-based Cygnet to handle the weight, horsepower and torque of the powertrain are said to be “significant but not insurmountable”. It is likely, however, that the V12 would have to be detuned significantly from the 510bhp it produces in the new DB9 and Vantage models.

The Cygnet is currently sold in one state of tune, powered by Toyota’s 97bhp 1.3-litre petrol unit.

If Aston gives the go-ahead for a production Cygnet V12 it is likely to be sold as a project car much like the Nissan Juke R has been. The Juke R, which fits the Nissan GT-R’s running gear into a Juke supermini body, sells for around £400,000. It was put into limited production, mainly for the Middle East market, following a positive reaction to the concept car’s creation.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2014 BMW 5-Series

BMW is already testing a mildly reworked version of its Mercedes E-class-rivalling 5-series, a model likely to make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show next September.

While development of the new car still has the good part of a year to run, changes being made to the 5-series appear less significant than those adopted by the new E-class.

Externally, the bumpers are more heavily structured and the lamp graphics revised, but on the evidence of the prototype caught here testing in Munich, the existing bodywork is largely untouched.

Inside, BMW plans to provide the 5-series with the latest version of its iDrive multimedia system and a configurable instrument display already recently introduced on the facelifted 7-series.

On the engine front, the twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine in the 535i is set to gain an added 14bhp, lifting its reserves to 316bhp in the new 540i model.

The twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine in the 550i is also expected to get added firepower. Munich insiders have already confirmed a 43bhp increase to 444bhp.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: Mazda 6 Coupe Gets Green Light

Mazda is planning to rival the Audi A5 with a stylish new three-door coupe version of the 6, Auto Express has learned. And it’s likely to spawn a high-performance MPS model, too.

Our exclusive image shows how easily the latest Mazda 6’s swoopy design translates into a coupe body, carrying over the range’s ‘wing’ grille design and creases running the length of the body to create a muscular stance. It would join the saloon and Tourer estate to become the third member of the 6 family.

The coupe would act as a halo car for Mazda, which is precisely what the company wants for the new 6 range. At the Moscow Motor Show in August, program manager Hiroshi Kajiyama told us: “The CX-5 heightened the brand position. This car [the 6] has to raise it further again.”

The most potent engine in the new range is currently the 173bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel in the Sport. The saloon version does 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds. But an MPS would turn up the heat. When we asked Kajiyama about a new 6 MPS, he said: “There is a high potential for this, and it would be helpful to the brand.”

The original 6 MPS, launched in 2006, was offered only as a saloon. It featured a 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 257bhp and four-wheel drive – and the new MPS coupe could follow a similar formula.
As the 6 shares underpinnings with the CX-5 SUV, a 4WD system would be easy to fit, while a turbo version of the new SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre petrol engine is the most likely candidate, with around 260bhp and strong economy.

Expect the 6 Coupe to arrive some time in 2014, with the MPS following a few months later. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Lotus to Join Venture with Aston Martin?

Lotus has been struggling financially for some time now. Just two years ago, the niche sports car maker showed five all-new concept cars at the Paris auto show. Since then, plans have been scaled back as former CEO Dany Bahar was let go for conduct and the Malaysian government sold its shares of Lotus parent company Proton to industrial group DRB-Hicom. While the future of Lotus is unknown, a report from Automobile suggests Lotus could team up with Aston Martin in a cooperative agreement or outright merger.

Though you might think two sports car makers joining forces would create some redundancies in the combined product portfolio, Automobile suggests there would be no overlap of their current models. As Aston Martin is a respected luxury brand and Lotus is known for its lightweight, attainable sports cars, a marriage of the two companies could just work out.
 While the prospect of a partnership between the two British marques sounds appealing, both companies would need to raise funds to pay off debts just to keep daily operations going. How much cash would the automakers need to raise? Between $1.1 and $1.6 billion, according to the report.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Mercedes to Debut SLS AMG Black Series at LA Show 2012

Last week we had the unique opportunity to get an up-close tour of Mercedes-AMG’s world headquarters in the small German town of Affalterbach. Beyond drooling over the immaculate facilities that included a showroom, race car assembly line, engine production area, and an AMG Performance Studio (the brand’s personalization program), we spoke to a few key engineers and marketing personnel.

The soon-to-be-released SLS AMG Black Series will debut at this November’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
In true Black Series fashion, expect the all-new Black Series to sport a lower ride height, additional aerodynamic cues like race car-inspired wheel arches and a fixed rear wing, bigger wheels and wider tires, ceramic brakes, and, yes, more power. Current rumors have the hand-built 6.2-liter V-8 making somewhere in the 630-horsepower range, which nearly matches the output of the recently debuted 45th Anniversary SLS AMG GT3 race car.

According to Dr. Martin Hart, chief powertrain engineer, when comparing the SLS Black Series to the current SLS AMG GT, the Black Series is “the REAL beast” (he said with a massive grin) with even quicker shifts from the updated seven-speed automatic gearbox, a more dynamic chassis, and superb braking. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but given the performance enhancements and a likely very limited production run, don’t expect it to be cheap.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2012 Honda CR-V

The Problem: Certain 2012 Honda CR-V LX models have a misprint on the safety certification label, which lists incorrect values for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, front and rear Gross Axle Weight Rating, tire size, and wheel size. Having the wrong ratings on the label could lead owners to improperly load the vehicle, which could result in tire failure.

The Fix: Honda will notify owners to come in to a dealership, where a corrected label will be applied free of charge. The recall is expected to begin around November 6, 2012. Owners of affected vehicles can call Honda at 1-800-999-1009.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 264 2012 Honda CR-V LX models are affected, built from August 30, 2012 through August 31, 2012.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2005-2007 BMW 7 Series

The Problem: The doors on models equipped with Comfort Access and Soft Close Automatic door options can appear to be shut but, due to a software glitch, may not be fully closed and latched. Certain road or driving conditions or contact with the door could cause it to open while in motion, potentially leading to “occupant ejection.”

The Fix: BMW will notify owners to visit a dealer for a software upgrade. The recall is expected to start in November 2012. For more information, owners may contact BMW at 1-800-525-7417.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: The recall cover 7485 model-year 2005-2007 BMW 7 Series models equipped with Soft Close Automatic door and Comfort Access options. The date of manufacture ranges from August 23, 2004 to September 3, 2007.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Ford Fiesta Sedan

Ford has unveiled the updated Fiesta saloon at the Sao Paulo motor show. The 2013 Fiesta features design cues from Ford’s new global design language. It gets a restyled front fascia that includes an aggressive, Aston Martin-like front grille with chrome slats, re-profiled front bumper and fog lamps, revamped headlamps and a new bonnet design. This comprehensive facelift makes the rakish Ford now look positively handsome from the front. Also vastly improved is the rear. While the current car has small tail-lights, this car’s rear lights span all the way across to the bootlid. This is likely to cost Ford more, but the money seems well spent as the car looks much better now. A new black rear splitter at the bottom also reduces the visual mass of the car considerably.

For India, there’s likely to be a bigger change under the hood. Ford is likely to slot the much-acclaimed 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol motor. Ford could also make it available in two states of tune, at 99bhp for the economy sensitive and 123bhp for those who want a sporty drive. While the Fiesta facelift is expected to come to the country sometime early next year, the EcoBoost engine will be introduced in India under the bonnet of the much-awaited EcoSport compact SUV.

The introduction of this engine will also mark the Indian debut of Ford’s EcoBoost powertrain technology. Developed at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in the UK, this newest and smallest member of the EcoBoost engine family features advanced turbocharging technology, direct injection and improved twin variable-camshaft design to deliver performance that belies its small size. Ford says it’s capable of developing power similar to a bigger 1.6-litre motor and fuel efficiency similar to that of a smaller unit.

By 2015, the company plans to have the capacity to build 6,00,000 engines in India. Of the engines produced, around 60 percent will be retained for the domestic market while the rest will be exported. The EcoBoost engines produced in India are also likely to be exported back to Thailand, from where many of Ford’s CKD kits come.

Thanks to: Autocar India

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Rafale

The latest special edition version of the Bugatti Veyron has been shown at the Sao Paulo motor show in Brazil.

The new Rafale special edition is based on the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, the open-top version of the world’s fastest car producing 1184bhp from its mighty quad-turbo W16.

The Rafale is differentiated from standard Vitesse models by its special ‘Gris Rafale’ paint finish and blue carbonfibre trim. Also new externally is its bespoke alloy wheel design.

The interior of the Rafale has also been given a makeover; it features special blue leather seats with grey stitching and blue carbonfibre trim to match the interior.

The new model is available now for £1.5 million, which is an increase of just over £170,000 on a standard Veyron Vitesse.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Chevrolet Onix

General Motors' new small car developed specifically for the Brazilian market has been revealed at the São Paulo motor show. The Chevrolet Onix is based on GM's small car architecture but has been adapted to suit Brazilian's rough and ready road conditions.

The Onix will be built in Brazil as a five-door hatchback and be offered with 1.0 and 1.4 litre engines which can run on petrol, ethanol or a combination of both. Five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions are offered.

A high level of specification is being offered with the Onix, including Bluetooth connectivity and Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system. Special customisation options will also be offered.

"We looked to create a car with high levels of design, comfort and technology that will exceed customer expectations," said Chevrolet marketing director Gustavo Colosi.

Thanks to: Autocar

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Hyundai HB20X

Hyundai has accompanied the launch of its new Hyundai HB20 supermini at the Sao Paulo motor show with a new crossover version of the car.

The Hyundai HB20X is production ready and will be joined in the three-strong HB20 line-up next year by a saloon version. The new trio have been designed especially for Brazil and will be built in the country in a new dedicated plant near Sao Paulo.

The HB20X gets a different bumper to the HB20 hatchback, raised ground clearance, black body cladding and larger 15in alloy wheels. Roof bars are also fitted to the HB20X, as is a new rear bumper and tweaked interior trim.

Power for the HB20X will come from Hyundai’s 1.6-litre Gamma petrol engine, which has been adapted to run on both petrol and ethanol, or a combination of both.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sao Polo Show 2012 Highlights: 2012 Renault Clio Mercosur

Renault is bolstering its thriving Brazilian business with a budget version of the Renault Clio. The Clio Mercosur has been unveiled at the Sao Paulo motor show.

The Clio Mercosur is the latest incarnation of the Clio 2, with the front and rear taking inspiration from the Clio 4, unveiled at last month’s Paris motor show. The graphics are expected to be offered on the options list.

Little is known about the Mercosur, but it is likely to continue to be offered with the 1.0-litre 75bhp engine fitted to the current Brazilian market Clio. That engine is able to run on petrol or ethanol, reflecting Brazil’s popularity for the fuel.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Honda Fit Twist

A rugged version of the Honda Jazz has been revealed at the São Paulo motor show. The Fit Twist, as it will be known, is in response to the popularity of superminis with a perceived go anywhere ability in the Brazilian market.

But despite the more rough and ready look, Honda has confirmed no suspension changes for the model have taken place. Instead, there is extra body cladding and bigger wheels to give it a more purposeful look.

The model has been conceived purely with the Brazilian market in mind, and as such is not destined for sale in Europe or the UK.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: Renault DCross Concept

A new Renault concept car based on the Dacia Duster has been launched at the São Paulo motor show.

The Renault D Cross previews how a potential new style-led range-topper for the Duster SUV could look. In Brazil, Dacia models are sold as Renaults.

The concept is easily distinguished from the Duster with its new front grille and headlight design, as well as its circular rear LED lights.

It gets a two-tone pant finish; bright green for the front and cabin, and grey for the rear section.
Chrome alloy wheels also feature, as does increased amounts of body cladding and a spare wheel of the roof.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: Volkswagen Taigun Concept

Volkswagen formerly intends to join the burgeoning junior SUV ranks after unveiling a concept that hints towards a future production model at the Sao Paulo motor show in Brazil.

Called the Taigun, the compact four-seater previews the look set to be adopted on a planned new Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke rival to be positioned and priced below the Tiguan when launched towards the middle of the decade.

The production model will provide the basis for a whole new family of similar sized offerings from Audi, Seat and Skoda. Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s R&D chief, told Autocar that the compact SUV would be sold in each of VW’s global markets, including the UK.

The Taigun is based around a stretched version of the VW Up’s NSF (New Small Family) platform. At 3859mm in length, 1728mm in width and 1570mm in height, the Taigun is 566mm shorter, 82mm narrower and 130mm lower than the Tiguan. The concept is not four-wheel drive, as the NSF platform currently only supports front-wheel drive.

VW design chief Klaus Bischoff describes the new SUV’s appearance as “confident, logical and clean”. It is more rugged and technical in style than the Tiguan, and previews the new face of VW’s future SUVs.

The interior of the Taigun has, according to Bischoff, been inspired by the latest smart phones, with a clean and reduced look that aims to provide the sort of visual clarity and simplicity of operation associated with early workhorse off-roaders, albeit with modern day levels of quality and finish.

Power for the concept comes from the same 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with 108bhp and 129lb ft as the upcoming Up GT. Drive is channeled through a six-speed manual gearbox.

The 985kg Taigun can crack 0-62mph in 9.2sec and reach a top speed of 116mph. Combined economy is rated at 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions are 110g/km.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: Nissan Extrem Concept

The Nissan Extrem small crossover concept has been revealed at the São Paulo motor show.

The new concept, which was teased last week, is based on the Nissan March (Micra) and is a crossover between a SUV and a small sports car, Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura told Autocar.

Nakamura said that Nissan's Brazilian operation has led development of the concept, and the build of it took place there. The design work was undertaken by Nissan's Design Studio in San Diego.

The Extrem is smaller than a Juke, and is billed by Nakamura strictly as a concept in its current guise.
He also distanced the concept from reports claiming it was intended to preview a modern day successor to the Nissan 240Z sports car.

Autocar understands the concept previews Nissan's intentions to launch a small three-door crossover for markets including Brazil. Indeed, one source said the firm "never did show cars that are flights of fancy".

As well as using March mechanicals, the concept also features front-end styling inspired by the model, a move which is intended to link the March, which was recently introduced into the Brazilian market, to the concept.

Initially, certain design flourishes from the Extrem are expected to carryover into future production models, such as the headlight design.

But further off, should the concept be well received by the Brazilian show public, then Nissan is poised to launch a small three-door crossover for the market that's smaller than the Juke but inspired by the Extrem.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Hyundai HB20

The Hyundai HB20 has been shown at the Sao Paulo motor show. Hyundai describes the HB20 as "the first Hyundai strategically developed and exclusively produced for the Brazilian market".

It says HB stands for Hyundai Brazil, and 20 is the global nomenclature for this size of platform. It is understood the HB20 shares its basic architecture with the European i20.

Nine trim levels will be offered alongside a choice of 1.0-litre and 1.6 litre flex-fuel engines, which can run on petrol or bioethanol. A five-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard, while a four-speed automatic is available with the larger engine.

The HB20 will initially launch as a five-door hatchback, while saloon and SUV variants will launch in 2013.
All models feature dual front airbags and air conditioning as standard.

The domestically developed supermini will be built at Hyundai's first plant in Brazil. The new $600m Piracicaba plant is the seventh factory to be built outside of Korea and will provide employment for more than 20,000 people directly and in the plant's supply chain.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sao Paolo Show 2012 Highlights: 2013 Volkswagen Gol

A new three-door version of the Volkswagen Gol, Brazil's best selling car has been revealed at the São Paulo motor show.

The locally produced Gol has been Brazil's best selling model in each of the last 25 years, and is on track for a 26th in 2012. More than seven million units have been produced in that time.

The Gol is closer to a current Polo than a Golf in size, and although VW officials wouldn't confirm its exact underpinnings in relation to a more familiar European model, it has been upgraded to be given the VW Group's latest electrical architecture and design.

The engine line-up is made up of FlexFuel units, which can run on petrol, ethanol or a combination of both.
The Gol is such a success for VW in Brazil, a market expected to expand to 5 million sales per year by 2018, that if it was a brand by itself it would be the fourth largest in Brazil with a 10 per cent market share.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 Skoda Superb Outdoor

The rugged, four-wheel-drive Skoda Superb Outdoor has gone on sale, priced from £26,465.
That buys you a Superb Outdoor powered by a 158bhp 1.8-litre TFSI engine, which comes complete with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The same model in SE trim would normally cost around £3,000 less, so to justify the price increase Skoda has added a leather steering wheel, Bluetooth, hill-hold control and heated windscreen washer nozzles. It also gets rugged plastic protective cladding and 18-inch Luxon alloys as standard.

Buyers can also choose a 2.0 TDI with 138bhp and a dual-clutch automatic gearbox for £28,100, or the 168bhp version of the same engine with a six-speed manual for £27,600.

Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are unchanged compared with the standard Superb Estate models, so the 2.0 TDI 4x4 DSG model manages fuel economy of 44.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 165g/km.

As with all Skoda models, the Outdoor comes complete with a three-year, 30,000-mile warranty. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: SEAT and Skoda to Get Small SUV

Just as the up! city car appeared as a VW-badged concept first before spawning the SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo, the new Taigun concept could form the basis for SEAT and Skoda small SUVs. Based on a stretched version of the up!’s new small car family platform, you can read full details on the Taigun here.

“First we need to learn if this concept makes sense in the real world. If the reaction is positive we will realise it, and if we realise it it would make sense to synergise with other brands,” Dr Urich Hackenberg, VW’s head of product development, told us.

As the Taigun shares most of its mechanicals - including its three-cylinder petrol engine, seats, electrical architecture and chassis – with the up!, which in turn is virtually identical mechanically to the Mii and Citigo, it would be a simple transition to spread the costs of this new small SUV over the three brands.

A production version of the Taigun is still a few years off, though. Hackenberg told us that if he pushed the green button on the project today, it would take around two years before the public was able to buy one.
But judging by the overwhelmingly positive reaction from showgoers in Sao Paulo, it can’t be long before VW bosses give it the go-ahead. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Recall Up Date: 2012 Maserati GranTurismo & Quattroporte

The Problem: A software error may prevent the tire-pressure monitoring system from warning the driver when the tires are underinflated. This could allow the owner to inadvertently drive on underinflated tires, increasing the risk of accident.

The Fix: Maserati plans to reprogram the TPMS computer for free beginning in November.

Number Of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 485 2012 Maserati GranTurismo, GranTurismo Convertible, GranTurismo MC, and Quattroporte models.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2012 Mercedes E350 & E550 Coupe

The Problem: The right-side curtain airbag may not have been stitched properly, which could allow it to deflate too quickly after deploying in an accident. That could reduce the amount of protection the airbag offers to occupants during a crash.

The Fix: Starting in November, Mercedes-Benz dealers will begin replacing the right-side curtain airbags.

Number Of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 499 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupes.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2012-2013 Nissan Altima

The Problem: On some Nissan Altima models, a tool used at Nissan’s plant in Canton, Mississippi, to torque certain power steering rack bolts may not have applied the correct amount of torque. Over time, those bolts can come loose and start rattling. If they eventually fall out, the driver may lose the ability to steer the vehicle. Nissan discovered the problem during a routine driving evaluation of a new car.

The Fix: Nissan dealers will check the torque levels of the affected bolts and tighten them if necessary.

Number Of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 8420 2012 Nissan Altima and 5499 2013 Nissan Altima models.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado

After months of relentless teasing, we have the debut date for the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. The automaker has just released a teaser photo of the 2014 Silverado’s headlight and announced that the new truck will be unveiled on December 13 at a special event in Detroit.

To celebrate the announcement, the bowtie boys have released yet another teaser of the new truck’s exterior, this time a close up shot of the new Silverado’s projector-beam headlight. The image also previews another exterior feature we can expect on the new truck — lots and lots of chrome.
 The chrome trim would make lots of sense considering the rumors that the 2014 Silverado lineup will be topped by a new high-lux trim level dubbed the Silverado High Country Edition. The 2014 Silverado High Country is expected to pack luxury features like heated and cooled seats, leather trim, and a western theme.
While few 2014 Chevy Silverado details have been confirmed, the new pickup should get next-gen GM small block V-8s with fuel and weight saving features like cylinder deactivation, aluminum blocks, and direct injection  The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is also rumored to be getting a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, as well as its ubiquitous 3.6-liter V-6 to help it go toe-to-toe with the Ford F-150.

After the December 13 unveiling, the 2014 Silverado will be shown to the public for the first time at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hot News: Renault to Produce Clio SUV Next Year

A new Renault Clio-based compact SUV is to go into production next year. Renault officials are now speaking openly about a production version of the model that was first previewed as the Captur concept at the 2011 Geneva show, and it could return to that show next March in production guise.The as-yet unnamed Clio SUV will be based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s B platform, also found beneath the new Clio and the Nissan Micra and Juke. It is likely to share its platform dimensions with the new Juke, meaning it will be around 4.1m long.

The styling will borrow more from the Clio 4 than the Captur concept, as our artist’s impression indicates. The Clio’s grille and headlight outline will carry over, with Captur influences seen in the lower front bumper, sloping tailgate and rear detailing.

Speaking at the Paris motor show, Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker said the “Clio crossover” would give Renault a chance “to come back in a big way” in a fast-growing segment that it has so far failed to capitalise on.

He added that experiences at Dacia with the Duster would help Renault get the Clio SUV right. “It’s ironic for me that, with Dacia, we made a fantastic crossover,” he said. “So it’s not for a lack of capability or knowledge that Renault doesn’t have one.”

The ex-Mazda man refused to give much away about the styling, other than, like all Renaults, it would be “more latin, sensual, sporting. The crossover will be sexy”.

The SUV’s engine range is likely to mirror the new Clio hatch’s, meaning a normally aspirated 74bhp 1.2, turbocharged 89bhp 0.9 and turbocharged 118bhp 1.2 petrols will be offered, and an 89bhp 1.5 as the staple diesel.

Although its platform is compatible with four-wheel drive, the Clio SUV is likely to be offered with front-drive only. However, a Renaultsport version could be on the cards — or at least a version with the new Clio RS 200’s 197bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine — as a performance flagship for the new range.

Thanks to: Autocar

Spied: 2014 SEAT Leon Cupra R

Seat is preparing to launch a 280bhp Leon Cupra R, revealed here in prototype form for the first time during testing. The hot new Cupra R is expected to make its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show.

The prototype of the new Seat, scooped by Autocar’s spy photographers, is based on the Leon FR recently revealed at the Paris motor show. A new front bumper with functioning air ducts, larger brakes, new 18-inch wheels and a lower ride height give away the mule’s identity as the Cupra R.

Power will come from a version of the Volkswagen Group’s ‘EA888’ 2.0-litre turbo engine, tuned to deliver about 280bhp, some 19bhp more than the current Cupra R. Torque is set to remain at 258lb ft, but its peak should arrive lower in the rev range.

The front wheels will be driven through a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. All-wheel drive is being considered for some Leons, but not initially on the Cupra R.

With more power and less weight than before, thanks to its lighter platform, the Cupra R is set to have a 0-62mph time of less than 6.0sec and be reined in at 155mph.

Positioned beneath the Cupra R will be a Cupra, with 240bhp from the same engine.

In a bid to broaden the performance Leons’ appeal, Cupra and Cupra R models will be offered as three-door hatchbacks and estates. Standard versions of the three-door and estate will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March.

A high-riding, four-wheel-drive version of the Leon estate is also set to be launched in early 2014, Autocar can reveal. Body cladding will be offered on the tougher-looking new model, which is designed to bolster the Leon’s sales in northern Europe.

Thanks to: Autocar

Unofficial Picture: 2014 Mazda 3

This is the all-new Mazda 3 – a car you’re not supposed to see until next summer – shown in all its glory from every angle. Print-outs of these pictures were delivered to the Auto Express office in an unmarked envelope, and we’ve scanned them so you can take a look.

Mazda UK’s official line is that these are digital renderings, drawn up to show how the Kodo design language translates to new models, rather than a real car. Even so, they’ve been sketched by Mazda’s designers and give us a clear idea of how the next 3 will shape up.

The images show Mazda is planning to continue with the same range structure as the current car – offering a five-door hatch and a four-door saloon. The latter will compete with the forthcoming Audi A3 saloon, while the hatchback will face stiff competition from the new VW Golf.

You might recognise a number of the styling cues from the new Mazda 6 and the CX-5, but they’re given a fresh twist for the 3. The shield-like front grille, with its chrome trim that flows into the headlights, is a dead ringer for the 6, although the narrow lower intake and LED running lights owe more to the Takeri concept that previewed it.

Strong wheelarches and an upswept crease mark out the sides, while the rear gets floating tail-light clusters for a clean, uncluttered look.

Under the skin, the new 3 will benefit from Mazda’s fuel-saving SkyActiv tech, so expect it to be lighter and much more economical than the current car.

In the 6, the 148bhp SkyActiv 2.2-litre diesel engine emits just 104g/km of CO2, so this engine in the smaller 3 should produce less than 100g/km, yet deliver strong pace. A sub-90g/km version of the existing 1.6-litre diesel will also be offered. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Snaek Peek: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette

The wait for the C7 ‘Vette is nearly over, as General Motors has announced the 2014 Corvette will finally be unveiled on January 13 at next year’s Detroit auto show. For now, the automaker has released the next-gen car’s redesigned Crossed Flags emblem, and revealed that the C7 will be mostly new, only sharing two parts with the current model.

Though the Corvette Crossed Flag logo has evolved over the past six decades, each version features a black and white checkered racing flag crossed with a red flag featuring the Chevrolet bow tie and a French fleur-de-lis. According to Chevrolet, the all-new logo is “a more detailed representation, showing greater depth, color and attention to detail.”

We also expect a greater attention to detail in the interior, and now we’ve got five new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette interior spy shots.

But the biggest news might be that the C7 Corvette has only two parts in common with the outgoing C6: the cabin air filter and the removable roof panel’s rear latch. Everything else is reportedly all-new. As we’ve seen in previous spy shots, the C7 Corvette appears to have gained a much-needed interior update. In the exterior styling department, key Corvette cues remain, such as the long hood and short rear deck, and round taillights. Under the hood, a new fifth-generation small-block V-8 with direct-injection is expected.
Displacement could be reduced from the regular C6 Corvette’s current 6.2 liters to just 5.5 liters, though power and fuel economy should improve.

The reveal of the Crossed Flags badge at Road Atlanta is our first official sneak peek at the 2014 Corvette, and you can likely expect a slow tease leading up to the C7’s debut next year. Road Atlanta, home to the ALMS’ Petit Le Mans race, is a significant track for the American sports car nameplate, as Corvette Racing secured its two championships there last year – winning the GT class and manufacturer’s championship. Corvette will continue to be a feared name in sports car racing in the future, as the C6.R will return in 2013 before being replaced by the C7.R in the 2014 season.

While production of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette will begin in August or September of 2013, the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant — still producing 2013 Corvettes — is expected to be shut down in February 2013.

Thanks to: Motor Trend