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2015 Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition says 'happy birthday' in New York

Posted Apr 16th 2014 12:03AM

Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition

Fifty years ago this week, Ford debuted the first-ever Mustang at the New York World's Fair. And to celebrate, the Blue Oval is offering up this special, 50th Anniversary Edition 2015 Mustang, which makes its debut at the New York Auto Show. It'll be a seriously limited affair, with only 1,964 examples of the special edition Mustang slated to be produced (the number chosen to coincide with the 'Stang's first year in production). But for those who raise their hands for the 50th Anniversary package, there's a pretty sweet package in store.

The 50th Anniversary Edition is based on the 2015 Mustang GT with the Performance Pack, and is only available in two colors: Kona Blue, or Wimbledon White (pictured). The car also comes fully loaded – the only option for buyers to choose is the transmission. Should you opt for the six-speed automatic, you'll get a limited-slip rear differential with a 3.55:1 final-drive ratio (the 50th Anniversary car is also the only way to get a slushbox-equipped 'Stang with the Performance Pack). Selecting the six-speed manual 'box will net you a Torsen differential with a 3.73:1 ratio. All 50th Anniversary cars will be powered by Ford's 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V8, estimated to produce more than 420 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque in the 2015 Mustang.

Inside, there's a cashmere-stitched, leather-wrapped steering wheel, with a similar detail found on the instrument panel, shift boot, door inserts, seats, and center armrest. Two-tone leather/black upholstery is also part of the 50th Anniversary package, and of course, there's a special logo on the seats.

Have a look at the limited-edition Mustang in the gallery above, read about it in the press release below, and stay tuned for more info and live shots, later this week.

News Source: Ford

Infiniti Q70 adds long-wheelbase model, fresh looks for 2015

Posted Apr 16th 2014 12:02AM

Infiniti Q70L

After all the work done for the Q50, Infiniti has finally given some attention to its flagship sedan, the Q70 (or, for those that refuse to use the brand's latest nomenclature, the M). While the refreshed sedan sports a few visual tweaks, the big bit of news is that it's the first vehicle in its segment to offer both long- and a short-wheelbase options (keep in mind, both BMW and Audi offer LWBs in China, but not in the US).

Infiniti has stretched the standard car's 114.2-inch wheelbase to 120.1 inches, lengthening the car 7.3 inches overall. Nearly the entire wheelbase increase is dedicated to rear-seat legroom, with a substantial increase of 5.6 inches overall. As for the effect the stretching had on the Q70's looks, well, we actually think it might look better with the longer wheelbase.

It's a nice change of proportions that is complemented by the fresh looks of the facelifted Q70. New head and taillights are the biggest changes, with full LEDs in the back and LED accents in front. There's certainly a bit of Q50 in the front, thanks to both the headlights and the new "double-arch" grille, complete with mesh-finish inserts. In the cabin, material quality looks to remain impressive, with Infiniti's cool silver-dust wood trim being shown off in the press images. Outside of that, interior changes are kept to a minimum.

As this is a fairly light refresh, it's no shock that there isn't much in the way of mechanical changes. The base 3.7-liter, VQ37 V6 still pumps out 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, while the 5.6-liter V8 retains its 420 ponies and 417 lb-ft. Both of these engines will be available on the long-wheelbase (although the V8 will only pump out 416 hp and 414 lb-ft), while a seven-speed automatic remains the sole transmission across the board. The Q70 Hybrid, meanwhile, will remain a short-wheelbase item, only.

We'll have more on the new Q70 and Q70L when they make their official debut tomorrow, at the 2014 New York Auto Show. In the meantime, check out the full press release below.
Related Gallery2015 Infiniti Q70L
2015 Infiniti Q70L2015 Infiniti Q70L2015 Infiniti Q70L2015 Infiniti Q70L2015 Infiniti Q70L2015 Infiniti Q70L2015 Infiniti Q70L2015 Infiniti Q70L

News Source: Infiniti

Infiniti QX80 refreshed for 2015, range-topping Limited trim added

Posted Apr 16th 2014 12:01AM

Infiniti QX80

Alongside the updated Q70, Infiniti has refreshed its fullsize SUV, the QX80, for the 2014 New York Auto Show. Like its freshened sedan, the QX80 is full of incremental styling tweaks typical of a mid-cycle update like this. Also like the Q70, there's a new member of the QX80 family for the 2015 model year.

But first, the overarching changes for the QX80 range. As we said, this is pretty standard fare, with new headlights and taillights and a restyled grille designed to fit the full-sizer in with the most recent Infiniti design language. Full LED headlights, turn signals and fog lights should provide a bit more illumination, while the mesh inserts on the "double-arch" grille remind us of the Q50. Still, this is a rather bulbous, inelegant piece of design in our eyes. Out back, the shape of the taillights has been tweaked, and they now sport LED illumination. The new rear bumper is larger, as well.

In the cabin, upgrades are similarly sparse. There are a few new tech items, like automatic high beams and predictive forward collision warning. Overall, though, this is the same wood-and-leather-lined cabin Infiniti has been selling for the past few years.

Now, the new stuff. Infiniti is launching a top-tier model called the QX80 Limited. It's best to think of this big guy as Infiniti's answer to the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography trim and the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Designo options, offering an even nicer interior than the standard SUV while adding a few exterior tweaks, as well.

Smoked headlights and taillights, dark chrome exterior trim and unique 22-inch wheels round out the exterior upgrades for the Limited. Inside, Truffle Brown semi-aniline leather covers the seats, complete with quilted stitching and silver piping. Real Ash trim is standard and features a matte finish, while the headliner is finished in Ultrasuede.

We'll have more on the new QX80 and QX80 Limited when they make their auto show debut in the Big Apple. Take a look below for the full press releases on both models.
Related Gallery2015 Infiniti QX80
2015 Infiniti QX802015 Infiniti QX802015 Infiniti QX802015 Infiniti QX80

News Source: Infiniti

Mercedes-AMG teases GT interior, announces fall 2014 debut

Posted Apr 15th 2014 9:00PM

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT

Mercedes-Benz opted to tease the assembled media at its post-New York Auto Show party, showing off a pair of images of the exquisitely crafted interior of the highly anticipated successor of the SLS AMG - the V8-powered Mercedes-AMG GT.

Slated for a debut in the fall at either Paris or Los Angeles (we're betting Paris), you'll note straight away that there's something wrong with this car's name. Where's the "Benz?" Well, it's been ditched to, as Mercedes says, "make the dream of the authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car come true." Sorry Karl.

"The new Mercedes-AMG GT proves that we will be positioning AMG as a dynamic sports car brand even more strongly and aggressively than before," said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG.

As for these images, there isn't a lot to see, aside from a very nicely designed interior. The materials look first rate, and the overall layout is one of the more modern we've seen from Mercedes. Further confirming that an eight-cylinder sits under the hood, the AMG Drive Unit - the bank of buttons on either side of the shifter - has been designed with four per side, which form a "V" shape, similar to an engine.

Hopefully we'll hear more on the new Mercedes-AMG GT ahead of its official debut later this year. Take a look below for a brief press release, with additional remarks from Tobias Moers.

News Source: Mercedes-AMG

2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 Convertible is a topless temptress

Posted Apr 15th 2014 8:30PM

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible

With summer right around the corner, and the Great Winter of Doom now at our backs (just), we're thinking warm thoughts here in the Snowbelt. Just in time for the season, Chevy is dropping the top on its new Corvette Z06 Convertible, debuting here at the New York Auto Show.

Everything we love about the Z06 Coupe ("The Big Nasty," as GM's North American boss, Mark Reuss, calls it) remains intact here with the droptop. Under the hood is the same 625-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the same seven-speed manual transmission, and most importantly, the same curb weight. That's hugely important, as most convertibles with their complex folding roof mechanisms and body-strengthening materials tend to be slightly heftier than their fixed-top counterparts. Good work, Chevy.

In person, the Z06 Convertible looks just as mean and track-attack purposeful as the coupe. And considering you can still get the same suspension, brakes, wheels and tires as the hardtop, we're thinking it'll be just as rad to drive once the Z06 goes on sale later this year. Have a look at our fresh crop of live images, above, and look below for Chevrolet's original press blast.

News Source: Chevrolet

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

Visit this secret Citroën stash outside Paris with XCar

Posted Apr 15th 2014 8:02PM

Citroen cars on three wheels

With models like the 2CV, DS and SM, Citroën established itself as a home for quirky styling and out-of-the-box engineering, and in many minds the brand defines the look of the classic French car. In a recent video, XCar ventures inside Citroën's secret warehouse outside of Paris where the brand keeps many of its rarest and most significant cars.

The collection includes the oldest DS in the world, which was never put on sale, and four incredibly rare, pre-World War II 2CVs. According to Denis Huille of Citroën Heritage, about 60 percent of the cars are in drivable condition.

Citroën is now starting to go through a stylistic reawakening. Concepts like the DS 5LS R, Wild Rubis and Numero 9 show off a brand that has a definite idea of how a car wearing its badge should look. Scroll down to take a tour through the company's history.

News Source: XCar Films via YouTube

Peugeot 2008 DKR to challenge Dakar with help from Red Bull [w/video]

Posted Apr 15th 2014 7:32PM

Peugeot 2008 DKR

The Mini All4 Racing team has dominated the Dakar Rally in recent years, with wins in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In this year's event, its drivers stood atop all three steps on the podium, and it had seven cars in the top ten. However, Mini's superiority is getting a big challenge in 2015 because Peugeot is returning to the rally with Red Bull as its sponsor. The team's weapon of choice is the new Peugeot 2008 DKR piloted by Dakar veterans Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres.

Peugeot is not a neophyte to the event, having scored wins from '87 to '90, and it's taking its return seriously. While the DKR is called a 2008, it bares only a passing resemblance to the road car. The team handed off a list of demands to the engineering department, specifying things like the dimensions, cabin space and approach angles. What the designers came up with is one mean-looking machine. It has super-wide fenders covering up 37-inch Michelin tires, practically no overhangs, a lifted suspension and two doors. The creators admit the look only draws inspiration from the standard car.

The powertrain remains the DKR's biggest secret at the moment. Thought the team has revealed that it's using two-wheel drive because it allows them to run more suspension travel and bigger tires. Scroll down to watch the team's reveal video for the car and read more details about it.
Related GalleryPeugeot 2008 DKR
Peugeot 2008 DKRPeugeot 2008 DKRPeugeot 2008 DKR

News Source: Peugeot, Peugeot Sport Official via YouTube

2015 Chevrolet Trax is the Encore's encore

Posted Apr 15th 2014 7:00PM

2015 Chevy Trax

We imagine the conversation among Chevrolet's product planners that led to a greenlight for a US-spec Chevrolet Trax went something like this: "Hey, the Buick Encore is selling like mad. It's proven that people love subcompact crossovers. Quick, let's import a vehicle from Canada."

Okay, so it probably didn't go quite like that, but it seems logical that the US arrival of the Trax - which has been on sale in the Great White North and other markets since late 2012 - had a lot to do with the success of the Encore. Couple that with the impending arrival of the Renegade, and perhaps Chevy sees a market ripe for small crossoverization.

2015 Chevy Trax interiorWhen the Trax arrives in the US market at some unspecified future date (probably early 2015), it will have a fair amount in common with the Encore, with which it shares a platform. Underhood, the same 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder will send power to either the front or to all four wheels while producing 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. It's good to see this engine gain another assignment, as it's already impressed in both the Cruze and Sonic. A six-speed automatic will be the sole gearbox.

In the cabin, the Encore and the Trax share identical measurements, meaning that passengers in both the front and back should have a reasonable amount of space. Not surprisingly, the Chevy's cabin materials don't look quite as nice as its tri-shielded cousin, although this sort of difference between Chevy and Buick is to be expected. What the Trax does have going for it, though, is a wealth of technology. Chevy MyLink, Siri Eyes Free and OnStar 4G LTE will all be available for customers to take advantage of.

As for its exterior, it's kind of like someone fired a shrink ray at the Equinox. It's clean and attractive, although we'd have liked a bit more visual panache, like the Sonic. Sixteen-inch wheels are standard on the lower two trim levels (LS and LT), while the top-flight LTZ is fitted with a set of 18-inch hoops.

Take a look below for the full press release from Chevrolet.

News Source: Chevrolet

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

2015 Audi RS7 Dynamic Edition strutting to NY

Posted Apr 15th 2014 6:30PM

2014 Audi RS7 Dynamic Edition

The Audi RS7 is already one of the most stylish sports sedans (hatch, wagon, whatever...) on the road today with flowing roof and hunkered down appearance. Now the German automaker is taking that formula even further with the introduction of the RS7 Dynamic Edition at the 2014 New York Auto Show, and the addition of a long list of unique options.

When it goes on sale early this summer, the Dynamic Edition won't come cheap. Prices start at $146,045, which is $41,145 over a base RS7. The extra money allows opulent additions like Black Valcona honeycomb-stitched leather sport seats, Crimson Red seatbelts and interior stitching, Tornado Red brake calipers with the RS7 logo, Audi's Dynamic Ride Control suspension and a sport exhaust. It rides on 21-inch, five-spoke wheels with Gloss Black accents. Also carbon fiber pieces replace the front splitter, rear diffuser and engine cover.

The DRC suspension is a late addition to the RS7's options list and comes standard on the Dynamic Edition. It uses three-stage adjustable dampers that are cross-linked and integrated into the driving mode selection and rear differential.

Of course, the special edition still comes equipped with the RS7's 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic with all-wheel drive. That'll get the big sedan to 60 miles per hour in a quick 3.7 seconds, while the cylinder-on-demand function makes it run as a four-cylinder when all the power isn't needed.

News Source: Audi

Autoblog Podcast #376

New York Auto Show, Ram Runner, Ward's 10 Best Interiors

Posted Apr 15th 2014 6:05PM

Autoblog Podcast logo

Episode #376 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Chris Paukert and Brandon Turkus talk about the New York Auto Show, internet criticism of the Ram Runner, and the 2014 Ward's 10 Best Interiors. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #376:

play


Topics: In the Autoblog Garage:
Hosts: Dan Roth, Chris Paukert, Brandon Turkus
Runtime: 01:37:18

Rundown:
  • Intro and Garage - 00:00
  • New York Auto Show - 24:07
  • Ram Runner - 45:57
  • Ward's 10 Best Interiors - 57:00
  • Q&A - 01:14:02

Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

NTSB offers NHTSA advice on semi truck safety

Posted Apr 15th 2014 5:44PM

Highway Crash

Based on studies conducted last year, the National Transportation Safety Board has sent seven recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "to improve the safety of tractor-trailers." The suggestions range from changing actual physical components on tractor-trailers, like adding protection along the sides of trailers to keep cars from going under them, to recording VIN information on trailers - which isn't currently collected - in accident reports.

The NTSB research revealed that more than half the time, truckers who hit pedestrians after pulling away from a stoplight weren't aware they had done so until other motorists or bystanders told them. When it comes to "underride events" - when a vehicle goes under the trailer - the NTSB said many of the 500 deaths caused by such incidents come from collisions with the sides of trailers, and reaffirmed the assessment by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that rear trailer guard regulations aren't up to scratch.

The full list of recommendations also believes the NHTSA should mandate blind-spot reduction systems. NHTSA hasn't responded to points laid out, but it already does a lot of research in heavy truck safety, such as the recently concluded five-year study on Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety Systems.

News Source: The Trucker, National Transportation Safety Board

Image Credit: Oklahoma Highway Patrol / AP

Hyundai testing more variants of top-secret commercial van

Posted Apr 15th 2014 5:02PM

Hyundai Commercial Van

Hyundai commercial vanThe commercial van market in the US is exploding with new products at the moment, with entries from Ford, Ram, Nissan and others. And we are seeing images (again) of Hyundai testing its own van in Europe, as well, though it's not known whether the model will make it to the US. While the company has offered work vehicles overseas in the past, this one appears to be a direct competitor to European vehicles with large bodies and tiny wheels like the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

The latest images show off not just the standard commercial van but also the pickup version, and interior for the first time. According to our spy shooters, Hyundai did not want people to see the inside of the test vehicle, reaching out specifically in an attempt to secure the pictures you see here. It's hard to say what's worth being so secretive about, but that big infotainment screen certainly looks like a nice addition. We still aren't sure whether the Korean company has opted for front- or rear-wheel drive for the model, but the gearshift suggests that it's using a six-speed manual transmission.

The pickup truck version has a cab that looks just like the standard van. Testing this variant suggests that Hyundai is addressing the need for multiple body configurations in the commercial space.

Other than the camouflage and cladding, the enclosed version looks identical to the previous spy shots we saw. Though the previous iteration had blacked out panels along the side where windows might go, indicating a passenger version.

Image Credit: CarPix

Did hard feelings between GM and Delphi contribute to ignition-switch woes?

Posted Apr 15th 2014 4:30PM

Delphi Bankruptcy

The Detroit News has lodged another exhibit in the attempt to reconstruct how General Motors used an ignition switch part that might not have met the company's own standards, citing acrimonious relations between it and parts supplier Delphi just after the turn of the millennium. The short story alleges that that Delphi made a part that wasn't up to scratch, but the long story is about why Delphi may have done such a thing and why GM would have accepted it.

Until 1999, Delphi was a division of GM, but an initial public offering for the auto parts unit made it a separate company and had everyone crowing about the benefits the move would accrue to all parties. According to The Detroit News piece, three years later, Delphi still couldn't get by without GM's money, but The General was treating it like any other supplier and squeezing it for cost savings with some truly Machiavellian tactics that many powerful purchasing department heads would file in the drawer marked, "It's Just Business." The occasional consequence was "suppliers bidding so low that they had to cut corners to meet the promised price."

Why wasn't the problem caught and stopped even though GM might have known about it? Again, according to the report, fixing the part meant production delays, but Old GM's contract with the United Auto Workers included a provision for job banks, which meant that workers had to be paid whether or not lines were running. Idling factories to fix the part would obliterate all the savings gained by hammering down the price, an outside analyst saying of such moments, "There were unquestionably times when parts were accepted that did not meet GM's specifications. But you had to keep the production lines running at all costs." None of it ended up helping Delphi, either: the company, already in "a low- or no-margin business" and saddled with heavy legacy benefits from its GM days, declared bankruptcy in 2005 and didn't exit it until 2009.

Head over to the DetNews for the full skinny on this new wrinkle to GM's ongoing recall nightmare. It's a compelling read.

News Source: The Detroit News

Image Credit: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

ETC

Chevy Camaro is a good sport, wishes Ford Mustang Happy 50th

Posted Apr 15th 2014 3:45PM

Chevrolet Camaro wishes Ford Mustang Happy 50th

It was 1966 when Chevrolet launched its challenger to the wildly successful Ford Mustang, the Camaro. While the competition between the two brands was already healthy, the arrival of the Camaro set off one of the most intense, model-to-model rivalries in the industry.

That competitive spirit hasn't stopped Chevy and the Camaro from wishing Ford's iconic muscle car a Happy 50th Birthday as the Ford's April 17 anniversary rolls around. These two cars have been linked over the years, and while the rivalry took a break for a few years in the 2000s, today's competition between the Camaro and Mustang is as fierce as it's ever been.

You might recall that this friendliness when it comes to major milestones isn't too rare. Ford put on quite a display for General Motors' hundredth anniversary back in 2008. As the Camaro's fiftieth birthday approaches in 2016, we wouldn't be surprised to see the Mustang sending its best wishes to its Bowtie rival.

Take a look below for Chevy's comments about the rivalry and a comparison with some other great rivalries from outside of the auto industry.

News Source: Chevrolet

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