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    2015 Dodge Charger shows off its new look in New York [w/videos]
  • New York
    2015 Subaru Outback offers more room and better econ behind that new face
  • New York
    2015 Toyota Camry ushers in 'sweeping redesign' [w/poll]
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2015 Dodge Charger shows off its new look in New York [w/videos]

Posted Apr 17th 2014 1:00PM

2015 Dodge Charger

With a new look inspired largely by the Dart compact, the 2015 Dodge Charger made its New York Auto Show debut today. Along with the interior and exterior changes, an eight-speed automatic becomes standard across the range.

What hasn't changed is the choice of engines under the Charger's long hood. A 3.7-liter V6 serves as the base mill, and can be had in both rear- and all-wheel-drive varieties, while the 5.7-liter V8 is an optional item and can be had in rear-drive only. Outputs are also carried over from last year, with 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque for the six-pot, while the Hemi V8 delivers 370 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque.

The new exterior treatment is a fairly large departure from the styling tone set by the Charger since its reintroduction to the US market in 2006. The blacked-out, crosshair grille and new headlamps are the biggest changes for 2015, though there are other, less immediately noticeable updates, such as the more rounded "Racetrack" taillamps that, like the front fascia, draw some inspiration from the Dart.

The cabin, meanwhile, is freshened with a new gauge cluster, complete with a seven-inch display, a steering wheel lifted from the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a standard 8.4-inch touchscreen display in the center stack.

We've got a healthy gallery of live images from the Charger's New York debut, along with the official batch of photos distributed by Dodge earlier this week and new videos available below. Have a look and then head down to Comments and let us know what you think of the Charger's fairly drastic rework.

News Source: Chrysler, Chrysler Group LLC via YouTube [1], [2], [3]

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

John Krafcik eyes Sonata, talks about his new role

Posted Apr 17th 2014 12:40PM

2015 Hyundai Sonata

General Views From The Chicago Auto ShowAs hundreds of people gathered to watch the unveiling of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, John Krafcik, a driving force behind the new vehicle, found himself in a peculiar position.

He stood far away from the car, away from the crowd. He watched from the Nissan stand as the covers were pulled off the Sonata.

If it was an awkward moment for Krafcik, whose tenure as Hyundai's chief executive officer ended on January 1, he didn't show it. He offered effusive praise of the Sonata. "It's a beautiful car," he said. "I think it's wonderful."

After his contract expired at the end of December, Krafcik, who led Hyundai's ascension as a key competitor in the American auto industry, quickly moved to his next challenge. Earlier this month, Krafcik joined the board of directors at TrueCar, the car-shopping website that is preparing for its initial public offering, which is expected later this year.

Per Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, he couldn't talk about the upcoming IPO. But the always-exuberant executive was upbeat about his new gig and the auto industry in general as he paced the show floor Wednesday.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Zak / AOL / Tim Boyle / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Are you the next Porsche 911 GT3 RS or GT2?

Posted Apr 17th 2014 12:21PM

Porsche 911 GT3 RS prototype

Porsche typically keeps to a suitably fast schedule when it comes to rolling out increasingly hard-core performance versions of the 911. After the 997 Carrera debuted in 2004, the GT3 version followed in 2006, and by the end of the 2007, Porsche had rolled out both the GT3 RS and GT2 versions. Then the facelifted 997.5 came out in 2008 and it was back to the start: the GT3 came in 2009, the GT3 RS and GT2 RS in 2010, and the GT3 RS 4.0 in 2011. But things have slowed down some with the latest 991 generation.

The new Carrera came in 2011 and the GT3 followed in 2012. By recent history's example, we should have at least two more hardcore models by now, but we don't. Maybe the engineers in Zuffenhausen have had their hands full fixing the spontaneous-combustion issues with the existing GT3, or maybe their attentions have been focused elsewhere altogether. But if these spy shots are anything to go by, it seems like they're back on the job.

Now we don't know if this prototype foreshadows a new GT3 RS or a GT2, but it sure looks more hard-core than the existing GT3 that many purists have derided as too soft, what with its automatic transmission and four-wheel steering.

What's the difference between a GT3, GT3 RS or GT2? We're glad you asked (even if you didn't). The GT3 is a more performance-focused version of the 911. The GT3 RS takes things a step further, but keeps the naturally aspirated engine. The GT2 packs twin turbochargers, like the 911 Turbo but without all-wheel drive. Porsche seems likely to do one or the other, and this could be either. But whichever it is – with the turbos or without, manual transmission or dual-clutch – it promises to be one of the most formidable performance machines on road or track.

Image Credit: CarPix

2015 Honda HR-V looks fit for the urban jungle

Posted Apr 17th 2014 12:00PM

2015 Honda HR-V

Honda has been teasing us with the looks of its Fit-based compact crossover for months. Now the production version, dubbed the HR-V in the US, has finally been unveiled – in photographic form, at any rate – at the 2014 New York Auto Show. The CUV will slot into the brand's range this winter, and at the moment the company is keeping mum on many details about the new model.

The HR-V looks almost identical to the Urban SUV Concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. The concept wore some nifty LED headlights and bigger wheels, but the rest of the styling has carried over to production. The handsome CUV sports diamond-shaped headlights, and a center bar splits the grille into two tiers. It has the same swoosh down the side running to the C-pillar, but it appears slightly less pronounced than in Detroit. The rear door handles are also hidden in the back pillar.

The compact crossover rides on the same platform as the new Fit. That allows it to take full advantage of the compact's highly versatile interior. The HR-V comes with Honda's Magic Seat that allows the back row to fold flat into the floor when needed.

Honda has given no indication about which powertrains the HR-V is going be to offered with. It's expected that the 1.5-liter direct injected four-cylinder and CVT is going to be one option, but the possibility of also offering a turbocharged version of the four has also been rumored. The automaker says more details are coming closer to launch.

The HR-V will slot in below the CR-V in terms of size and price when it goes on sale. All models are being built at Honda's new factory in Celaya, Mexico, that also builds the new Fit for North America. Scroll down to read the details in the release.
Related Gallery2015 Honda HR-V
2015 Honda HR-V2015 Honda HR-V2015 Honda HR-V

News Source: Honda

Mazda reveals 25th anniversary edition MX-5 Miata alongside next-gen chassis

Posted Apr 17th 2014 11:40AM

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition

Ford may be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mustang this week, but it's not the only automaker with a sports car icon to fete at this year's New York Auto Show. Mazda is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the MX-5 Miata with an array of 15 classic models. It's also showing off the chassis for the next MX-5, and unveiling a special 25th Anniversary Edition.

Next-gen Mazda MX-5 Skyactiv chassisThe special edition is based on the retractable hardtop model with either manual or automatic transmission, Bilstein shocks, a metallic red paint job with contrasting black roof and an off-white leather interior. Naturally, special badging can be found inside and out to set it apart from the record 940,000 other MX-5s sold to date, and just 100 examples will find their way to US buyers.

Along with the two-tone special, Mazda is also showing off the new Skyactiv chassis and engine that'll underpin and power the upcoming next-generation MX-5 (as well as an as-yet-to-be-determined Fiat Group roadster if the two parties can work out their differences). With a lower center of gravity that's also closer to the middle of the car, the new chassis promises even better balance and a good couple hundred pounds of weight savings over the outgoing model. Check it all out in the press releases below.

News Source: Mazda

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Volkswagen previews even hotter Golf R 400 concept

Posted Apr 17th 2014 11:25AM

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept

This week in New York, Volkswagen had a new production car to unveil in the updated Jetta as well as a new concept in the Golf TDI SportWagen. But at the Beijing Motor Show later this week it'll have even more to showcase.

In addition to the refreshed Touareg and Midsize Coupé Concept, VW will present its Golf R 400 concept at the Chinese auto expo, taking its hot hatch another big step forward. Previewed by this trio of design sketches and a few key details, the Golf R 400 concept ups the power in Volkswagen's top hot hatch by a hundred horses to 394 horsepower. Delivered through a dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive, that power drops a full second off the 0-62 time, now down to a fleet 3.9 seconds en route to a top speed of 174 miles per hour.

The show car, set to be unveiled in just a couple of days, also brings with it new bumpers, bigger wheels packed into flared wheelarches and an upgraded interior with racing buckets. Silver Flake metallic paint contrasts with the gloss black roof and carbon mirror caps, with yellow highlights where the chrome would be on the existing Golf R or red on the GTI.

It bears noting that VW has been spotted testing recently testing what appears to be some higher-performance form of Golf-shaped hot hatchery on the Nurburgring, a vehicle we caught in spy shots recently. It's not immediately clear if this concept car and the red vehicle shown in our gallery below are related, but it certainly doesn't seem out of the question.

Scope out the press release below and watch this space for more as the Beijing show approaches at a suitably brisk pace.

News Source: Volkswagen

Image Credit: Spy shots copyright 2014 CarPix

2015 Subaru Outback offers more room and better econ behind that new face

Posted Apr 17th 2014 10:55AM

2015 Subaru Outback

While its new front fascia makes the biggest obvious impact, Subaru says changes to the entire 2015 Outback package make it roomier, more powerful, more efficient and quieter. The hexagonal grille gets it in line with the corporate template, to go along with a new shape to the lower grille and fog light cladding, a sharp crease for a shoulder line and a faster rake to the windshield. The rocker panel cladding and its 'toothed' molding remain, but it now also doubles as a step for when you want to place items on the roof rack.

Under the aluminum hood will either be a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine with 175 horsepower and a carryover 174 pound-feet of torque, or a 3.6-liter inline-six-cylinder with 256 hp and 247 lb-ft exclusively in the 3.6R Limited model. Paired to the lower-friction Lineartronic CVT that is the only shifting choice, and aided by features like the active grille shutter system and electric power steering, Subaru estimates fuel economy for the four-cylinder at 25 miles per gallon city, 33 highway and 28 combined, an increase of 1/3/2 mpg over the outgoing car. The sixer is pegged at 19 city, 27 highway and 22 combined, an increase of 2 mpg across the board.

The Outback has grown in every dimension, but never by more than 0.7 of an inch. The passenger cabin grows by 2.7 cubic feet, though, so occupants have more shoulder, hip, elbow and legroom. The cargo hold is enlarged by 1.2 cu-ft with the rear seats up, by 2.0 cu-ft with them down and the load floor is flatter. Accessing it is made easier by the memory height function on the power tailgate and new release handles for the rear thrones. Cabin ambiance is improved by sound abatement measures like an acoustic windshield, thicker panels and more noise-insulating foam.

The standard equipment list gets a little longer, with larger brakes and ventilated rear discs, a rear-view camera, welcome lighting, soft-touch materials and either 6.2-inch or 7-inch touchscreens for infotainment automatically among the goodies. The options list now includes steering-responsive fog lights on models equipped with Subaru's EyeSight system, and a rear vehicle detection system that bundles blind spot detection, lane change assist and a rear cross traffic alert.

It will roll into dealerships this summer, but before that, there's a press release below, a few images above and we'll get a close look at it on the New York Auto Show floor.

News Source: Subaru

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Michael Harley / AOL

Land Rover Discovery Sport officially announced for production

Posted Apr 17th 2014 10:39AM

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept

Land Rover unveiled its Discovery Vision concept (pictured above) at the New York Auto Show. Now the company has announced that the first vehicle to wear some of the concept's styling is going to be the new Discovery Sport. The Sport is the newest member of a whole new family of Disco models that LR has in the works.

Land Rover says that the Discovery Sport will go on sale as a premium compact SUV in 2015. The company claims in its release that: "This will be the most versatile and capable SUV in its segment and is the first expression of the Discovery Vision Concept unveiled here in New York." We don't have any images to go on just yet, aside from the concept car cues, but we do know the new model is likely to be a replacement for the aging LR2.

The Discovery Vision is a seven-passenger SUV concept is meant to show the general look of a whole family of new vehicles from Land Rover, including the smaller Sport. It's expected that a larger model will be used as a replacement for the current LR4/Discovery. Scroll down for LR's entire tease about the Discovery Sport.

News Source: Land Rover

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Harley / AOL

2016 Audi A3 Sportback headed to US under diesel power [w/video]

Posted Apr 17th 2014 10:21AM

2015 Audi A3 TDI Sportback

Every get the feeling that automakers aren't really listening to what it is that you want in an automobile? Well, Audi is. Following what it calls "an outpouring of enthusiasts' support," the German automaker has announced that it is bringing the new, 2016 A3 Sportback to the US under diesel power, in the summer of 2015.

Unveiled today at the New York Auto Show, the new A3 TDI Sportback joins an expanding range of A3 models available Stateside. Whereas the Sportback hatch was until now only slated to be offered in E-Tron hybrid form, and the TDI only as a sedan, this model combines the bodystyle of the former with the power of the latter. The new TDI slots into the family alongside the gasoline-powered A3 and S3 sedans and A3 Cabriolet as well.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four with 150 horsepower and mated to a six-speed S tronic transmission. Because it's still a year away from launch, Audi tells us it hasn't determined figures for performance, fuel economy or carbon emissions numbers, but when it joins the company's considerable diesel offerings (which already include the A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7) as part of the new A3 rollout over the course of the next 18 months, you can bet it'll provide that combination of low-end grunt and long-range capability that diesel enthusiasts crave. In the meantime you can scope out the details and b-roll footage below for a closer look.

News Source: Audi

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Audi A3 named 2014 World Car of the Year

Posted Apr 17th 2014 10:00AM

2015 Audi A3

As usual, the second press day of the New York Auto Show was kicked off by the World Car of the Year Awards. Rather than fluff things up, we'll cut right to the chase: top honors go to the brand-new Audi A3, which bested the Mazda3 and BMW 4 Series for the all-important award.

Of course, the wonderful thing about the World Car awards is that there isn't just one big announcement – other honors are given out for specific categories. Here are the other winners from this year's ceremony: Have a look at our list of finalists to see which cars didn't make the cut, and be sure to let us know if you agree or disagree with the winners, in Comments.
Related Gallery2015 Audi A3: First Drive
2015 Audi A3: First Drive2015 Audi A3: First Drive2015 Audi A3: First Drive2015 Audi A3: First Drive2015 Audi A3: First Drive2015 Audi A3: First Drive2015 Audi A3: First Drive2015 Audi A3: First Drive

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Harley / AOL

ETC

2015 BMW X4 configurator is ready to get personal

Posted Apr 17th 2014 9:30AM

Screencap of the 2015 BMW X4 Configurator

The 2015 BMW X4 configurator is ready for your special touch. Starting with the 300-horsepower xDrive35i that starts at $48,925 after destination, our special touch aimed at a luxury cruiser and added $9,250 to proceedings for a final tally of $58,175. That got us the Technology, Lighting and Driver Assistance packages, navigation and enhanced USB and smartphone integration. We were tempted to go for the Dynamic Damping Control for just $1,000 and a set of 20-inch M Double Spoke Wheels, but the configurator didn't want to mix the M Sport Line with our Sparkling Brown metallic exterior hue so we skipped it.

We've covered the details on pricing and the breakdown of the order guide elsewhere, so you can always click through for refreshers. Or you can skip all those words and dive straight into trying to build an X4 that makes you say, "Yeah, now I get it."

News Source: BMW

Ford Transit Skyliner Concept does discreet luxury in NYC

Posted Apr 17th 2014 8:59AM

Ford Transit Skyliner Concept

There's something to be said for luxed-out vans. They're cool, and as a means of getting chauffeured about, they're extremely comfortable and far more low key than your typical executive luxury sedan. For the 2014 New York Auto Show, Galpin Auto Sports has shown the potential of the new-for-the-US Ford Transit as an ultra-luxurious people hauler.

The Transit Skyliner Concept, which we previewed last week, sports four finely crafted captain's buckets that can be moved into different formations based on need. Want to watch a movie? The seats can be swung around to face a 52-inch screen. Riding along with some business associates? A table can be popped up. There's even a configuration for tailgating.

The materials are, unsurprisingly, pretty plush. The leather seats and wood floors (yes, wood floors in a van) look great, while the trunk and its customized luggage are a nice touch, as well.

You can read our full rundown on the Transit Skyline Concept right here. You can also hop up top for our gallery of live images, direct from the floor of the Javits Center and the 2014 New York Auto Show. Scroll down for the full press release from Galpin Auto Sports.

Documents show GM rejected better ignition switch in 2001

Drawings Of Two Options Given To Investigators

Posted Apr 17th 2014 8:29AM

Ignition Switch closeup

Documents do not shed light on what motivated the decision to eschew use of the first switch.

General Motors made a fateful choice in the fall of 2001.

The company considered two options for ignition switches to be installed on the 2003 Saturn Ion. One drawing submitted that September contained an ignition switch that included a longer detent spring and plunger with greater torque.

In October, one month later, the company considered another engineering drawing that showed a shorter detent spring and plunger, which made it easier for the switch to move between the "run" and "accessory" positions.

Documents do not shed light on what motivated the decision to eschew use of the first switch, but GM's decision to go with the shorter switch has proven to have far-reaching consequences. The shorter switches have been linked to at least 32 car accidents resulting in at least 13 deaths.

Drawings of the two different switches were among the 200,000 pages of documents GM submitted to federal investigators who want to know why the company waited until this February to recall more than 2.5 million cars afflicted with the defective switches when it had knowledge of its flaws for more than a decade. The springs in the shorter switches were 9.6 millimeters; the springs in the longer ones were 12.3 millimeters, according to the documents. The difference between life and death was 2.7 millimeters.

On Wednesday, the Center for Auto Safety, which first noted the differences between the drawings, sent a letter to General Motors CEO Mary Barra, asking if she had been briefed about the differences in the parts – and the documents that illustrate them – in advance of Congressional hearings held earlier this month. Clarence Ditlow, the executive director of CAS, and Joan Claybrook, a former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, called on Barra to release all documents that shed light on the decision to select the switch utilizing the shorter detent spring and plunger.

News Source: Center For Auto Safety

Image Credit: Molly Riley / J. Scott Applewhite / AP

VW teases mini CC four-door coupe concept for China

Posted Apr 17th 2014 8:00AM

Rendering of a Volkswagen CC Coupe to be revealed at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, front three-quarter view

In the years before Volkswagen would admit that its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant would build the Passat, it referred to the vehicle the New Midsize Sedan. The sketch above is of sleek four-door called the New Midsize Coupe concept, to be introduced shortly at the Beijing Motor Show, but it warps the dimensions along the Passat-Jetta continuum: it's about 1.2 inches lower and the same amount shorter than the Jetta, but 2.3 inches wider – which makes it a touch wider than the Passat.

The accompanying press release shares just a few other tidbits, highlighting the concept's 220-horsepower, four-cylinder TSI engine on duty up front and the 20-inch low-profile tires it sits on. The project is identified as the "avant-garde proponent of a new, compact saloon class." Its pending introduction in China and production-friendly look has us thinking that this concept will shortly spawn a more compact CC for their roads, but not ours. And like seemingly everything else flowing out of VW these days, we're willing to bet a peek under the sheetmetal will reveal the German automaker's new MQB modular platform, too. You can check out the official words for more clues, in English and German, below.

News Source: Volkswagen

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