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    2015 Dodge Charger shows off its new look in New York [w/videos]
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    2015 Subaru Outback offers more room and better econ behind that new face
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    2015 Toyota Camry ushers in 'sweeping redesign' [w/poll]
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BMW offering Track Handling Package for 2 Series

Posted Apr 17th 2014 2:20PM

BMW 228i Track Handling Package

After getting a chance to drive the BMW M235i earlier this year, we mentioned our regret at not being able to sample the lighter and less powerful 228i Coupe. We'd like to have seen how close the latter could get to the former, noting that "there's a lot of room for upgrades with the $11,000 retail difference." BMW is closing that performance gap slightly, announcing that a Track Handling Package will join the options sheet for the 2015 228i Coupe.

The group bolts on Variable Sport Steering, Adaptive M Suspension and M Sport Brakes behind new 18-inch lightweight wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. There's no change to the 240-horsepower four-cylinder, but a coupe so equipped should be able to do plenty more with the horses it has thanks to a faster steering rack, sharper handling due to additional sensors and a ten-millimeter drop in ride height, and larger brakes and discs.

BMW has used the New York Auto Show as a venue to introduce the new Track Handling Package, and it will roll onto showroom floors in July and pricing will be announced sometime between now and then. Takers can get it with both the six-speed manual and eight-speed Sport Automatic, see it in the high-res image gallery above, and read about it in the press release below.

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Brandon Turkus / AOL

2015 Dodge Challenger looks fresh, still plenty retro [w/video]

Posted Apr 17th 2014 2:01PM

2015 Dodge Challenger

It was the Ford Mustang that kicked off the retro-styled muscle car renaissance back in 2005, but it was the Dodge Challenger that served as the movement's poster child, with its unabashedly retro looks. Over the years, though, as the Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro were freshened and upgraded, the look of the big Dodge has remained largely consistent since its 2008 debut. For 2015, the Challenger has received a big freshening, boasting strongly revised front and rear ends and (finally, finally, finally) a redesigned interior.

Let's talk about that new cabin first. It's basically been plucked directly from the redesigned Charger, and boasts the same seven-inch IP display. The center stack's miserable, last-gen display has been replaced by an expansive, 8.4-inch UConnect system. Material quality should see a solid boost with the new cabin, as well.

The exterior, meanwhile, sees a revised front fascia with LED halo lights, as well as new grille inserts. A functional shaker hood scoop is a must-have extra on the V8 models, while the back of the car is highlighted by a new set of LED taillights that don't use the "Racetrack" design of Dodge's other models.

In terms of output, the 3.6-liter V6, 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and 6.4-liter SRT-spec V8 are carryovers from 2014. An eight-speed auto can now be had with all three engines, while a six-speed manual is also available on the V8 Challengers.

Take a look up top for images of the refreshed Challenger from the floor of the New York Auto Show, and then hop below for the official press release and seven videos from Dodge, as well as galleries for the SXT, R/T and SRT models.

Mazda Miata 25th anniversary display is roadster heaven on Earth

Posted Apr 17th 2014 1:41PM

Mazda Miata 25th Anniversary Display

As part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the MX-5 Miata, Mazda has put together a rather large display at its New York Auto Show booth, showing off significant models from the diminutive roadsters history.

The display represents a healthy split of volume models, with cars 14, 15 and 17 sitting alongside cars 500,000 and 700,000. There are also more than a few concept cars in the offering, such as the Super20 Concept we drove a few years back, as well as older offerings, like the Club Racer concept from the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, the M-Speedster from the 1995 Chicago show and the M Coupe from the 1996 New York Auto Show.

We've put together a gallery of images of the historical Miata display, which you can view above. Take a look and then let us know which of Mazda's awesome roadsters is your favorite.

Maserati surprises Manhattan with Centennial edition GranTurismo

Posted Apr 17th 2014 1:20PM

Maserati GranTurismo MC Centennial Edition

The GranTurismo may be getting a little long in the proverbial tooth, but it hasn't quite been a century just yet. It has, however, been a hundred years since Maserati was originally founded, and to celebrate that milestone, the Modenese automaker has rolled in to the New York Auto Show this year with a pair of special editions. Available in either coupe or convertible form, the MC Centennial Editions arrived as a surprise just as the Alfieri concept was a month ago in Geneva, albeit somewhat less revolutionary.

The special editions are differentiated from any other by their paint scheme, special wheels, revamped interior and special badging throughout. Magma red and Inchiostro blue – the colors of the city of Bologna where the company was founded a century ago – are new to the Maserati catalog, and come with a choice of wheel options with special logos at the center. The interior color is specified to complement the exterior with red, white or blue trim and carbon-fiber accents.

Power comes from the same 4.7-liter V8 as the GranTurismo MC Stradale or GranCabrio Sport, driving 454 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. That's said to be enough to propel either coupe or convertible to a top speed of 185 miles per hour, and comes coupled with Brembo brakes and MC sport suspension. Deliveries commence in July, but you can scope it out here in the gallery of live images from the show floor above, the galleries of stock images below and the press release below that.

News Source: Maserati

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

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 3.6-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

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