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2015 Toyota Camry

(Re)Securing Its Spot At The Top

Posted Sep 22nd 2014 11:57AM

2015 Toyota Camry

Every car has its definitive year. Whether it be the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang, or yes, even the ubiquitous Toyota Camry, 10.2 million of which have been sold since 1983, every car has its year. For the Camry, that year was 1992. With son-of-Lexus styling, a clear sense of purpose and a parent company that had hit its stride as the purveyor of faultlessly reliable family transportation devices, the Camry got its legs in 1992. It's a car that even your mom is likely to remember, even if she never owned one herself.

The Camry you see here represents the closest Toyota has come to emulating the magic formula that made the 1992 model the stuff of legends. Compared to the 2014 model, some 2000 of the car's 6,000 parts are new, most of them involving things you can see or touch (on the outside, for example, only the roof carries over from 2014).

It's not a full redesign, but nevertheless it's a stunning development considering the predecessor upon which it's based only survived two model years. That's a testament to both the hyper-competitive nature of the family sedan segment and the lukewarm critical response that the outgoing car garnered. But that's in the past now – after driving this 2015 model, we suspect the new car's changes will be thorough enough to continue pulling in new customers by the hundreds of thousands each year for the foreseeable future.

Vital Stats

Engine:
3.5L V6
Power:
268 HP / 248 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
Base Price:
$22,970
As-Tested Price:
$26,975

News Source: Copyright 2014 Steve Siler / AOL

Jaguar gets to work on next-gen XF sedan

Posted Sep 22nd 2014 11:27AM

2016 Jaguar XF

With the XE now out in the open, Jaguar can begin to focus on what comes next. That means a new crossover, but also replacements for some of its aging current models – chief among them, the XF. Introduced back in 2007, Jaguar's mid-range sedan is growing a little long in the tooth. But from these latest spy shots, we can see that the British automaker is hard at work developing its successor.

Expected to be based on the same iQ A1 platform that underpins the new XE, the new XF promises to be lighter in weight and more advanced than the model it replaces. Look for most of the same engines to carry over, including gasoline and diesel options ranging from four cylinders to eight, with and without forced induction, with a potential plug-in hybrid version to follow. The current model is available in rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations and in sedan and wagon body styles, and we'd expect its replacement to follow suit.

The low-profile wheels and dual exhaust pipes on one of the prototypes spotted suggests it would lie somewhere near the top of the range, while the second prototype packs taller sidewalls and a trailer hitch. It's hard to discern much esle from the spy shots, heavily camouflaged as they are, but as with the technology underneath, we'd expect styling to takes some cues from the smaller XE as well. Jaguar will, of course, need to tread the line between distinctive and understated if it's going to fend off the Maserati Ghibli and take a bigger slice of the pie away from the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Lexus GS and Infiniti Q70, the Cadillac CTS and the upcoming new Volvo S90.
Related Gallery2016 Jaguar XF: Spy Shots
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Image Credit: CarPix

Lotus slated to stop selling Evora in US

Posted Sep 22nd 2014 10:58AM

2011 Lotus Evora S

It's been three years now since Lotus stopped selling the Elise and Exige in North America, leaving the Evora as its only model available Stateside. But according to the latest from Car and Driver, even that model is on its way out.

The problem reportedly comes down to air bags. Lotus was granted a temporary exemption from fitting the latest-generation smart airbags to the Evora, but that exemption is set to expire at the end of the year. And once it does, Lotus apparently has no intention of developing and fitting the proper equipment to allow it to continue selling the Evora in the United States.

Once the Evora is gone from our market, Lotus will be reduced to selling only track-bound versions of the Elise and Exige in the US, so the prospect of actually buying a new Lotus and driving off the dealer lot will vanish into thin air.

The development marks an even further low point for the storied British automaker. In the past few years, the company has fired its chief executive, scrapped its entire resurgence plan, changed ownership and is now preparing to lay off a quarter of its workforce. Here's hoping that the company's new chief executive Jean-Marc Gales can turn things around, because it would be a crying shame to see Lotus drop any further.

News Source: Car and Driver

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

2015 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon to net up to 27 mpg with 4-cylinder

Posted Sep 22nd 2014 10:16AM

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Before even officially going on sale to customers, the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup twins are already proving to be a success with dealer orders exceeding original projections. Now, there is even more good news for these siblings, with the fuel economy for their four-cylinder engines netting class-leading numbers and the 3.6-liter V6 getting segment-best payload ratings.

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the two trucks makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, and in rear-wheel drive and six-speed manual trim it has an EPA rating of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Opting for a two-wheel drive configuration with the six-speed automatic bumps those figures slightly to 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Finally, a four-wheel drive model with the automatic 'box carries a 19/25/21 rating. Those numbers are a tick better here and there compared to what's offered by the optional V6.

The twins' major four-cylinder, midsize pickup rivals are the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, but they're both getting somewhat long in the tooth. To compare fuel economy and power, a two-wheel drive Tacoma with its 2.7-liter four-cylinder is rated at 159 hp and 180 lb-ft, and achieves 21/25/22 mpg. The Frontier with its 2.5-liter four-cylinder is good for 152 hp and 171 lb-ft, and carries 19/23/21 mpg figures.

The V6 payload ratings are also class leading, with the Colorado rated at 1,590 pounds and the Canyon at 1,620 pounds. According to parent General Motors, the 30-pound deviation is due to different curb weights for the models.

The Colorado and Canyon are already on their way to dealers. Scroll down to read the full fuel economy announcement about these midsize trucks.
Related Gallery2015 Chevrolet Colorado
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News Source: General Motors

Honda CR-V updated for 2015

Posted Sep 22nd 2014 9:28AM

2015 Honda CR-V

The CR-V was first introduced way back in the mid-90s, but Honda has done a good job of keeping it fresh. Now four generations in, the CR-V has been replaced every four or five years. And though the latest version just arrived on the scene a couple of years ago, Honda's giving it a refresh for the 2015 model year.

We've already spied these changes, but now, the Japanese automaker has officially released the image you see above, showing the updated 2015 CR-V with some cosmetic enhancements. The chrome bar at the bottom of the grille integrates smartly with the LEDs outlining the projector-beam headlights, capping a reshaped front bumper with new fog lamps.

Of course, the wheels and mirror caps have been redone as well, but we'll have to wait until Honda releases the full monte to see what the new CR-V looks like around back, inside and under the hood. All Honda is confirming at the moment is that the revised styling "portends the significant enhancements made to the 2015 CR-V" and that it will release further information on September 30 before the updated model goes on sale October 1, so watch this space for more.

News Source: Honda

Gold-plated Aston Martin DB5 model sells for $90k

Posted Sep 22nd 2014 8:45AM

Gold-plated Aston Martin DB5 model with Sir ken Adam

Classic Aston Martins sell for big bucks at auction. So this news of a DB5 selling for a princely sum hardly comes as a surprise. But the model in question wasn't an actual DB5. It was a scale model.

Created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary James Bond film Goldfinger, this 1:3 scale replica of the DB5 that Sean Connery drove in the movie was plated in 24-karat gold and signed by Sir Ken Adam, who designed the modified movie prop. Created by Propshop at Pinewood Studios, the model comes complete with radio-controlled machine guns, bulletproof shield and rotating license plate – just like the one in the movie.

After registering interest from some 19,000 viewers from 129 countries, the model sold online for £55,000 ($90k) to one Mr. Robert Tyrrell, an English farmer and Bond fan. Proceeds benefit the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

News Source: Aston Martin

Indy confirms return to Brazil

Posted Sep 22nd 2014 8:01AM

Sao Paulo Indy 300 - Day 3

Indy has a long and proud history of racing in Brazil. And while the South American country was missing from this year's calendar, it has now been confirmed to be returning next season.

The race is scheduled to be held on March 8, 2015, at the Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in the capital city of Brasilia – not to be confused with the track of the same name that existed in Jacarepaguá near Rio de Janeiro until its demolition a couple of years ago. The track has hosted a variety of racing series, including MotoGP, which arrived this year, and a Formula One exhibition race in 1974. The tightly packed circuit includes 12 turns over 3.4 miles of pavement and shares its site with the Estádio Nacional that hosted World Cup soccer games earlier this year.

The news ostensibly puts the IndyCar Series back on the international stage after this season's calendar consisted of seventeen races in the United States and one in Canada. Although the final calendar has yet to be confirmed, it's expected to include a round in Dubai. A new race in New Orleans was announced earlier this month.

This, of course, won't be the first time the series will have raced in Brazil. Indy competed in Rio between 1996 and 2000 and in Sao Paulo from 2010 to 2013 (pictured above). The series has a strong following in Brazil, sending us such star drivers as Hélio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and of course Emerson Fittipaldi.

News Source: IndyCar Series

Image Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty

Jaguar F Type V6 S vs Triumph Street Triple R in open-air track attack

Posted Sep 21st 2014 7:45PM

Evo Track Battle: Jaguar F-Type V6 S Convertible vs. Triumph Street Triple R

Typically, these track battle videos pair up car against car or, in more disparate circumstances, car versus crossover, as we saw the other day. While the outcome of that battle was quite predictable, what'll happen when an equally fetching (and fast) four-wheeler is put up against one of the icons of the two-wheeled world? Evo just had to find out.

Matching up a Jaguar F-Type V6 S Convertible against a Triumph Street Triple R is at least more of an even fight than the last battle between the Porsche Cayman GTS and Macan Turbo. The Triumph has a 675-cc engine to work with, and is very light. Meanwhile, the Jag has a thumping 380-horsepower, 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 to haul about it's considerably heftier heft. Who will come out on top?

You'll need to watch the full video to find out.

News Source: Evo via YouTube

GM recalls Chevy Impala, Cadillac XTS for braking problem

Posted Sep 21st 2014 5:50PM

2014 Chevy Impala

Back in April, General Motors launched an investigation into braking issues affecting the 2014 Chevy Impala. Now there's a recall of both the Impala and the Cadillac XTS with which it shares its Epsilon II platform.

The issue apparently revolves around the electronic parking brake, which may not properly disengage. As a result, the rear brake pads could rub the rotor even while the vehicle is in motion, causing "significant heat, smoke and sparks." The earlier investigation had been launched following a complaint regarding the forward collision avoidance system, which is now either appears to have been unrelated or possibly a symptom of this larger issue.

The recall affects 2013-15 XTS models manufactured between February 14, 2012, and August 22, 2014, as well as 2014-15 Impalas manufactured between January 15, 2013, and August 22, 2014. The total number of affected vehicles reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comes to precisely 132,921 units, while The Detroit News reports a higher total of 205,000 units - the difference potentially coming down to the scope within the US and more broadly across North America. Dealers will contact owners to update the software in order to fix the problem.
Related Gallery2014 Chevrolet Impala
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Opel reveals production Adam S pocket rocket ahead of Paris

Posted Sep 21st 2014 4:05PM

Opel Adam S

General Motors makes plenty of performance machinery, but it isn't huge in hot hatches. The closest you can get Stateside is the Chevy Sonic RS, and, while a perfectly reasonable vehicle in its own right, let's just say it doesn't quite keep pace with its European and Japanese rivals. GM does make hot hatches, it just usually leaves them up to its Opel division to sell overseas. Like the new Opel Adam S.

Previewed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Opel has now announced the sportier version of its stylish city car to launch at the upcoming Paris Motor Show next month. The heart of the pocket rocket, pictured here with the optional Red n' Roll appearance package, is a 1.4-liter turbo four pumping out 150 horsepower – over 100 hp per liter and 50 percent more than the naturally aspirated version. That also puts it out ahead of the aforementioned Sonic RS (138 hp) and splits the difference between the Fiat 500 Turbo (sold as the base Abarth overseas) and the full-on 500 Abarth (595 in Euro speak).

Other upgrades, which you can read more about in the press release below, include a six-speed manual transmission, enhanced suspension, 18-inch wheels, OPC brakes, an upgraded body kit and an interior with Recaro buckets. All of which adds up to a 0-62 time of 8.5 seconds – which would see the Opel Adam S (and its Vauxhall counterpart) struggling to keep up with the competition, but leaving lesser versions of GM's stylish Euro hatch in the dust. Here's hoping a hotter OPC version is in the works.
Related Gallery2015 Opel Adam S
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News Source: Opel

Cadillac tipped to call flagship something other than LTS

Posted Sep 21st 2014 2:35PM

Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

Cadillac wouldn't be Cadillac without large sedans in its lineup, and while the XTS has had to hold down that end of the fort all on its own, it won't have to for too long. That's because the luxury brand in the General Motors portfolio is preparing to roll out its new LTS, stylistically previewed by the Elmiraj concept pictured above. Only now, the latest thinking is that the upcoming flagship model may not be called LTS at all.

As Automotive News points out, Cadillac's naming scheme is all over the place at the moment. The ATS slotting below the CTS makes sense (alphabetically), but where do the ELR, SRX and especially the Escalade fit into that naming hierarchy? And how would LTS – as the project has been known until now – sit above the XTS?

Fortunately, Cadillac may be on the case, as two of the division's most recent senior appointments seem keen to rationalize the naming scheme. One is Uwe Ellinghaus, who joined Cadillac as chief marketing officer late last year. Speaking of the brand's nomenclature last spring, Ellinghaus was quoted as saying, "We are aware that this is currently a weakness of the Cadillac brand." And his new boss is bound to agree.

Before recently joining Cadillac, incoming president Johan de Nysschen completely overhauled – or at least approved the complete overhaul of– Infiniti's naming scheme. That reorganization may have left us scratching our heads for the short term, but as time goes by, it's likely to make more sense. Before Cadillac and Infiniti, de Nysschen was at Audi, which ruffled a few feathers of its own when it applied a new naming scheme to follow the A8. But if Ingolstadt's example can teach us anything, it's that a more logical nomenclature, if carried out properly, works out for the best in the long term.
Related GalleryCadillac Elmiraj Concept
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Toyota C-HR hybrid crossover coupe concept leak ahead of Paris

Posted Sep 21st 2014 12:43PM

Toyota C-HR Concept

Last week, Toyota previewed an upcoming concept called the C-HR and promised it would debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. It didn't say much more or give us anything beyond a silhouette and the shape of the lights, but here we have the first images of the finalized form.

The C-HR envisions a hybrid crossover coupe with angular styling that looks ready to take on the Nissan Juke. It's far sportier than a RAV4, and looks closer to how we'd imagine the next-generation Scion FR-S would look like if it were riding on a jacked-up suspension – with some show car elements thrown in for good measure, like a gloating roof, radical lighting and the usual absence of door handles and usable wing mirrors.

Of course, this being a Toyota concept, it packs a hybrid powertrain, although specifications did not leak out along with the images. Overall the form looks pretty striking, if decidedly unsubtle. We'll look forward to bringing you more as the Paris show rapidly approaches.

News Source: Carscoops

Toyota to ramp up Tacoma production in Mexico by 41%

Posted Sep 21st 2014 11:04AM

Toyota Tacoma Mule

The Toyota Tacoma may be getting on in age, but that isn't stopping the Japanese manufacturer from ramping up production at the pickup's Baja California factory. The Mexican plant will soon be home to another 300 jobs as it increases total capacity by 41 percent. The increase is slated for April 2015.

The move is a curious one, considering the Tacoma's age and the fact that General Motors is preparing what, on the surface, appear to be two very competent challengers. The factory increase could be in preparation for the 2016 Taco (spy photos shown above), which is expected to represent a significant overhaul of the long-serving truck.

Toyota's decision to increase capacity could also be due to the factory building freeze implemented by President Akio Toyoda, according to Automotive News. Toyoda put a hold on new factories until 2016, asking executives to squeeze as much production as possible out of remaining factories before bringing any additional facilities online.

What do you think Toyota is up to? Is this just preparation for next-gen Tacoma production? Might a different vehicle altogether take up the additional capacity? Have your say in Comments.

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: KGP Photography

New Fisker Karma will look a lot like the old one

Posted Sep 21st 2014 9:01AM

fisker karma

Fisker Automotive appears to be wrangling up its proverbial ducks and properly aligning them again after halting production nearly two years ago. After filing for bankruptcy, the Chinese company Wanxiang, like an angel made of money, scooped up the maker of the Karma range-extended electric sports car for the sizeable sum of $149.2 million. Now, Wanxiang is looking to relaunch the Karma by early 2015, and the car that we see upon its revival will likely look quite familiar.

An insider who wished to remain anonymous told Automotive News the new Karma "will have to be nearly identical to the 2012 model." Hoping to relaunch quickly, the company doesn't have the luxury of undergoing new safety testing and certification that would be required if it made major changes to the car. Also, the less engineering that needs to be done and the more old parts Fisker can take advantage of, the better.

However, another person close to the project paints a slightly different picture of the new Fisker Karma. "The new Karma will be different in many key areas," said the unnamed source, without giving specifics. "It will have noticeable upgrades."

Throwing a possible wrench in the works are Fisker's old suppliers, who are none too pleased about being left behind when the automaker stopped making cars. Many ended up clearing out the tools they were using to make parts for the Karma. With the time that has passed, one critical supplier suggests that the new Karma might be a bit stale, stating, "You're not buying something that's considered 'state of the art' necessarily."

Still, with only about 1,800 Fisker Karmas having been sold before the disruption, the renewed model, similar as it may be to the old, will still seem fresh to all those eyes that haven't yet beheld the sleek EV. Even if, as some worry, it takes a bit longer to get production back on track, there's sure to be many happy to see the new car (and even some of the old ones) on the road.

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Fisker Automotive

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