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Ford Takes it to the Max in Paris – With New S-Max and C-Max Models

Europe gets two "un-minivans."

by on Oct.02, 2014

Ford's European "people-mover" family includes the B-, C- and S-Max models.

Ford is rolling out two new “people movers” for the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and American motorists may see the updated version of the C-Max make it to U.S. showrooms in the near future.

The C-Max and stretched Grand C-Max will debut alongside an all-new version of the bigger S-Max. Along with the pint-sized B-Max, they make up a family of sport-activity vehicles that serve as a European alternative for families who’d like something a little more visually appealing and fun to drive than a classic minivan.

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The new S-Max is the most sophisticated of the bunch, and will undergo the most complete changeover. Under the skin, the 2015 remake will share the same CD4 platform that will underpin the next-generation Ford Mondeo line – which is sold in the U.S. as the Fusion sedan. Read the rest of this entry »

Honda Civic Type R Heats Up Hot Hatch Segment

Japanese maker going for ’Ring record.

by on Oct.02, 2014

The Honda Civic Type R may be the fastest Type R in the 22-year history of it brand.

The chatter about “hot hatches” has been going on for some time, and Honda’s new Civic Type R is only going to add fuel to that fire.

Featuring a few small exterior changes, such as an electric blue paint job to replace the standard red, it still keeps the large rear wing, quad exhausts and racing-style rear diffuser.

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Speculation is that the new iteration is the best performing Type R in the 22-year history of the car. In fact, Honda’s been running the new version around Germany’s famed Nurburgring track trying to set a new record. Read the rest of this entry »

Mazda Confirms Powertrain Plans for New MX-5 Miata

U.S. models may get a little horsepower boost.

by on Oct.02, 2014

The 2016 Mazda Miata is likely to get a little bump in horsepower compared to its predecessor.

European fans will be getting their first close-up look at the all-new Mazda MX-5 Miata as the Paris Motor Show opens its doors this week, but the event brings some news for U.S. roadster aficionados, as well.

The maker left a number of questions unanswered when it staged a three-continent Miata preview party a month back, notably what would be living under the hood. That will depend upon where you live, it turns out.

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A number of markets will get the small but scrappy Mazda 1.5-liter inline-four. But all U.S. models will be equipped with the maker’s SkyActiv 2.0-liter gasoline engine, a light, high-output package that should give the new Miata a significant bump in performance. Read the rest of this entry »

No Bull, Lamborghini Heats up the Horsepower Race with Asterion Concept

Super car maker joins competitor with new hybrid concept.

by on Oct.02, 2014

Lamborghini gets into the plug-in hybrid super car segment with the Asterion concept car at the Paris Motor Show.

You might say that Lamborghini is full of bull, each of its sports cars bearing the name of a legendary fighting bull. The maker takes a slightly different turn by manning up with the Asterion LPI 910-4 it’s debuting in Paris this week, the name of the Greek minotaur, a half-man, half-bull.

But whether the maker is serious about this concept remains to be seen. Only a year ago, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann insisted he was determined to stay focused on traditional, large-block internal combustion engines, but the “I” in LPI suggests he has had a change of heart. In Italian, it stands for “Ibrido.” That’s “hybrid” to the rest of us. And it reveals how the new show car comes up with its daunting 910 horsepower.

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Following in the footsteps of rivals like Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche, the Asterion mates its 610-horsepower, 5.2-liter V-10 with three separate electric motors, each churning out 100 horsepower. Add it up and you’re up to 910 metric hp, 897 using U.S. measurements. Read the rest of this entry »

Bugatti Ends an Era with Final “Legend”

Just 20 Veyrons left, exec says.

by on Oct.02, 2014

Bugatti President Wolfgang Dürheimer presents the sixth and final Legend "Ettore Bugatti" at Volkswagen Group Night in Paris.

The word legend is thrown around pretty freely these days, but in the case of Bugatti’s Legends Series of limited edition models, the moniker fits. The run of six “Legends” models is coming to an end with “Ettore Bugatti” edition.

“The Legends edition is an impressive part of the Veyron’s success story. Now the car has reache the finishing straight. Fewer than 20 cars are available for customers,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.

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The series began a year ago, when Bugatti introduced the Legends model “Jean-Pierre Wimille” in California. The “Jean Bugatti” followed at the IAA in Frankfurt and the “Meo Costantini“ at the Dubai Motor Show. The series continued earlier this year with the “Rembrandt Bugatti” at the Automobile Salon in Geneva and “Black Bess” at Auto China in Peking. Read the rest of this entry »

GM Injects New Life into Opel with New Adam S

Maker debuts three other new models in Paris.

by on Oct.02, 2014

Opel's newest entry in the "hot hatch" segment, the Adam S combines nimble handling with ample power.

Just hours after GM CEO Mary Barra told the world the maker expect to be profitable in Europe in 2016, Opel is showing off four vehicles that are expected to get it into the black, starting with the new Adam S.

The Adam S is Opel’s entry into the “hot hatch” segment. Sporting a 150 hp, 1.4-liter Turbo Ecotec engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the “S” does zero to 100 km (62.5 mph) in 8.5 seconds.

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Not Corvette fast, but when combined a specially tuned chassis for nimble handling and plenty of low-end torque, getting through bustling city streets will be a breeze. Add in a race-inspired exterior and an infotainment system that is fully compatible with latest smartphones using both Android and Apple iOS, enabling Adam drivers to be fully connected with safe and easy-to-use technology, you get a package with a lot of appeal. Read the rest of this entry »

Audi Hints at the Future with New TT Sportback Concept

Concept could deliver 400 horsepower and 56 mpg.

by on Oct.02, 2014

Audi's TT Sportback concept features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 400 hp.

Apparently, two new versions of the TT roadster weren’t enough for the brass at Audi, so the luxury arm of Volkswagen AG has decided to bring a third alternative to Paris for this year’s auto show.

For now, the 400-horsepower TT Sportback is being described as nothing more than a concept, but from the way officials were talking during a Wednesday night preview, they seem very interested in the idea of adding a third body style to the Audi TT family, alongside the familiar coupe and roadster models.

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The Sportback name has become a familiar one to Audi fans, though with the new TT concept it describes a five-door, coupe-like hatchback, rather than a wagon. The show car features a true four-seat layout with storage bins separating the two back-seat passengers. Read the rest of this entry »

Corvette Z06 Blasts Into Hypercar Status with “Under 3-Second” 0-60 Times

But there’s bad news for fans of the manual.

by on Oct.02, 2014

The Corvette Z06 is now part of a pretty exclusive club: the sub 3-second zero-to-60 club.

Chevrolet has just joined one of the auto industry’s most exclusive clubs, the maker announcing that it’s new Corvette Z06 will get you from a dead stop to 60 in a mere 2.95 seconds. Keep an eye out over your shoulder Ferrari and Lamborghini. Who knows what the bowtie brand will accomplish when the eagerly awaited Corvette ZR1 debuts a couple years from now?

Sadly, the announcement from Chevy headquarters could wind up putting another nail in the coffin of the manual transmission. The six-speed stick version of the Z06 came in about a third of a second slower.

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The new model is the first spinoff of the C7 Corvette – as it’s known to aficionados – and it takes things up one very significant notch with a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood capable of punching out a hefty 650 horsepower. Read the rest of this entry »

GM Provides Investors with Brighter Outlook than Ford

by on Oct.01, 2014

GM CEO Mary Barra speaks to the media before outlining the company's near- and long-term goals to investors today.

General Motors expects its North American business to produce a 10% profit margin by 2016, which will be about the same time it will begin turning a profit in Europe, GM executives told analysts today.

CEO Mary Barra and other senior executives outlined the company’s plans for the short and medium turn during the meeting at the company’s proving grounds in Milford, Michigan.

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Unlike Ford Motor Co. earlier in the week, GM executives were careful to avoid major surprises during the session as Chuck Stevens, GM’s chief financial officer, carefully outlined how GM expected to reach its objectives. Read the rest of this entry »

Trucks, Crossovers, Luxury Cars Lead Strong Sales

Ford sees sales drop due to decision to cut fleet sales.

by on Oct.01, 2014

Honda's CR-V helped the Japanese maker to a double-digit sales jump in September.

Strong sales of luxury vehicles, trucks and crossovers continued to pace the auto industry’s performance during September with several carmakers, including Acura, Audi, Chrysler, General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Subaru all reporting double-digit increases as the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales exceeded 16.4 million units.

Larry Dominque, True Car executive vice president, said what was particularly impressive was that the industry managed to continued to grow in September without increasing incentives.

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“The daily sales rate is up about 5%,” Dominque noted, “while the ratio of incentives to transaction prices has remained very stable indicating the market is basically healthy.” Read the rest of this entry »