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Muscle Cars Muscle Their Way Into the Big Apple

Mustang, Challenger, Charger – and some high-powered imports – dominate 2014 NY Auto Show.

by on Apr.18, 2014

Yes, it has a Hemi, the newly updated 2015 Dodge Charger is one of many new models muscling in at the New York Auto Show.

Marking the 50th anniversary of its original introduction at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, an all-new Mustang is waiting to greet visitors at the NY Auto Show opening this week.

But Ford’s redesigned pony car isn’t the only offering putting the emphasis on performance at an annual event that had, in recent years, been more focused on battery cars and other green machines.  While there are a number of new, fuel-efficient products on display, muscle cars have muscled their way to dominance on the floor of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on New York’s West Side.

Muscle Up!

From Detroit, there’s not only the new 2015 Ford Mustang, but a pair of muscle cars from rival Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge Division. And General Motors, which had a hit with the all-new Corvette Stingray shown in NY last year is back with the upgraded Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which is expected to add nearly 200 horsepower – coming in at an estimated 625 hp – when it reaches showrooms early next year.

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Russian Auto Market Holds Too Much Promise to Ignore

by on Apr.17, 2014

The Datsun on-DO is the brand's first offering in Russia. It is a four-door, five-seat family sedan.

Despite the air of perpetual crisis that hangs over the country, Russia is too simply too large and too important a market for carmakers to ignore, experts said during a conference on “Understanding Russia’s Current and Future Automotive Industry” at the University of Michigan.

“The Russian market is going to be larger than Germany,” said John Branch, a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business told a conference sponsored by U-M’s Transportation Research Institute this week.

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Automakers, particularly those with global ambitions, simply can’t afford to ignore the Russian market despite its volatile nature, added Branch, who noted the structure of the Russian auto industry is in flux as the demand for imports increases despite barriers imposed by the Russian government. (more…)

Facelifted VW Touareg Set for Beijing Debut

German maker increasing its focus on SUVs and CUVs.

by on Apr.17, 2014

The facelifted 2014 Volkswagen Touareg.

We’ve not yet seen all the new products set to debut at this year’s New York Auto Show, but several makers have already begun rolling out offerings set to debut next week as the Beijing Motor Show gets underway. Among those is Volkswagen AG, preparing to show off a facelifted version of its big Touareg sport-utility vehicle.

One might understand why VW is so anxious to get a jump on things considering it’s the Chinese market leader – but facing a tough battle with second-place rival General Motors.  The updated SUV is just one of several previews it has scheduled for China’s capital.

Beijing Auto Show News!

The 2015 VW Touareg – which will later be rolled out in the U.S. and Europe, as well – undergoes some relatively modest updating to its interior and exterior, and gains some important new technology, as well.

Visually, the most obvious body changes are the new front and rear bumpers, new bi-xenon headlamps, and integrated rear fog lamps. The Touareg also gets new color and wheel options.

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Alfa Quiet About Big News in the Big Apple

No news conference, but Italian maker marks its return to U.S. market.

by on Apr.17, 2014

An Ala Romeo 4C beckons NY Auto Show visitors.

Alfa Romeo is giving New York the silent treatment – which might seem odd considering it’s on display at this year’s New York Auto Show for the first time in years as it prepares its long-awaited return to the American market.

The maker had several products on display at NY’s Jacob Javits Convention Center but decided to forego staging a formal news conference, apparently due to the high cost of such an event, several sources told TheDetroitBureau.com. But they stressed that the Fiat Chrysler subsidiary is firmly on track for its planned mid-year resurrection – which comes more than two decades after it pulled out of the States.

Product News!

The Italian maker, long known for its sleek and sexy sports cars and other high-line models, will initially focus on the 4C in its bid for a U.S. rival. That’s a curvaceous little two-seater that will initially be offered at around $70,000, Alfa choosing to emphasize a heavily loaded version likely to appeal to “Alfisti” who have been clamoring for the brand’s return.

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BMW Reveals Array of New Models

Focus is on performance.

by on Apr.17, 2014

BMW board member Ian Robertson behind the wheel of the new M4 Convertible.

With nearly 60 different products making their U.S. or global debut at this year’s New York Auto Show, nearly every major automaker – and quite a few smaller ones – has something to show off this month.

But BMW has a disproportionate presence on the list, with the Bavarian automaker putting a particular emphasis on performance.  But the maker is also giving a hint as to its possible plans to roll out a battery-based version of its big X5 Sport Activity Vehicle.

Auto Show News!

“This is a year for BMW to set significant milestones,” said Ian Robertson, the BMW board member overseeing global sales. It’s already pulled off one, delivering a record 487,000 vehicles during the first quarter of the year worldwide, and the company – which includes brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce — is “aiming for a significant increase to a record of over 2 million” vehicles for all of 2014.

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Ford Reveals Special 50th Anniversary Mustang

Maker celebrates pony car’s Golden Anniversary at NY Auto Show.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Ford Chairman Bill Ford stands beside the 50th anniversary Ford Mustang. Only 1,964 copies of the limited edition Mustang will be made.

It’s a big week for Ford as it celebrates the Golden Anniversary of that original pony car, the Mustang, which made its debut on April 17,1964 at the New York World’s Fair.

Ford is lighting the candles a day early with a birthday bash at the NY Auto Show but it’s also offering up something special for Mustang aficionados in the form of a 50 Year Limited Edition Mustang of which an appropriate 1,964 will be made.

Breaking News!

The special model is based on the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT with the added Performance Pack, and comes with pretty much anything you can tick on the option list.  Despite soft sales in recent months, the new model – and the Limited Edition, in particular – could generate some serious enthusiasm.

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Mercedes Offers First Hint of New GT Sports Car

“Going into Porsche 911 space.”

by on Apr.16, 2014

A look at the interior of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GT AMG sports car due to debut later this year.

Watch your back, Porsche, you’re about to get a challenge from your cross-town rival, Mercedes-Benz.

Hours before the official opening of the 2014 New York Auto Show, Mercedes offered small group of reporters and dealers a brief tease of the all-new sports car it plans to launch later this year. And a top executive confirmed that the new Mercedes-Benz GT will take direct aim at the segment’s benchmark, the Porsche 911.

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For the moment, there aren’t many details to go on.  Mercedes offered up only a basic sketch of the exterior shape, along with some close-ups of the new GT’s interior, all done up in a seductive red leather.

But Steve Cannon, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, later told TheDetroitBureau.com, “We’re going into space the Porsche 911 has had all to itself for all these years.”

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First Look: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe

“Our ultimate halo car.”

by on Apr.16, 2014

The new 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe is the first model to get the new Curve Tilting Function.

Barely two months after introducing the newest 2-door version of its flagship S-Class line, Mercedes is taking the coupe to an all-new level of performance.

At an evening soiree previewing this week’s New York Auto Show, the German maker pulled the wraps off the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe, which Tobias Moers, the CEO of the high-performance unit dubbed “our ultimate halo car.”

On Top of the News!

Previously known as the CL line, the renamed 2-doors feature more aggressive styling than their sedan siblings. But they carry over all of the various high-tech features found in the 4-door S-Class – and then some.  The S63 AMG Coupe, for example, is the first model to feature the maker’s new “Curve Tilting Function which “leans into curves like a motorcycle rider or skier,” explained Mercedes AMG boss Moers.

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Land Rover Launches Partnership with Virgin Galactic

British maker is first “global partner” of manned space company.

by on Apr.15, 2014

A mock-up of the Virgin Galactic Enterprise makes its NY debut alongside the new Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept.

Land Rover has lined up a new partnership that might be described as out-of-this-world, pairing the British SUV manufacturer with fledgling manned space company Virgin Galactic.

Part of British mega-entrepreneur Richard Branson’s empire – which runs from music to airlines – Virgin Galactic plans to launch a test flight of its manned spacecraft, dubbed the Enterprise, later this year and launch commercial flights soon after.  The “long-term” partnership will begin with Land Rover providing vehicles for use at the new Spaceport America in New Mexico.

High Flying!

“This is a huge, momentous occasion,” proclaimed Phil Popham, Land Rover’s Global Operations Director, during a ceremony aboard the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier that is anchored off Manhattan – and where a replica of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft was positioned next to the Discovery Vision Concept vehicle the British maker will officially unveil at the New York Auto Show this week.

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Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept Gets Out-of-this-World Debut

Show car sets the stage for a “family” of Discovery models.

by on Apr.15, 2014

The Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept makes its debut aboard the USS Intrepid.

The Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept made an out-of-this-world debut during a New York Auto Show preview, appearing alongside a mock-up of the Virgin Galactic Enterprise, the world’s first commercial manned spacecraft, aboard the retired aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid.

The Discovery – sold in the U.S. as the Land Rover LR4 — has long been one of the British maker’s most popular models and the Vision Concept hints at what’s to come when an all-new version debuts next year.  Or, more precisely, what’s to come when a whole new “family” of Discovery models begins to roll out in 2015, LR officials revealed.

A Real Discovery!

“This concept represents our vision of a family of Discovery (models), not just one,” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s design director, during the evening unveiling.

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