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Lexus Adds Two New RC Coupe Models for 2016

Japanese luxury brand aims for lower entry price – but holds back the numbers.

by on Oct.02, 2015

Lexus will offer three different engine options for 2016 on the RC, including a new turbo 200t.

Lexus is adding two new versions of its RC Coupe for the 2016 model-year, and that should be good news for those on a budget.

Echoing moves by a growing list of luxury and performance competitors, the 2016 Lexus RC line will no offer buyers a turbocharged 4-cylinder option, as well as an all-wheel-drive version of the model’s more powerful V-6.

The Last Word!

The luxury arm of Toyota also plans to offer more infotainment options for the 2016 model-year, including the optional Lexus Enform Service Connect. Among other things, the maker explains, that will allow an owner “to remotely view information about certain aspects of their Lexus vehicle,” including maintenance and other alerts.


DeltaWing Unveils New GT Concept

Prototype takes unusual design “one step closer” to street-legal.

by on Oct.02, 2015

The DeltaWing GT's extreme design would help it achieve a wind-cheating 0.26 drag coefficient.

The radical, dart-shaped DeltaWing race car has come “one step closer” to going street legal, the Georgia-based DeltaWing Technology Group says, with the unveiling of its DeltaWing GT Concept.

The highly aerodynamic design, based on the company’s Le Mans race car, would serve as the basis for a road-going, two-seat GT car. And DeltaWing hopes to follow it with a four-door sedan version, as well, it previously indicated.

Pushing Boundaries!

“Real-world testing” is set to begin before the end of this year, DeltaWing announced in a statement, though its didn’t lay out production plans. The wind-cheating design and lightweight, spaceframe chassis would allow the GT to deliver sports car performance while still getting up to 74 miles per gallon, DeltaWing has estimated.


Mitsubishi Reveals 2016 Lancer

Maker adds features, raises price.

by on Oct.02, 2015

Mitsubishi may be dropping its street racer, the Lancer Evolution, but it will be back for 2016 with an updated version of the sedan.

The new model will get a number of modest upgrades, including new LED accents, but it will also see a $200 increase in its starting price, according to the small Japanese automaker.

Mitsubishi has announced plans to put its primary emphasis on sport-utility vehicles, like the recently redesigned Outlander. But the return of the Mitsubishi Lancer for 2016 shows it isn’t abandoning the passenger car segment entirely.


VW Diesel Emissions Cheating Scandal Heading to Congress

EPA prepares for “likely” recall.

by on Oct.02, 2015

The EPA has yet to order a formal recall of VW diesels, like this one, but that could happen soon.

Two weeks after revealing that Volkswagen had cheated on diesel emissions tests, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency still have not formally ordered a recall of 482,000 VW products, but that step is “likely” to take place, according to an EPA spokesperson.

Sources inside Volkswagen, meanwhile, told that the automaker is now working with the federal agency to come up with an acceptable fix for diesel models that can produce as much as 40 times the allow level of pollutants such as smog-causing NOx. VW has already said it is developing a retrofit for a total of 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide that contained a secret “defeat device” designed to reduce emissions levels during testing.

The Full Story!

VW’s problems have continued to escalate in recent days, and even as prosecutors in both the U.S. and Germany look into the scandal, the automaker’s top U.S. executive has been summoned to Capitol Hill where he will testify before a congressional oversight panel on October 8th.


VW’s Reputation Takes Big Hit from Scandal, Finances Likely to Follow

Only one in 4 Americans now have positive image of maker, finds survey.

by on Oct.01, 2015

Looking a little tarnished?

Volkswagen’s once strongly positive image among American consumers has collapsed in the wake of revelations the German automaker cheated on diesel emissions tests.

The fact that the vast majority of potential buyers now do not trust the brand could have a major impact on its sales, warn researchers at AutoPacific, Inc, the consulting firm that conducted the survey. While it is too early to measure that impact, VW has already announced the first cuts in its worldwide production network, and the company’s supervisory board is now looking for ways to shore up its finances.

Stay in the Know!

“How Volkswagen handles this issue is critical,” said Dan Hall, a vice president at AutoPacific. “Trust is an important issue with consumers, and every brand works hard to maintain that trust.”


Reborn Fisker Automotive Hopes to Achieve Better Karma With Name Change

Karma Automotive hopes to find a cosmic balance.

by on Oct.01, 2015

The plug-in Fisker Karma boasted striking styling, and that design is about to be seen again.

Will the reborn Fisker Automotive find good Karma or bad juju with a new name?

The now Chinese-owned carmaker has been struggling to emerge from its 2013 bankruptcy and resume production of the sleek plug-in Karma hybrid that once carried a price tag of just over $100,000. But fearing that the Fisker name would bring to the public’s mind the company’s well-publicized problems, it has decided to rechristen itself Karma Automotive.

The question is whether the carmaker’s only product will now be known as the Karma Karma – and whether that will translate into better luck after Fisker Automotive’s decidedly poor, initial karmic experience.

Good Karma: Subscribe for Free!

“Karma was chosen because its relevant to both the old and new brands, and also because it says something important about the new company,” explained a terse statement. “The understanding of the principle of cause and effect, where your actions create your future. Acting with intention is what the new Karma represents.”


Return of the RX? Mazda Set to Show New Sports Car Concept in Tokyo

Could it also mark the return of the Wankel rotary?

by on Sep.30, 2015

Does this Tokyo sports car concept signal the return of the Mazda RX - and the rotary engine?

Is Mazda finally ready to relaunch its RX sports car? It’s certainly starting to look like the answer is “yes.”

With barely a month to go before the biennial Tokyo Motor Show opens, the Japanese maker is offering a few hints of what it will have on display. And among the 14 models that will be on the stand, we can expect a sports car concept that, says Mazda, “maintains a sense of lineage and authenticity.”

Pushing the Limits!

Of course, if Mazda is truly set to reach back in its historical back of tricks, that raises another critical question: will the new sports car pack an updated version of Mazda’s signature rotary under the hood? Company officials have offered broad hints that they’re working on a Wankel engine that can meet modern fuel economy and emissions requirements.


Ferrari Ready to Launch IPO

Going public could force big changes on low-volume brand.

by on Sep.30, 2015

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne and former Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo both celebrated the launch of the $1 million Ferrari Enzo ultra-car.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could launch the eagerly awaited initial public offering of its Ferrari brand as early as Friday, according to various industry reports.

The move could generate as much as $1 billion in much-needed revenue for FCA, but it also raises some serious questions about the future of the ultra-exclusive Ferrari. A debate over how much to grow the brand last year resulted in the ouster of long-time CEO Luca di Montezemolo, who favored a go-slow approach.

Take Stock!

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has wanted to take more advantage of Ferrari’s image in the global luxury market, however, and is expected not only to push for faster growth of the brand’s luxury cars, but also to license its prancing pony logo for a broader range of upscale goods.


Better Late Than Never: Tesla Finally Reveals Model X

7-seat SUV includes new “bio-weapon defense mode.”

by on Sep.30, 2015

The new Tesla Model X spreads its wings -- or, more precisely, its unique falcon doors.

After struggling to pull a “challenging” project together, Tesla Motors finally pulled the wraps off its new Model X sport-utility vehicle at a standing-room-only event in Silicon Valley.

It becomes just the third product line Tesla has ever offered, and the second in its current portfolio, a much-needed counterpoint to the Model S sedan in a market that has widely embraced utility vehicles. If all goes according to plan, the new Model X should help Tesla nearly double its sales next year and set the stage for the even more mainstream Model III due out in 2018.

Product News!

As the California carmaker has attempted to do with the Model S, the new SUV delivers far more range than what other battery-cars can muster. And it’s loaded up with an assortment of surprise-and-delight features – from high-performance “Ludicrous Mode” to an advanced air filtration system CEO Elon Musk jokingly dubbed its “bio weapon defense mode.”


Honda Previews New Hydrogen Car, Civic Type-R, Other Debuts Coming to Tokyo

Assortment of intros ranges from practical to decidedly wacky.

by on Sep.30, 2015

The new, turbo-powered Honda Type R coming to Tokyo will be the most powerful Civic ever.

Few automotive events cover more ground than the biennial Tokyo Motor Show, which has a history of introducing products ranging from the practical to the downright wacky. And if the Honda exhibit is any indication, the November gathering will live up to expectations.

Offering a few hints of what it has in store for Tokyo Motor Show-goers next month, Honda plans to pull the wraps off the next-generation Odyssey minivan, as well as a new version of its only recently launched hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. The exhibit will include sports and track models like the new Acura NSX and quirky 2&4 Concept, and will look at alternative mobility solutions with the Wander Stand and Wander Walker Concepts.

Auto Show News!

The Tokyo show has, over the years, seen some pretty odd and exotic concepts designed to excite visitors – appropriately, in Japanese, translated into “waku waku.” That’s included past Honda models such as one that looked almost like a telephone booth on wheels.