Category: Asia

By on September 18, 2015


Like a bad reality show, the figurative clock is ticking for the Toyota/BMW courtship that may or may not be spawning a sports car.

Reuters reported (via Automotive News Europe) that Toyota spokesman said the companies would make a decision on whether to pursue the joint project further.

“By the end of the year we will approve whether or not we will make it,” a Toyota spokesman told Reuters. “The whole study before that, on what kind of platform, on what kind of architecture, that’s been progressing quite well. We haven’t yet decided to give the green light to the project, but it’s coming up.”

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By on September 17, 2015

2016 Honda Civic Sedan Touring

Honda broadcasted Wednesday night its all-new, 10th-generation Civic that’s longer, lower and wider than the current model and looks nothing like the cheap car I drove through college.

The 2016 Honda Civic will sport a 2-liter or 1.5-liter turbocharged engine up front, leather seats in the middle and fastback styling at the rear for a full about-face from its current model. Most models will be mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission, although a six-speed manual will be available at the base, LX trim with the naturally aspirated 2-liter mill. Honda will also offer a sportier Civic Si, ahead of a Type R model — which will be the first time that model will be sold in the U.S.

The car is two inches wider, one inch lower and its wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than the outgoing model. Honda didn’t say how much the car would cost when it goes on sale later this year. Read More >

By on September 16, 2015

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn (right) and Daimler CEO Dieter Z

Speaking to journalists in Frankfurt, Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn told journalists that he’d be open to any alliance with an automaker if the opportunity presented itself.

“Any single opportunity we have in front of us … we will entertain,” Ghosn said, according to The Detroit Bureau.

Nissan and Daimler together released Wednesday an update on its joint projects including its factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico that’ll produce both the Infiniti Q30 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

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By on September 11, 2015

2016 civic front1

Photos of the 2016 Honda Civic have popped up online in Civic forums, ahead of the car’s official reveal on Sept. 16.

The photos follow closely the Civic Concept we saw in New York, including the taillight array (although it doesn’t go all the way across the trunk.)

The Civic will be powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four with direct injection mated to a six-speed manual or CVT. Read More >

By on September 11, 2015

Nissan released Friday a video and a name to accompany the teaser image we were given last week and brace yourselves, it has the letter “z” in it.

The Nissan Gripz Concept will be shown in Frankfurt first this year. According to Nissan, the crossover “concept” follows desert racers such as the 240Z and road-racing bicycles, apparently.

Nissan cleverly slipped in a “z” in the name, perhaps as a smokescreen that the Gripz could be the next-generation Juke (which is due in 2017), or perhaps as a signal that nothing in this world is sacred anymore. Earlier this year, Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura said that the next-generation Z car could be something that appealed to different, younger buyers aka a crossover.  Read More >

By on September 11, 2015


Long-defunct German automaker Borgward has a new life in China if you couldn’t already tell by the photos. The automaker released images of its first new car — since I dunno, the Eisenhower administration? — and it looks destined for the land where rules for intellectual property are much more relaxed than public demonstration.

Buick business up front, Porsche party in the back.

The Borgward BX 7 is a five- or seven-seater crossover with a 2-liter, turbocharged four that will be produced in China, according to German site AutoBild. The fledgling German automaker is backed by Chinese truck maker Foton who says the carmaker could eventually sell 500,000 cars annually.

The Borgward BX 7 will go on sale first in China, then in Germany by 2017, according to the report.

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By on September 9, 2015


Honda will show off its Project 2&4 car this year at Frankfurt and 14,000 is the number that stands out the most. That’s the redline for its V-4 engine, which is borrowed from the RC213V. Other impressive numbers: The car is roughly 10 feet long, 6 feet wide and 3 1/2 feet tall, and weighs only 405 kilograms (892 pounds).

The mid-mounted engine, which is borrowed from a racing motorcycle, produces 211 horsepower at 13,000 rpm, but only just 87 pounds-feet of torque at 10,500 rpm. A six-speed DCT transmission handles power to the wheels.

If you ask me (you didn’t) Honda should make this immediately because the world needs more track-day cars — we have enough crossovers already. But that’s just me and I’m wrong a lot.

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By on September 9, 2015


On Tuesday night, Toyota dropped the new Prius from the sky in Las Vegas in front of journalists (we guess our invite got lost in the mail, Toyota?), “social influencers” and bartenders, because most of them had already seen the leaked photos that you have too. 

The 2016 Prius is a little Mirai, a little Corolla and a whole lot of vague right now. Toyota didn’t detail any of the car’s official specs or price, but according to CarNewsChina the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and electrons in the back combine for 150 horsepower and will propel the car up to 60 mpg. According to the report, the Prius will also travel up to 34 miles on electricity alone.

Even though the car won’t go on sale until early next year, Toyota is ramping up production at its plant with “unprecedented” levels of overtime.

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By on September 8, 2015

Nissan in China - Picture courtesy

Slate has a story about hit-and-run crashes in China that proves that truth is usually stranger than fiction.

Geoffrey Sant, who teaches law at Fordham and is on the board of the New York Chinese Cultural Center, details a trend among Chinese drivers to kill the people they hit with their cars to keep from paying millions in medical costs over their lifetimes. Often, the drivers plead ignorance — that they thought it was a bag of trash, or a box — and rarely serve significant jail sentences.

Incidents captured on video show drivers sometimes backing over their victims several times to insure that they’ve been killed, according to the report.

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By on September 7, 2015

Nissan Gripz

Nissan on Monday released a teaser of a new crossover concept car that will be unveiled this month at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The crossover, which Autocar suggested could be the next Z, could also be its next-generation Juke, which should be updated by 2017.

According to the automaker, the concept could be a “new way to feel driving excitement” (Nissan left it open to the reader) because some of us get hot and bothered when we see a crossover.

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