The Truth About Cars » Future Vehicles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 11 Sep 2014 23:24:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Future Vehicles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/future-vehicles/ Toyota’s Utility Van Concept http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/toyotas-utility-van-concept/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/toyotas-utility-van-concept/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 16:55:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=910130 Toyota quietly announced a new concept that would conceivably compete with the latest crop of small vans like the Nissan NV200 and Ford Transit Connect. Dubbed the Urban Utility concept vehicle or U², the concept was designed at Toyota’s California design studio. Although it’s the size of a compact car, the intention is for a […]

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Toyota quietly announced a new concept that would conceivably compete with the latest crop of small vans like the Nissan NV200 and Ford Transit Connect. Dubbed the Urban Utility concept vehicle or U², the concept was designed at Toyota’s California design studio.

Although it’s the size of a compact car, the intention is for a vehicle that maintains the functionality of a truck or van. A folding front passenger seat and a tailgate that also functions as a ramp, along with a rail system for accessories (like bike racks) are just some of the features employed.

The styling of the Urban Utility might be a bit outlandish, but such a concept would likely be able to find a market, given the growth in small, car-based utility vans. Or, if Toyota was really feeling adventurous, it might find a home at Scion.

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Mercedes-Benz Reveals Their 911-Fighter http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mercedes-benz-reveals-911-fighter/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mercedes-benz-reveals-911-fighter/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 19:17:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=909466   Mercedes-Benz launched the replacement for their SLS AMG sports car, dubbed the AMG GT. Out go the gullwing doors and naturally aspirated 6.2L V8, with a new turbocharged 4.0L V8 and a 7-speed DCT backing it up. The base GT (if you can call it that) puts down 456 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque […]

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Mercedes-AMG GT (C 190) 2014Mercedes-Benz launched the replacement for their SLS AMG sports car, dubbed the AMG GT. Out go the gullwing doors and naturally aspirated 6.2L V8, with a new turbocharged 4.0L V8 and a 7-speed DCT backing it up.

The base GT (if you can call it that) puts down 456 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque (good for a 3.9 second sprint to 60 mph and a 189 mph top speed) , with the top-spec GT-S making 503 hp and 479 lb-ft and shaving .2 seconds of the 60 mph dash and a top speed pf 193 mph.

The GT-S also adds a variable exhaust, electronic dampers and an electronic LSD (the base car gets a mechanical unit) and variable engine and transmission mounts that can stiffen or flex depending on driving conditions. The higher spec model also gets 15.2 inch brakes all around.

The base GT will start at around $130,000 USD in Europe, but pricing and content for North America have yet to be announced. Expect the new 4.0L V8 to show up in the new AMG C63 (and likely in both trims, with a higher power S model following as well). Hopefully some of the GT’s styling migrates to the rest of the range as well.

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456 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque or 503 hp and 479 lb-ft 

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Ram de Mexico Will Get Fiat Strada Based Small Truck http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/ram-de-mexico-will-get-fiat-strada-based-small-truck/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/ram-de-mexico-will-get-fiat-strada-based-small-truck/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:23:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=909386   Speculation about a Ram small truck based on the Fiat Strada has been rampant recently, and it looks like Ram is getting ready to move in that direction for the Mexican market. A Brazilian outlet is reporting that the Strada will be sold in Mexico as the Ram 750. The 750 will be offered […]

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Speculation about a Ram small truck based on the Fiat Strada has been rampant recently, and it looks like Ram is getting ready to move in that direction for the Mexican market.

A Brazilian outlet is reporting that the Strada will be sold in Mexico as the Ram 750. The 750 will be offered in both single and double cab configurations and powered by small 4-cylinder engines.

Perhaps these were the Strada mules being tested around Detroit, and there were never any plans to bring a small truck to the United States. With UNECE rules and a totally different set of market conditions (as well as no chicken tax), Mexico is a much better place to import a small, front-drive car-based pickup than the United States. Or maybe FCA will surprise us all?

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Tesla, Toyota May Develop New Project Within Three Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/tesla-toyota-may-develop-new-project-within-three-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/tesla-toyota-may-develop-new-project-within-three-years/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=909122 Though Toyota and Tesla have, to paraphrase Fleetwood Mac, gone their own way while their RAV4 EV project draws to a close, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he sees his company working with Toyota in two to three years’ time. Automotive News says Musk made the proclamation during a ceremony for the first Model S […]

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Though Toyota and Tesla have, to paraphrase Fleetwood Mac, gone their own way while their RAV4 EV project draws to a close, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he sees his company working with Toyota in two to three years’ time.

Automotive News says Musk made the proclamation during a ceremony for the first Model S sedans delivered in Japan Monday, stating the project “would probably be something significant, maybe on a much higher volume level.” He added that Tesla loved working with Toyota, and held great respect for the automaker.

When the gesture was brought up with Toyota, however, representative Dion Corbett said the automaker had “nothing to say.” This is likely in part due to recent comments between the two companies over their respective paths toward a greener future; Toyota sees EVs as impractical, Tesla believes FCVs are for fools.

The RAV4 EV joint venture is expected to end once the last of the 2,500 crossovers are sold by the end of the year; Toyota has sold 2,130 RAV4 EVs through August 2014.

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Jaguar XE Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/jaguar-xe-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/jaguar-xe-revealed/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:15:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=908777 Despite all the hype around the Jaguar XE and its new lineup of ultra-efficient 4-cylinder engines, Jaguar has chosen to reveal their new 3-Series fighter with only the most sporting trim level. Revealed today in London, the XE-S packs the base F-Type’s 340 horsepower supercharged 3.0L V6. 60 mph will come up in 4.9 seconds, and […]

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Jaguar XE World Premier

Despite all the hype around the Jaguar XE and its new lineup of ultra-efficient 4-cylinder engines, Jaguar has chosen to reveal their new 3-Series fighter with only the most sporting trim level.

Revealed today in London, the XE-S packs the base F-Type’s 340 horsepower supercharged 3.0L V6. 60 mph will come up in 4.9 seconds, and power is sent to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. Aside from that, details were scant.

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Mazda MX-5 Turbo Video Was Just A Teaser http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mazda-mx-5-turbo-video-just-teaser/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mazda-mx-5-turbo-video-just-teaser/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:30:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=909049 The now-famous teaser video that had the whole world wondering about a possible turbo on the 2016 Mazda MX-5 turned out to be a red herring. According to our source, the vehicle used for the teaser video is actually a modified NB Miata with an aftermarket turbo kit, hence the audible woosh of a turbocharger. […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

The now-famous teaser video that had the whole world wondering about a possible turbo on the 2016 Mazda MX-5 turned out to be a red herring.

According to our source, the vehicle used for the teaser video is actually a modified NB Miata with an aftermarket turbo kit, hence the audible woosh of a turbocharger. Over at Jalopnik, there’s a picture of the engine taken by Travis Okulski, which appears to show no turbocharger present. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the next MX-5 will be naturally aspirated.

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Cadillac To Introduce V2V, Semi-Autonomy In 2017 CTS, Flagship Sedans http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/cadillac-introduce-v2v-semi-autonomy-2017-cts-flagship-sedans/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/cadillac-introduce-v2v-semi-autonomy-2017-cts-flagship-sedans/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=908657 Cadillac owners entering showrooms in 2017 will find that their new ride will be capable of more than they might like, as V2V and semi-autonomous systems will become available on the CTS and a Cadillac to be named later. According to Automotive News, General Motors CEO Mary Barra says the semi-autonomous system — dubbed Super […]

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Cadillac owners entering showrooms in 2017 will find that their new ride will be capable of more than they might like, as V2V and semi-autonomous systems will become available on the CTS and a Cadillac to be named later.

According to Automotive News, General Motors CEO Mary Barra says the semi-autonomous system — dubbed Super Cruise — will be an option for “an all-new Cadillac that’s going to enter a segment where we don’t compete today,” possibly the recently green-lit flagship meant to take on the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series in the F-segment. The option, meant to take over driving and braking duties on the highway and during rush hour, will likely be as expensive as the $2,400 top-of-the-line safety package offered on all Cadillac sedans.

Meanwhile, the V2V system will be standard on the 2017 CTS, though it may only be able to talk to other CTSs so-equipped if no other manufacturer has V2V ready to go by then. By announcing the feature, however, Barra hopes to “start the conversation” on the technology:

The sooner the industry puts a critical mass of V2V-equipped vehicles on the road, the more accidents we’ll prevent.

GM is currently involved in a partnership with Ford, the University of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Transportation to augment 120 miles of Detroit Metro highways with cameras and sensors to provide data to V2V-equipped vehicles, with the goal of reducing accidents in mind.

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Citroen’s Newest DS Is Divine http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/citroens-newest-ds-divine/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/citroens-newest-ds-divine/#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 13:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=908097 After showing off the beautiful Peugeot Exalt at a previous auto salon, embattled PSA is showing that the spectre of death breathing down their neck has really focused the company’s attention.At the 2014 Paris Salon, Citroën’s sub-brand DS has prepared an arguably even more stunning concept, the very aptly named Divine. The car features a prism […]

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After showing off the beautiful Peugeot Exalt at a previous auto salon, embattled PSA is showing that the spectre of death breathing down their neck has really focused the company’s attention.At the 2014 Paris Salon, Citroën’s sub-brand DS has prepared an arguably even more stunning concept, the very aptly named Divine.

The car features a prism based decoration motif throughout. Present on the roof, back hatch window and throughout the cabin, the geometric shape underscores a vey definite French chic. Rich leather gives warmth and an organic charm to the creative shapes seen within. As with any modern car, technology abounds and a 10.4 inch touch screen controls functions. The dashboard and steering wheel seek inspiration from fighter jets.

External design is also elegant. Being roughly the same size of a medium compact car (think VW Golf) it is 4.21 m long and sits low and wide. It makes uses of huge 20 inch, 5 spoke wheels. The roof and back hatch really show off the prism motif and are eye-catching and pleasing. The front is aggressive without looking like an alien bug, while heavy creases decorate the sides.

Mechanically, the car is motivated by the well known and highly-acclaimed THP 1.6 L Turbo, already used by some PSA products like the Peugeot RCZ R. This engine is capable of putting out 270 hp and has a massive torque (for such a small car) of 243 lb-ft. In use is an automatic transmission used by pressing buttons on the dash.

This concept appears to be very far from production. However, it underscores the direction PSA is taking Citroën and DS. Taken together with Peugeot’s Exalt concept, it shows the French are back in the design game in a big way.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Packing Tons Of Tech http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-packing-tons-tech/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-packing-tons-tech/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 19:06:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=907321   The current generation Mazda MX-5 is pretty light on tech gizmos – the current car doesn’t even have Bluetooth, let alone navigation or a USB port. But the upcoming ND MX-5 will reverse that, with a generous suite of the latest in technology and safety features. After getting a closer look at a Japanese-spec […]

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The current generation Mazda MX-5 is pretty light on tech gizmos – the current car doesn’t even have Bluetooth, let alone navigation or a USB port. But the upcoming ND MX-5 will reverse that, with a generous suite of the latest in technology and safety features.

After getting a closer look at a Japanese-spec prototype, it appears that the new MX-5 will have an Adaptive Front-Lighting System Blind Spot Monitoring a Lane Departure Warning System and even a start-stop system. Whether these make it to America is unknown – I’d wager that start-stop will likely stay in world markets and not make it over here, but we could see the other features on higher end trim levels.

Also on board is a DVD-based navigation system, as well as multiple slots for USB, SD and MicroSD ports. The DVD slot is located behind the armrest, which also holds a storage compartment in lieu of a glovebox.

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Toyota Focused More On Safety Over Vehicle Autonomy http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/toyota-focused-safety-vehicle-autonomy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/toyota-focused-safety-vehicle-autonomy/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 11:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906993 Though Google was more than happy to turn a few Prii into autonomous test beds, Toyota doesn’t see much of a future for autonomous vehicles from the tech giant or Toyota’s competitors. Autoblog reports “Toyota’s main objective is safety,” not developing autonomous vehicles of its own, according to the automaker’s deputy chief safety technology officer, […]

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Though Google was more than happy to turn a few Prii into autonomous test beds, Toyota doesn’t see much of a future for autonomous vehicles from the tech giant or Toyota’s competitors.

Autoblog reports “Toyota’s main objective is safety,” not developing autonomous vehicles of its own, according to the automaker’s deputy chief safety technology officer, Seigo Kuzumaki. He adds that he and Toyota’s top brass don’t believe such vehicles will have much marketability outside of the technocratic state of Silcon Valley, nor are they certain the technology is ready for primetime.

At the present, Toyota is working on 34 projects with 17 partners, including those involving V2V and V2I communication systems. That said, it believes the human behind the wheel is just as important as the computers running most of the show. Thus, the driver will not become a passenger in the near-term.

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2018 Lamborghini Urus Will Share $240k Price Tag With Huracán http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2018-lamborghini-urus-will-share-240k-price-tag-huracan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2018-lamborghini-urus-will-share-240k-price-tag-huracan/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 10:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906969 Lamborghini’s newest foray into the premium truck/SUV market may still be for the production stop light to go green, but when it does, it will likely be priced in line with the Huracán. According to Motoring.com.au, Lamborghini R&D board member Maurizio Reggiani says the Urus “is still not confirmed for the brand,” and is awaiting […]

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Lamborghini’s newest foray into the premium truck/SUV market may still be for the production stop light to go green, but when it does, it will likely be priced in line with the Huracán.

According to Motoring.com.au, Lamborghini R&D board member Maurizio Reggiani says the Urus “is still not confirmed for the brand,” and is awaiting final approval from the top brass at Volkswagen AG. Once approved, however, the premium SUV will enter production at the end of 2017 at the earliest.

The statement flies in the face of proclamations of a confirmed 2017 production date by both brand CEO Stephan Winkelmann and Lamborghini Japan sales and marketing boss Eginardo Bertoli. Bertoli adds that the Urus “will be priced similarly to the Huracán, to maintain the brand’s position as premium” when it arrives in Japanese showrooms in 2018.

In the United States, the Huracán starts at $237,250 MSRP. At that price, the Urus would be the most expensive premium SUV available that doesn’t have six wheels or leather from the alleged nether regions of Moby Dick. That said, Reggiani says approval matters more than price at this time, which is likely a formality before the New Age Rambo Lambo roars out of Italy in a few years.

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Pre-Production 2015 Honda Civic Type-R Spotted In Croatia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/pre-production-2015-honda-civic-type-r-spotted-croatia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/pre-production-2015-honda-civic-type-r-spotted-croatia/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 14:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906473 While our European friends are waiting for the next-generation Honda Civic Type-R to arrive next summer, one lucky spotter discovered a pre-production model tackling the switchbacks of Eastern Europe not too long ago. Carscoops reports a friend of theirs sent in two photos of the 2015 Type-R as it was shooting a promo in Rijeka, […]

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While our European friends are waiting for the next-generation Honda Civic Type-R to arrive next summer, one lucky spotter discovered a pre-production model tackling the switchbacks of Eastern Europe not too long ago.

Carscoops reports a friend of theirs sent in two photos of the 2015 Type-R as it was shooting a promo in Rijeka, Croatia, located two hours to the southwest from the nation’s capital, Zagreb.

This particular Type-R — later spotted on a trailer in Slovenia — lacks the concept version’s massive front wheel arches and matching set of front and rear air ducts — as seen at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show — yet maintains the large rear spoiler/LED tail lamp combo.

The Type-R will receive power from a 2-liter VTEC turbo-four punching out 280 horsepower through the front wheels when it begins production next year.

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Paris 2014: Infiniti Teases Q80 Inspiration Concept http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/paris-2014-infiniti-teases-q80-inspiration-concept/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/paris-2014-infiniti-teases-q80-inspiration-concept/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 13:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906441 Another day, another teaser. This time, Infiniti released a couple of vague images ahead of the 2014 Paris Auto Show, previewing the Q80 Inspiration concept. Autoblog reports the concept is a “low-slung, ingeniously aggressive four-passenger fastback” meant to show the world how the brand wishes to become a major player in the global luxury game. […]

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Another day, another teaser. This time, Infiniti released a couple of vague images ahead of the 2014 Paris Auto Show, previewing the Q80 Inspiration concept.

Autoblog reports the concept is a “low-slung, ingeniously aggressive four-passenger fastback” meant to show the world how the brand wishes to become a major player in the global luxury game. As reported earlier, Infiniti has plans for a flagship model as part of its overall lineup expansion, and may be hinting at such a thing with the Q80.

More details are expected to slowly leak out prior to the concept’s global debut October 2. Until then, this is all we have.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Live Shots, Technical Details http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-live-shots-technical-details/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-live-shots-technical-details/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:31:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906073 Mazda’s newest MX-5 appeared live at an event in California, and although Mazda was stingy with details, we managed to get a few. As mentioned in an earlier post, the new car, dubbed ND, should weigh an incredible 2280 lbs. It will also be 154 inches in length, 4 inches shorter than the current car. […]

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Mazda’s newest MX-5 appeared live at an event in California, and although Mazda was stingy with details, we managed to get a few.

As mentioned in an earlier post, the new car, dubbed ND, should weigh an incredible 2280 lbs. It will also be 154 inches in length, 4 inches shorter than the current car. The base wheels will be 16″ with 195/50 Yokohama Advans while the larger wheels will use 205/40/17 Bridgestone RE050′s, the same grippy, 140 treadwear rated tires as used on the Ford Fiesta ST. Rims will have 4 bolts, leading to speculation that they will be 4×100 and able to use old Miata rims.

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2015 Mazda3 To Get 2.5L/6-Speed Manual Combination http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-mazda3-get-2-5l6-speed-manual-combination/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-mazda3-get-2-5l6-speed-manual-combination/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906097 Our biggest complaint surrounding the 2014 Mazda3 was the lack of a stick shift option in the 2.5L, 184-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. We felt that the 155-horsepower 2.0L engine was just too limp for the car’s otherwise excellent chassis, but the lack of a manual with the big motor was a disappointment. No longer. A Mazda […]

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Our biggest complaint surrounding the 2014 Mazda3 was the lack of a stick shift option in the 2.5L, 184-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. We felt that the 155-horsepower 2.0L engine was just too limp for the car’s otherwise excellent chassis, but the lack of a manual with the big motor was a disappointment. No longer.

A Mazda source tells us that 2015 Mazda3′s will be available with both the big motor and the 6-speed manual. While this is good news for manual fans, there’s one big issue: the Skyactiv 6AT box is really good. I even think it’s the better of the two gearboxes. But I’d still pick the manual for myself, even if it’s not what I’d recommend to everyone else.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-unveiled/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 01:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=905601 This is it: The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata unveiled for all to behold. The fourth-generation MX-5 takes the automaker’s Kodo design language to another level, giving the iconic roadster “the presence of a living creature and a strong sense of vitality to the car,” as well as convey agility. Underneath the bio-mechanical skin, the roadster […]

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This is it: The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata unveiled for all to behold.

The fourth-generation MX-5 takes the automaker’s Kodo design language to another level, giving the iconic roadster “the presence of a living creature and a strong sense of vitality to the car,” as well as convey agility.

Underneath the bio-mechanical skin, the roadster distributes its 2280 pounds of weight — 200 pounds lighter than the current MX-5 — 50:50 between the front and rear. Under the bonnet, a Skyactiv-G direct-injection gasoline engine sends its power to the back through either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Part of the weight reduction comes from the use of aluminum forward of the A-pillar as well as the rear bumper reinforcements. Lighter suspension components and soft-top materials contribute to Mazda’s so-called “gram strategy,” also.

Behind the wheel, the automaker’s Mazda Connect next-gen connected-vehicle system “efficiently links the driver to the car and the outside world.” Meanwhile, the soft-top can be operated from within the cockpit, the roadster won’t look awkward like the Nissan Z and Murano CrossCabriolet with the top down, and wind control features will keep your hair or hat from blowing away.

The new MX-5 will go on sale in 2015. No price of admission has been announced at this time.

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Bartsch: Infiniti On Track Despite Key Departures http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/bartsch-infiniti-track-despite-key-departures/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/bartsch-infiniti-track-despite-key-departures/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 12:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=905681 Though the departures of Johan de Nysschen and Andy Palmer from Infiniti and Nissan respectively may be setbacks in the premium brand’s overall trek toward becoming a proper player in the luxury game, Infiniti Americas VP Michael Bartsch believes the brand will stay the course in the end. According to Ward’s Auto, Bartsch says Infiniti’s […]

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Though the departures of Johan de Nysschen and Andy Palmer from Infiniti and Nissan respectively may be setbacks in the premium brand’s overall trek toward becoming a proper player in the luxury game, Infiniti Americas VP Michael Bartsch believes the brand will stay the course in the end.

According to Ward’s Auto, Bartsch says Infiniti’s roadmap, as designed by de Nysschen and endorsed by both Palmer and Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, is “locked in.” Further, the plan, and by extension, Infiniti, is greater than the people behind it, with a “collective stewardship of the mission and the vision” in place.

The plan calls for Infiniti to go up against the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi by expanding its offerings over the next few years, meeting them in 85 percent to 86 percent of the segments where the German brands currently do battle:

The reality of it is the German brands have fractured the market more than we’ve ever seen. The challenge for Infiniti at the moment is not whether we can build cars for the segment. I think our record shows very clearly we can. It’s not what we currently have, the challenge is what we don’t have. To be an effective player in (the luxury sector), you have to have range. You have to have the bandwidth.

The expansion will begin when the Q30 arrives in showrooms throughout 2015, and will feature redesigns of current vehicles, as well as possibilities for a flagship and a sports car down the line.

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Discovery, We Hardly Knew Ye http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/discovery-hardly-knew-ye/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/discovery-hardly-knew-ye/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 01:34:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=905201 The uproar over the Ford Explorer’s move to a unibody, car-based platform was deafening, largely led by a chorus of internet know-it-alls who found it convenient to be outraged when it meant the opportunity for clicks (and were otherwise contemptuous of anything with a raised ride height and two box shape). No such outrage has […]

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The uproar over the Ford Explorer’s move to a unibody, car-based platform was deafening, largely led by a chorus of internet know-it-alls who found it convenient to be outraged when it meant the opportunity for clicks (and were otherwise contemptuous of anything with a raised ride height and two box shape). No such outrage has been present for the new Land Rover Discovery’s err, crossing over.

I never cared much for the Disco, the LR3 or LR4, as they came to be known. Former EIC Baruth adored his ’97 5-speed Discovery, but where I grew up, they were little more than glorified carpool taxi, never seeing terrain more rugged than a gravel driveway.

The move to a unibody platform makes sense, no matter how hard the Land Rover faithful (or non-buying purists) might protest. Land Rover, like many great marques, has come a lifestyle brand, albeit with far less merchandising than some other premium nameplates. The newest Disco is a great accoutrement, and probably a very nice vehicle, if JLR’s latest crop of cars is anything to go by.

Its biggest flaws will be that

  • A crop of non-buying know-it-alls finds it unsatisfactory due to its lack of off-road chops
  • For many self-conscious buyers, it won’t be the most expensive Land Rover products, thus making it a shameful “poverty spec” alternative to the Range Rover lineup

Ironically, the very point of the Discovery range (as it will now be called) is to fulfill both of those mandates. No matter – since the Explorer moved to a more car-like unibody design, sales have increased each year JLR will sell plenty of Discos too.

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Subaru Reviving The WRX Hatchback? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/subaru-reviving-wrx-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/subaru-reviving-wrx-hatchback/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:33:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904969 When the latest Subaru WRX was released, the enthusiast fan base was forced to suffer the indignity of a sedan-only lineup. Subaru’s company line was that there weren’t sufficient resources to develop a hatchback model as well. But that might be changing. A hatchback WRX mule was spied undergoing hot weather testing, with a WRX […]

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When the latest Subaru WRX was released, the enthusiast fan base was forced to suffer the indignity of a sedan-only lineup. Subaru’s company line was that there weren’t sufficient resources to develop a hatchback model as well. But that might be changing.

A hatchback WRX mule was spied undergoing hot weather testing, with a WRX front end grafted onto an Impreza hatchback bodyshell. Given the popularity of hatchbacks in both world markets, and the WRX hatch’s fanbase stateside (where it accounted for about 45 percent of WRX sales), there’s a good case for its return.

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2016 Infiniti Q50S To Receive G35′s Hydraulic Steering http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-infiniti-q50s-receive-g35s-hydraulic-steering/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2016-infiniti-q50s-receive-g35s-hydraulic-steering/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 12:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904881 If you test-drove an Infiniti Q50S recently and came away with disappointment because its steering was lacking, you’ll be happy to know the sedan will receive an upgrade, courtesy of the G37. Car & Driver reports the hydraulic steering found in the sibling sedan will replace the base hydraulic setup when the Q50S is updated […]

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If you test-drove an Infiniti Q50S recently and came away with disappointment because its steering was lacking, you’ll be happy to know the sedan will receive an upgrade, courtesy of the G37.

Car & Driver reports the hydraulic steering found in the sibling sedan will replace the base hydraulic setup when the Q50S is updated for the 2016 model year. The brand’s product planning chief, Keith St. Clair, explains:

Some members of the enthusiast community, including the media, suggested the car could benefit with enhanced steering feel, as in more engagement similar to the former G Sedan Sport.

St. Clair’s team built a prototype using the sedan’s steering alongside exhaust system tweaks, and found the improvements impressive enough to bring the mule before the brand’s top brass, leading Infiniti to find “the fastest path for adopting [the improvements] into regular production.”

The Q50S will also receive styling and chassis upgrades along with the new steering and exhaust improvements, though no word has been given on whether or not Q50 or Q50S Hybrid models will also receive the G37′s hydraulic steering.

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Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG Arriving In 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mercedes-benz-g65-amg-arriving-in-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/mercedes-benz-g65-amg-arriving-in-2016/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:52:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904617 After years of Stateside consumers being denied the most vulgar AMG offering, Mercedes-Benz will introduce the G65 AMG, a twin-turbo V12 G-Wagen, to North America, starting in the 2016 model year. Automotive News reports that the G65 will have an MSRP of roughly $250,000. The G65 is powered by a 604 horsepower V12 with a top speed […]

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After years of Stateside consumers being denied the most vulgar AMG offering, Mercedes-Benz will introduce the G65 AMG, a twin-turbo V12 G-Wagen, to North America, starting in the 2016 model year.

Automotive News reports that the G65 will have an MSRP of roughly $250,000. The G65 is powered by a 604 horsepower V12 with a top speed limited to 143 mph. Look for the G65 to appear on a Kardashian-centric reality TV show shortly after launch.

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Volkswagen Shows Off CLA Competitor In Chengdu http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/volkswagen-shows-cla-competitor-chengdu/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/volkswagen-shows-cla-competitor-chengdu/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:50:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=903378 Volkswagen’s latest MQB-based vehicle is another challenge to Mercedes-Benz – the last time they threw down the gauntlet against Daimler, we ended up with the Phaeton. This should fare a bit better. Dubbed the “Lamando”, the vehicle in question is based on the MK7 Golf and its MQB chassis, and uses both the 1.4L and 2.0L […]

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Volkswagen’s latest MQB-based vehicle is another challenge to Mercedes-Benz – the last time they threw down the gauntlet against Daimler, we ended up with the Phaeton. This should fare a bit better.

Dubbed the “Lamando”, the vehicle in question is based on the MK7 Golf and its MQB chassis, and uses both the 1.4L and 2.0L TSI 4-cylinder engines, along with a 7-speed DSG gearbox. The Lamando will be built in China, for the Chinese market only, with a starting price of about $29,000. This puts it in direct competition with the Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Live shots of the car can be seen here.  Sales of the Americanized Jetta have slumped recently, despite a strong (but price-driven) introduction. A car like this would do a lot to add some pizzazz to Volkswagen’s compact sedan, and given its MQB bones, it could likely be built in Mexico easily. How about it, VW?

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Volvo Restructuring To Three Families, Configurations By 2019 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/volvo-restructuring-three-families-configurations-2019/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/volvo-restructuring-three-families-configurations-2019/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=903194 By 2019, the face of Volvo will change as the Sino-Swedish automaker begins restructuring its offerings, with the new XC90 leading the way. Autoblog reports Volvo will align its lineup portfolio around three families (40, 60, 90) and three designations/configurations (S sedan, V wagon, XC crossover). In turn, the 40 family will share a platform […]

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By 2019, the face of Volvo will change as the Sino-Swedish automaker begins restructuring its offerings, with the new XC90 leading the way.

Autoblog reports Volvo will align its lineup portfolio around three families (40, 60, 90) and three designations/configurations (S sedan, V wagon, XC crossover). In turn, the 40 family will share a platform with parent company Geely’s offerings, while the 60 and 90 families will use Volvo’s SPA modular platform.

Additionally, the V40/V60/V90 wagons will have a Cross Country variant, matching up with Audi’s and Subaru’s offroad formula for their respective non-rugged base offerings. Meanwhile, R-Design and Polestar will apply their magic performance touches to a few of the new vehicles, going up against similar efforts from BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

All of the above are expected to come online within the next four years, but no coupes or convertibles are in the plans, citing a lack of a case for either at this time. Volvo will instead focus on boosting its volume, with a goal of 800,000 units for 2014 alone.

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Kia Set To Build “Range” Of Compacts At Monterrey Plant In 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/kia-set-build-range-compacts-monterrey-plant-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/kia-set-build-range-compacts-monterrey-plant-2016/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=902129 Kia announced Wednesday that it plans to build “a range of yet-to-be confirmed compact models” at its new plant in Monterrey, Mexico after Job 1 production begins in H1 2016. Automotive News reports the automaker is still determining which vehicles it plans to produce at the $1 billion plant, as it will be set-up to […]

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Kia announced Wednesday that it plans to build “a range of yet-to-be confirmed compact models” at its new plant in Monterrey, Mexico after Job 1 production begins in H1 2016.

Automotive News reports the automaker is still determining which vehicles it plans to produce at the $1 billion plant, as it will be set-up to produce both compact and subcompact models at a rate of 300,000 units annually once full production begins.

Kia adds that the plant will also serve as a potential launching pad for production throughout Central and South America, as well as a supply line to a new sales channel in Mexico:

With its strong growth forecasts for new vehicle demand, Mexico was chosen as the site for Kia’s next overseas plant given that it is one of the few remaining major markets in the world in which Kia does not have a sales presence.

Kia will begin construction of its new facility in late September.

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Buick Envision Spied On The Eve Of Its Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/buick-envision-spied-eve-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/buick-envision-spied-eve-debut/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:18:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=901778 Right before its debut at the Chengdu Auto Show, the Buick Envision was spied outside an exhibit hall as it prepares to make its debut in China, a crucial market that is hungry for both crossovers and Buick brand vehicles. Although the Envision is almost certain to make its way to North America, GM has […]

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Right before its debut at the Chengdu Auto Show, the Buick Envision was spied outside an exhibit hall as it prepares to make its debut in China, a crucial market that is hungry for both crossovers and Buick brand vehicles.

Although the Envision is almost certain to make its way to North America, GM has made no formal announcement of its arrival. Reports indicate that a Q2 2015 launch is likely, with the GM 2.5L 4-cylinder joining alongside the corporate 2.0T engine powering the Chinese version.

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