Category: Japan

By on November 25, 2015

2017 Infiniti QX30 Reveal Los Angeles-5

* Assuming a “cut” is a unit of measurement equaling 3/4 of an inch.

The night before the opening of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Infiniti invited media to check out its new crossover darling: the 2017 QX30.

Calling it a crossover might be a stretch as the new model is but a mere 0.75-inches taller than the Q30 (which is 0.75-inches taller than the Q30 S) on which it’s based. Same with calling it an Infiniti, as anyone who’s spent time in a Mercedes-Benz GLA will attest. Daimler touches are everywhere.

“But,” said Roland Krüger, president of Nissan’s luxury marque, “once you drive it, you’ll immediately know it’s an Infiniti.”

What Krüger means by that is very much open to interpretation. However, differentiating the newest compact crossover from that of its frenemy is paramount to making it successful.

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By on November 24, 2015


A purported screenshot of a Honda ordering screen over at CivicX shows the new turbo-powered, tenth-generation Civic will be made available with a six-speed manual transmission starting next year.

The only engine available with a row-your-own box for this year’s Civic is the naturally aspirated K20 2-liter four that cranks 158 horsepower — 16 horsepower fewer than the turbocharged mill — in the base LX model. Starting with the EX-T model, Honda is planting its 1.5-liter turbo into many of its trims with a CVT only to start.

The recently announced Civic Coupe will get the same powertrain options as the sedan — manual only on the base model, CVT everywhere else — when it goes on sale in March. It’s unclear if the coupe would receive a mid-year update to add manual transmissions.

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By on November 19, 2015

2017 Mirage GT

Seriously, they did! Look at it! Instead of being some anonymous South Asian egg, the Mitsubishi Mirage now looks like an anonymous European egg.

Okay, okay. It isn’t going to set your heart alight with desire, but Mitsubishi has done a stellar job upgrading the Mirage with the few resources it has at its disposal. This little subcompact hatchback will be the first Mitsubishi ever to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Its 1.2-liter MIVEC three-cylinder engine gets an ever-so slight bump to 78 horsepower (+4 over the current Mirage). The Japanese automaker even gave the exterior and interior a fairly thorough re-work considering this is a mid-cycle refresh. And considering this is Mitsubishi we’re talking about here.

Those of you who were totally sold on the Rockford Fosgate special edition, fear not! You can still get that in the new Mirage, too, though minus the badging that tells thieves which car to hit in the Kroger parking lot.

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By on November 13, 2015

Renault Fluence Z.E. and Nissan Leaf Circa 2013

The battle between Nissan and the French government over the former’s voting stake in the Renault-Nissan Alliance continues on.

This month, after temporarily raising its stake to 19.7 percent, the French government cut back its stake to around 15 percent, which is still enough voting power under the Florange Law to block anything it didn’t like from Nissan and its allies during shareholder meetings.

However, second-in-command at Nissan, Chief Competitive Officer Hiroto Saikawa, expressed it wasn’t enough to go back to “the situation of seven months ago,” desiring “a better balance between the two companies,” a source told Reuters.

Instead, Nissan responded to the draw-down with a proposal establishing a “better-balanced” 25-percent/35-percent crossed shareholding, with Nissan finally having a say after 16 years of merely owning a piece of the company which rescued it from death back in 1999.

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By on November 12, 2015


Our friends over at AutoGuide have a juicy story about a patent filing from Toyota that details a decidedly BRZ STI-looking drawing that may signal a performance variant on its way.

According to AutoGuide, the patent, which was approved in Japan, was filed by Toyota, but named Subaru-parent company Fuji Heavy Industry as its owner. The patent was approved so let’s get them on the lots already.

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By on November 9, 2015


Forbes reported that American Honda and Acura are effectively finding owners of potentially defective Takata airbags through social media and rolling billboards plastered on their trucks.

The automaker, who has been particularly aggressive in finding and recalling its cars with defective airbags, is pushing messages to potential owners in their Facebook feed. The automaker may be matching Vehicle Identification Numbers obtained from state agencies with names and locations in Facebook. Read More >

By on November 6, 2015

Takata Logo on Belt

Toyota said Thursday that the world’s largest automaker would no longer use the beleaguered company’s airbags, joining Honda, Mazda and others, putting in doubt that supplier’s viability, Bloomberg reported (via Fortune).

Reuters (via Automotive News) reported that the automotive supplier, who was hit with a $70 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this week, is preparing for the worst.

“We are considering some plans to survive, but it is not at the stage I can talk about yet,” CEO Shigehisa Takada said Wednesday, according to Reuters.

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By on November 5, 2015


Lexus won’t be building cars in China anytime soon due the automaker’s concerns regarding production quality, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

“There’s too much quality risk in China to produce there,” said Takashi Yamamoto, executive vice president of Lexus International.

Did you hear that mic drop? Hello? Anyone there?

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By on November 4, 2015

Mazda Motor Corporation - Mazda CX-9 - photo

Mazda announced Wednesday that it would unveil its next-generation CX-9 in Los Angeles later this month.

The three-row crossover made its debut in 2007 and hasn’t changed much since. Mazda’s seven-seater still sits atop the Ford CD3 platform used by previous generations of the Mazda6/Ford Fusion and Ford Edge. It also sports the same powertrain as the previous-generation Edge.

Mazda released a teaser image of the CX-9 on Monday that shows what the crossover would look like if the world had Photoshop filters turned on all the time.

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By on November 3, 2015

Takata Driver Airbag

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Tuesday it would fine auto supplier Takata $70 million for its defective airbags that have caused seven deaths and nearly 100 injuries.

Regulators announced that an additional $130 million fine could be levied on the supplier if they do not comply with additional safety standards or if more defects are found.

“For years, Takata has built and sold defective products, refused to acknowledge the defect, and failed to provide full information to NHTSA, its customers, or the public,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “The result of that delay and denial has harmed scores of consumers and caused the largest, most complex safety recall in history. Today’s actions represent aggressive use of NHTSA’s authority to clean up these problems and protect public safety.”

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