After hearing that Chevrolet is cooking up successors to the Corvette ZR1 and Z06, there is a new buzz that the American carmaker is planning to release a more budget friendly Corvette that more people can afford.
The new Corvette model will be known as the Corvette Coupe and will be positioned below the new Corvette Stingray. Given the name, most likely the low-cost Corvette will have a fixed roof instead of the Stingray’s carbon fiber removable top. Recent reports say that this new version of the Corvette may roll out as a 2015MY.
Being an entry-level unit, the Corvette Coupe will not have the new LT1 V-8 engine with a displacement of 6.2 liters but instead have a 5.3L V-8. The output of this engine is said to reach 400 horses so there is a good buffer of 50HP between the Coupe and the Stingray.
The Corvette Coupe will also receive a different styling approach featuring less equipment. The new Corvette model will have new fenders, bumbers, and a fixed roof. The Coupe will of course not have the carbon fiber elements featured on the Stingray.
Chevrolet has not revealed the tag price of the Corvette Stingray but reports say that anyone who has the budget for the base C6 that has a tag price of $50,595 should have no trouble getting the Corvette Coupe to their garage. So most likely, the Coupe will have a price lower than $50,000 and that will go very well with fans and the tuner crowd.
When the first sets of photos of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class surfaced earlier, it is pretty obvious that the premium brand did not just do a facelift of the mid-size vehicle. The designers of the brand went thru the trouble of give the E-Class a new front end.
The front fascia drops the separate headlamps and instead gives the E-Class one-piece units for each side. The inner elements retain the same design and incorporates day time driving lights and LED lights for the dipped beam.
The 2014 E-Class will have two designs for its front-end just like the C-Class. There will be the Avantgarde trim that feature more sporty elements with the three-pointed star on the grille. The Elegance and Base variants gets the classic grille and the brand’s emblem on the hood.
From the side, one will notice that the new E-Class now has a feature line that stretches from its rear door to the taillights. This shifts the eyes to the side trim and somehow gives the car a more elongated look.
Inside, the E-Class gets a new center console, instrument cluster, an analogue clock, and a new aluminum or wood trim running across the dashboard.
All vehicles of the range will come with Direct-Steer electromechanical steering that blends speed-sensitive steering assistance with the steering gear variable ratio.
The E-Class will also get four different suspension setups. The Elegance and the Base will have a suspension that is designed for comfort while that of the Avantgarde’s will make the car lower by around 15mm. Here will be options for AMG and Exterior Sports while the V8 units will come with AIRMATIC suspension.
For the European market, the E-Class will get either a 7-speed 7G-Tronic gearbox or the six-speed manual transmission. It will also have 18 engine options all fitted with a stop-start system. Ten of the engines will be gasoline units, six of them will be diesel dependent, while the other two options will be hybrids combining diesel and electric configurations.
The conventional steering system in vehicles involve a link between the front wheels and the steering wheel. This usually consists of hydraulics for modern cars. The conventional system used for steering a vehicle develop hydraulic pressure via a pump driven by a belt. This pump actually causes the engine some fuel efficiency and horsepower, which will not be acceptable when all manufacturers are hoping to improve the fuel efficiency of their fleets.
Nissan has taken a step to advance the electric steering system to another level. It came up with its version of the steer-by-wire system that promises quicker response, better control, and improved feel on different driving surfaces.
The new steering system consists of a force actuator, several ECUs, actuator for the steering angle, and a clutch that will serve as a mechanical linkage. It is also equipped with a camera a camera and another module that will aids the system to have a better control.
The steering input is processed by an actuator and sent to the ECU. The processing module then tells the actuator how much steering should be provided. The setup is basically quicker than the response of mechanically-based system.
The system also helps the driver by guiding the front wheels on rough pavements and grooved surfaces. This is also true when the vehicle encounters crosswinds and helps the vehicle to stay on its lane.
The camera monitors the road and detects deviations from the lane. The car will make the necessary corrections when the car departs from the lane due to factors like driver fatigue.
The new steering system is expected to be implemented on the models of Infiniti by next year.
The production version of Jaguar’s C-X75 concept is right on schedule for its debut in 2013, although without the jet-turbine technology as originally planned. The car manufacturer will instead make do with a conventional engine working in tandem with a hybrid system.
Some reporters were recently invited at the Gaydon facility of Jaguar in England. The carmaker revealed that the engine they will be using is far from being usual. It will be a four-cylinder powerplant that only has a 1.6-liter displacement but can produce at least 500 horses while revving at 10,000 rpm. This power is possible due to a number of technologies such as supercharging, turbocharging, and fuel injection.
The powerplant can either transfer the engine to the rear wheels via a single clutch gearbox with seven speeds or produce electricity to recharge a battery pack. The lithium ion batteries can run two electric motors positioned at each axle. The car can blast from 0 to 60 mph in a little less than 3 seconds while the top speed is expected to go over 200 mph.
There will be several driving modes available including hybrid modes and all electric. We are quite surprised though that there is no gas-only mode. The car can run on electric power alone and be able to go 37 miles with an acceleration from stand still to 60 mph in less than six seconds.
Looking at the numbers, they are pretty impressive. You have to remember though that there are some hybrid supercars out there that can have a performance similar to what this car can do. The C-X75 will battle it out with the successors of the McLaren F1, 918 Spyder by Porsche, and the Ferrari Enzo.
Jaguar will only produce 200 units of the C-X75 with a tag price close to $1 million each.
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We have heard about the compact crossover to roll out the garage of Audi and it will be tagged as the Q1. According to reports before, the Q1 is being based on the platform of the A1 but there was no announcement of the details about its future release.
Again these rumors are floating around the car industry circles. Sources are now saying that the Q1 will be released but will carry a different badge and be known as the Q2. It will be using a mix of the A1 platform and the MQB platform. The latter will actually be used by Volkswagen to underpin practically all their vehicles like the next A3 for the Audi.
The engines will be used for several models like the A1 that means that the 1.2L 4-cylinder powerplant will be the base engine, well at least for the vehicles in Europe. Buyers in Europe will also be able get a diesel version, too.
The base models of the Q2 will have a front wheel drive configuration but there will be an all wheel drive version for the higher end models. Although it will have an all wheel drive capability, do not expect the Q2 to give you excellent for serious off roading, and at best it will be for light dirt road stuff.
The exterior of the Q2 resembles design lines more from the A1 than its cousin the Audi A3, and will have a redesigned headlamp using LEDs which have only been used before for the more expensive vehicles. If you expect the Q2 to go on a head on collision course with the MINI so we can expect Audi to trow in some personalization for the Q2 models like contrasting finsh for the mirrors and the roof.
The inside of the vehicle is expected to have enough space for four adults and somewhat a limited space for the luggage because of the plunging roofline. The interior panels might be customizable to give a unique personalized experience.
According to sources, the concept Q2 is still being developed and we can expect a production version in two or three years time. If Audi will officially unwrap the concept Q2 next year, the compact crossover might hit showrooms by 2015 or 2016.
The roll out of the 2013 Dart leaves the Dodge SRT division with no option to build a successor to the Neon SRT4 which became a cult classic since the early 2000s.
The performance division of the car manufacturer already hinted of efforts that they want to build the successor to the Neon SRT4 in the form of the Caliber SRT4. This ride will make use of DNA from the Alfa Romeo brand specifically the C-EVO platform.
The Italian engineered platform is not only agile and light but it also goes well with the dual clutch gearbox with six speeds that is also being used for the Cloverleaf model of the Giulietta of Alfa Romeo. The SRT4 will most likely have the same transmission as part of its options while keeping the six speed gearbox as standard. We can also expect a turbocharged powerplant which equals or surpass the output of the Ford Focus ST of 247 horses.
The Caliber SRT4 gives out at least 285 horsepower with a torque of around 265 lb-ft from its 4-cylinder 2.4L engine. The numbers of the Dart SRT4 might closely resemble these figures. The best option that we see is to have a turbocharged 2.0L Dart Tigershark engine.
You can also expect the SRT to have some upgrades for its chassis like have a stiffer suspension setup, sway bars for the rear and front, some modifications on the steering to make it more accurate and responsive. A new set of upgraded tires, rims, and brakes.
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Audi recently revealed the 2013 model of the restyled A4 that is expected to hit the market by mid next year.
Consumers in Europe can expect the refreshed A4 coming in as a sedan, Allroad quattro, wagon, and as an S4 version. The car manufacturer said that the S4 version can go from 0 to 62 miles an hour in just 5 seconds. The top speed is recorded at 155 mph. The A4 returns a fuel rating of 29.4 mpg.
The new Audi A4 is expected to meet head on its rivals in the form of the C-Class from Mercedes-Benz and the 3-Series of the BMW. The A4 is ready for the competition as it gets styling upgrades, improved engines, and better interior.
On the outside, the Audi A4 gets more curves for its headlamps with its LED lamps now looking like a continuous band. It also sports a new six corner grille that comes in gray for 4-cylinder versoins and black for 6-cylinder variants. The hood also gets a restyling as well as the bumpers which gets trapezoid fog lamps. The rear bumper was also reworked going well with the chrome twin tailpipes. The tail lights also now feature LEDs similar to the headlamps.
The Audi A4 also features new steering wheel design, better dashboard quality, improved switch gear, and better navigational system.
The Audi A4 has an additional engine option in the form of the 4-cylinder 1.8L TFSI powerplant which is also utilized for the A5 Sportback. This engine gives out 168 horsepower or about 10hp better than the previous version. This new engine is paired wih a 6-speed manual gearbox. Fuel mileage is at 42 mpg. This engine has been released for the European market and is also being considered for the U.S. Audi also has a reworked its 2.0 4-cylinder diesel engine for some variants.
For Europe, the A4 still retains the 4-cylinder 1.8L engine and the 2.0L TFSI powerplant is retained for the U.S. market. The S4 still boasts of its 3.0L V6 that gives out 328 hp.
In an official statement made by American car manufacturer, General Motors Inc., the company states that they will cut in half the total number of automobile units and power plants used globally. This move by GM is said to be their solution to address their up and down ride in cost and product development problems.
According to the official statement, the number of GM automobile architecture will drop from 30 in 2010 to 14 in 2018. Their engine platforms will take a dive from 20 in 2009 to just 12 in 2018. Their long term goal is to make the engine platform figures to just 10. According to executives from General Motors, the number of unproductive development practices is causing them almost $1 billion annually. This is supported by the claim made by Senior Vice President, Mary Barra who confirmed that they lost almost $1 billion annually because of inefficient production practices and that they’ve been in an up-down cycle when it comes to product investment.
Barra added that the launch dates for the Buick Enclave, the GMC Acadia and the Chevrolet Traverse continue to take a drawback due to fluctuating financial conditions. Having common architectures will help the company take the product lines to the show rooms faster.
The press release also mentioned that the American brand will begin producing Cadillacs in China by the bulk late in 2012. Additionally, GM is will set up another assembly plant in Russia and about four more in China. Lastly, GM is said to be planning to debut about 16 new models in China in the span of five years.
German car manufacturer BMW is thinking of reconfiguring their strategy for naming their vehicles across all brand. This was according to the BMW marketing director during a recent interview in London.
BMW is foreseeing an evolution in terms naming the vehicles across the different brands. BMW has not revealed what the new smaller BMW model that will be positioned below the 1 Series will be called and so far the marketing department of BMW would not say a word. Director of marketing Ian Robertson though noted of the upcoming I models, and the Z, X, and M models. He added that a lot of numbers might be used in the future.
The naming of the cars for the Rolls Royce and the Mini can even get more complicated. Names that has already been copyrighted across the globe makes the situation even tougher. Robertson recalls his work with the Land Rover during which the company thought of giving the SUV the name Freestyle which can become Freelander for Europe and LR2 in the United States, but they found out that these names are already in use in different markets.
The marketing director of BMW did not give any hint of how the future Mini’s and Rolls Royces will be called but we think they will also be getting alpha numeric badges.
Different issues like copyright and the century long history of car production makes naming cars for different brands very difficult. We might see car names getting duller and boring as we go along.
J.D Power and Associates is an international marketing firm that specializes in surveys and studies for customer satisfaction. In a recently concluded J.D. Power survey about Chinese car consumers, the results show that European automobile brands are fast gaining popularity compared to domestic old-time favorite brands from Japan and South Korea.
The J.D. survey revealed that almost 32% of Chinese car consumers prefer to go after European brands. About 27% of the respondents involved in the survey expressed that they would go for a Japanese car brand like Toyota or Mitsubishi. The rate in the 2009 study was 32 percent. Furthermore, only 20% of the survey respondents revealed that they would patronize a Chinese brand.
The results of the J.D. survey suggest that Chinese consumers shift to European brands because of their high-tech transmission and engine technology as well as its topnotch quality and dependability. Moreover, the respondents added that strong verbal approval add to its appeal. The Audi A4L model has been regarded as the most wanted European model among Chinese consumers, along with the VW Tiguan as the most wanted SUV.
Sadly, Japanese brands have suffered low support from the Chinese consumers because of its lack of endorsements from families and friends who swear by them. However, the J.D. survey seems to have not mentioned American brands like General Motors Inc. which sold 2 million car units in 2010 alone. Popular GM models in China include the Chevy Cruze, Buick GL8 and the Chevy Sail.