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2012 Toyota Prius C debuts at NAIAS

2012 Toyota Prius C

The Japanese automaker Toyota has officially unveiled the Prius C compact hybrid hatchback at this year’s edition of the Detroit Motor Show. This is the fourth member in the Prius family and will be the most affordable hybrid from Toyota, with a base price tag of less than $20,000.

The car is considerably smaller in comparison to the mid-size Prius hatchback and Toyota expects that it will have a combined EPA rating of 50 mpg. The automaker is highlighting the C’s 53 mpg EPA rating which is the highest one among non plug-in cars commercialized in the United States. Its highway rating is of 46 mpg, which means that the combined rating is 50 mpg.

2012 Toyota Prius C

Toyota has said that the new Prius C is a subcompact model and it is 19 inches shorter in comparison to the regular Prius hatchback, almost 2 inches lower and 2 inches narrower. It will also be more than 500 pounds lighter than the standard Prius hatchback. According to the automaker, every single element of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system has been redesigned in order to lower the weight and the size of the parts. This more compact hybrid system is also implemented in the European version of the Yaris Hybrid.

The company has installed the fuel tank and the nickel-metal-hybrid battery pack under the rear seat, allowing for a deeper rear load bay in comparison to the one available for the bigger Prius hybrid which has its battery pack located under the car’s rear deck. According to Toyota, the C is capable of offering 17.1 cubic feet of cargo.

2012 Toyota Prius C

Toyota’s new model features an Atkinson Cycle 1.5-liter gasoline power unit that generates 73 hp and comes with a 60 hp (45 kW) electric motor-generator, which means that the total output is of 99 hp. Just like all of the recent Prius models, the driver of the C can switch between Normal, Eco and EV drive modes. At speeds of up to 25 mph, the 2012 Toyota Prius C can travel for less than a mile.

Scheduled to go on sale this spring, the car will be available with four different trim levels, while the cheapest model will set you back somewhere around $19,000. As standard, the car will feature a generous 3.5-inch color TFT information display, as well as iPod connectivity via USB port and Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone capabilities.

2012 Toyota Prius C

Also in the car’s standard configuration will be the automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, along with telescoping and tilting steering wheel with built-in audio controls. Those who want extra goodies can get the Prius C with 16-inch alloy wheels, a navigation system and Display Audio with the company’s own Entune infotainment and connectivity system.

Source: Toyota via Green Car Reports

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2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe launched in Detroit

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Hyundai revealed this week during the Detroit Motor Show a mid-cycle facelift for the 2013 Genesis Coupe model which is scheduled to go on sale in the beginning of this spring in the United States. With this facelift, the Korean automaker has redesigned the front end of the vehicle, including here the hood, grille, front fascia, headlamps, fog lamps and the tail lamps. In addition, the car can be now equipped with new 18- or 19-inch alloys.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

The most important modifications can be found under the bonnet where both the turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.0-liter and V6 3.8-liter engines have been enhanced and will be available with a brand new 8-speed automatic gearbox which will feature paddle shifters.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

The smaller engine benefits from a redesigned twin-scroll turbocharger and a bigger intercooler, which as a result increases the output of the engine to 274 hp and a peak torque of 275 lb.-ft. This engine can be linked to a 6-speed manual transmission or the aforementioned 8-speed auto unit. With the latter, the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe will be able to return 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

As for the beefier V6 3.8-liter engine, this has been equipped with direct injection which has brought an increase in power and torque, to an impressive 348 hp and 295 lb.-ft of torque. Fitted with this engine the car needs 5.5 seconds to hit 62 mph from start, on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 149 mph.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Other tweaks include a restyled interior, a retuned suspension and the inclusion of the company’s BlueLink telematics system for the 3.8 Grand Touring/Track and the 2.0T Premium versions of the 2013 Genesis Coupe.

Source: Hyundai via Inside Line

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Opel Mokka announced, heading to Geneva

Opel Mokka

The German automaker Opel will be bringing to this year’s edition of the Geneva Motor Show a compact size SUV which will be known as the Mokka. If you want to learn more about this model, you can read our article about the 2013 Buick Encore because the cars are virtually the same.

Opel’s model will be sold in Europe while in the UK will be known as the Vauxhall Mokka. Both the European and the UK versions of the car will be motivated by a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine which is capable of producing 140 hp (103 kW) and 200 Nm of torque. Another engine available will be a 1.6-liter gasoline unit with 115 hp (85 kW), along with a 1.7-liter CDTI diesel.

Opel Mokka

Clients will be able to choose from two six-speed gearboxes, one manual and one automatic. The Opel Mokka will be available with a front-wheel drive system and an all-wheel drive setup, and it will benefit from several fuel-saving technologies, including the start/stop function.

Opel Mokka

The car will be sold with a 5-seat configuration and the luggage compartment will offer 1,372 liters to store your stuff, along with other storage spaces as well. It is scheduled to go on sale towards the end of this year.

Source: Opel/Vauxhall via ZerCustoms

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2012 Detroit Motor Show – Honda Accord Coupe

Honda Accord Coupe (concept)

Before you get your hopes up too high, this beautiful Honda Accord Coupe is only a concept that previews the company’s future technology and styling to the current model which is commercialized in the United States but it won’t make it in Europe.

Even though we are dealing with a coupe, we should mention that this concept is actually longer than the sedan model which this year is programmed to get an update as well. The car is going to be available with two brand new power units in the form of a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a CVT, along with a more powerful V6 3.5-liter mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Honda Accord Coupe (concept)

The Japanese automaker confirmed in Detroit that they plan on selling a plug-in hybrid version of this model when it will come out. This will feature a 15-mile electric range and will have an Atkinson cycle-running 2.0-liter engine. It will need 1 hour and 30 minutes to fill up the battery via a 240 volt socket.

Some of the safety equipment that the production version of the Honda Accord Coupe will have includes a reversing camera, a blind spot warning system and a lane departure system.

Source: Honda via Autocar.co.uk

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2013 Buick Encore revealed in Detroit

2013 Buick Encore

For this year’s edition of the Detroit Motor Show, General Motors decided to bring the all-new 2013 Buick Encore which is a small crossover that has just about the same size as the Nissan Juke. The manufacturer said that this car has been designed in order to rival more luxurious crossovers that are currently not available in the United States, the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1.

2013 Buick Encore

Under the hood of the Encore is a small 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that pumps out 140 hp and has a peak torque of 148 lb.-ft (200 Nm) which is available at only 1,850 rpm. The car will be available with a 6-speed automatic gearbox and FWD or AWD configurations. Both of these versions will benefit from a McPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear setting.

2013 Buick Encore

Depending on the chosen trim level, the all-new 2013 Buick Encore can be fitted with ten airbags, voice-activated Bluetooth, a 7-inch LCD display, USB smartphone connection, electronic stability control, dual zone climate control, remote engine start, 18-inch alloy wheels, power front seats wrapped around in leather, and automatic wipers.

2013 Buick Encore

The Buick Encore will become available during the first quarter of 2013.

Source: General Motors via Carscoop

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Porsche Cayenne 2 updated by Caractere Exclusive

Porsche Cayenne II by Caractere Exclusive

If this isn’t your first time on our website, you probably already know that the Porsche Cayenne is not one of our favorite cars. However, Caractere Exclusive’s latest project based on the German SUV makes the car look a lot better than it does in its standard configuration.

Porsche Cayenne II by Caractere Exclusive

The Belgian tuner has developed a new full conversion kit which brings an aerodynamic kit, a sport exhaust system, light alloys and a set of carbon fiber interior trims. That aerodynamic kit consists of a new front bumper assembly, side skirts, rear bumper assembly, a roof spoiler and wheel arch extensions, along with a sport exhaust system.

Porsche Cayenne II by Caractere Exclusive

The second generation of the Porsche Cayenne is now riding on 10×22 (front) and 11×22 (rear) CW1 silver or graphite wheels which are also available in the same width in 20- and 21-inch versions. Inside the cabin, we find a bunch of components covered by real carbon fiber which are available in a wide variety of finishes and colors.

Porsche Cayenne II by Caractere Exclusive

Caractere Exclusive is now focusing on launching similar kits for the Porsche 911 (991) and the Panamera models.

Source: Caractere Exclusive via WCF

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2013 Cadillac ATS debuts at Detroit Motor Show

2013 Cadillac ATS

Here it is, the new rival for the BMW 3-Series. It is Cadillac’s response to the German sedan and it’s called the ATS. The new model is 0.3 inches longer than a 3-Series and it is developed on a new corporate architecture which General Motors called Alpha. This offers support for rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, both of them being available for the ATS.

2013 Cadillac ATS

Designed to rival the luxury compact sedans from all over the world, the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS features a five-link rear and front struts, along with a variable-assist electric power steering developed by ZF and disc brakes on all four wheels. We should mention that the more expensive variants of the car will have Brembo disc brakes to provide the stopping power.

2013 Cadillac ATS

The car can be fitted with 17- or 18-inch rims with 225/35ZR19 all-season run-flat tires for those who can pay the extra buck. Also an optional feature will be the driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension that features Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping.

2013 Cadillac ATS

The entry-level model is equipped with a 4-cylinder 2.5-liter engine that develops 200 hp and a peak torque of 188 lb.-ft. For more money you could get the turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that generates 270 hp and a maximum torque of 260 lb.-ft, while the most powerful engine will be the V6 3.6-liter engine that pumps out 318 hp and 267 lb.-ft. All of these DOHC engines are direct injected, while the transmission options include a 6-speed manual (Tremec M3L TR3160) and a 6-speed automatic (Hydra-Matic 6L45).

2013 Cadillac ATS

The cabin of the 2013 Cadillac ATS is trimmed in a mixture of wood, metal, leather and carbon fiber. Also on board is an LED gauge cluster, a push-button start, ambient lightning, satellite radio, along with optional performance seats that have power-adjustable bolsters. There’s also a generous 8-inch LCD multi-touch screen part of the CUE infotainment system that can pair data from a smartphone or any other type of mobile device that has Bluetooth support.

2013 Cadillac ATS

For those with big pockets, the ATS can be fitted with an impressive reconfigurable full color head-up display, a powerful Bose surround sound audio system, satellite navigation, along with front + rear automatic brakes that have short range radar and ultrasonic sensors. In addition, the 2013 Cadillac ATS will be available for order with a side blind-zone alert, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlamps and a rear back-up camera.

2013 Cadillac ATS

The looks? We’ll let you be the judge of that. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the back. The rest of the cars looks nice, but it’s not a BMW 3-Series.

Source: General Motors via Inside Line

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2013 Tesla Model X will be revealed in February

We knew that the upcoming Tesla Model X is scheduled for a Q1 2012 release but we did not know exactly when the event will take place. In an interview given by the company’s CEO Elon Musk, the Model X crossover SUV will make its official debut on Monday, February 9th.

No word at the moment regarding the location of the event, but Musk stated that the unveiling is going to be organized at joint event in order to mark the opening of the company’s southern California design studio.

Just as you would expect, Tesla Motors is very shy in regards of giving details about the upcoming green crossover, but we already know that we are dealing with a compact yet spacious vehicle which will offer just about the same level of luxury as the one found in the upcoming 2012 Model S.

In addition, the car will provide seating for up to seven people thanks to the inclusion of three rows of seats and it is expected to offer similar technical capabilities as the Model S, along with the automaker’s charging port and battery options that will provide enough juice for 160 miles per charge and up to 300 miles.

Source: Tesla Motors via Green Car Reports

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2012 Renault Megane RS unveiled

2012 Renault Megane RS

The French automaker Renault has unveiled a few days ago the revision for its hot Megane RS model which is also known as the Megane Renaultsport 265. That figure comes from the total amount of power that the engine is capable of developing, along with a peak torque of 360 Nm. This means that the facelift model is 15 hp and 20 Nm more powerful than the model it replaces.

Aside from the power boost, the engineers from Renault have managed to improve the sound of the engine thanks to the implementation of a more open exhaust system along with a reinforced sound pipe.

2012 Renault Megane RS

Around the headlights of the new Megane RS are two rows of six LEDs painted in black. Other new features include the red stripes and a choice of 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels. Renault has used the same red theme for the interior cabin where we find Recaro seats covered in leather, black lacquer finish and eye-grabbing red stitching.

No word at the moment about the price tag and the availability of the 2012 Renault Megane RS.

Source: Renault via ZerCustoms

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Detroit Motor Show – Dodge Dart

Dodge Dart

The Dodge Dart is making an interesting comeback in the automotive industry with its official unveiling this week at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The new generation of the model is based on the Alfa Romeo Giuiletta and it will be manufactured for the North American market.

Dodge Dart

For those who never heard of this model, it was a classic car in the American car market during the 60s when it came out as Dodge’s entry-level model. One of the reasons why the car became popular was due to its rather unusual push-button transmission. The company has stated that the new model is “a thoroughly modern vehicle” so you shouldn’t expect a retro car.

Dodge Dart

The Dodge Dart will have to face some serious competition coming from the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze and the Ford Focus. This would have to be the first model in the lineup who has borrowed the DNA from Fiat, courtesy of the Alfa Romeo brand. The new Dart is based on a platform that has been adapted from the Giulietta. The architecture is known as the Compact US Wide, or CUSW, and it will be the foundation of many cars which will be launched not only in the U.S. but also in Europe.

Dodge Dart

It is obvious that Chrysler has put a lot of work in the design of the new Dart, which will feature a considerably more appealing and aerodynamic shape in comparison to the now defunct Dodge Caliber hatchback which it replaces in the company’s lineup. It will adopt Dodge’s traditional “race- track” tail lamps and the “crosshair” grille, along with the dual exhaust system grabbed from the Charger.

Dodge Dart

Under the hood of the Dodge Caliber we’ll find some Fiat-sourced engines, like a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged power unit, along with a bigger 2.4-liter “Tigershark” Chrysler engine that will benefit from Fiat’s MultiAir technology. Also available will be an all-new 16-valve, four-cylinder Tigershark 2.0-liter engine. The car will be able with a new 8-speed automatic gearbox developed by ZF.

Dodge Dart

The new generation of the Dodge Dart will feature independent suspension all around, which is a rare feature in this segment. The decision of implementing such a configuration of the suspension was based on the automaker’s attempt to offer the Dart a more European-style ride.

Dodge Dart

As far as the interior cabin is concerned, you should expect to see color-keyed accents, ambient lightning and soft-touch materials. Some of the options which will be available include a digital instrument cluster, a heated steering wheel and a generous 8.4-inch Uconnect Touch infotainment system.

Dodge Dart

Source: Dodge via Autocar.co.uk

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DC Design Avanti – First Indian sports car

DC Design Avanti

You certainly have heard about the cheapest car in the entire world – the Tata Nano. But India is about to have its very first sports car in the form of the DC Design Avanti. The DC Design company was founded by Dilip Chhabria who is a former General Motors designer and has been known for its one-off prototypes. The situation is about to change as this Avanti will be reaching the production line and it will be manufactured at the company’s new factory located at Talagon.

DC Design Avanti

Chhabria has stated that the company’s plans are to build 300 units of the Avanti in 2013-2014. If everything goes according to plans and the automaker gets enough orders, they will increase the annual output to more than 1,000 cars.

DC Design Avanti

The prototype of this sports car made its official debut at the 2012 Auto Expo and it is constructed around a lightweight yet rigid spaceframe chassis. It features coil over shock absorbers and unequal-length wishbones on both of the axles, and it will ride on 19-inch alloys wrapped around in 255/35 tires at the front and 295/30 for the back wheels. The stopping power for the Avanti will be provided by the 330 mm ventilated disc brakes that will have AP Racing calipers.

DC Design Avanti

At the heart of this new Indian sports car will be a 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter mid-mounted Ecoboost engine borrowed from Ford which will be tuned in order to produce 240 hp and a maximum torque of 270 lb.-ft (366 Nm). The car will be available for export thanks to the fact that the power unit is Euro 5-compliant, but they will make a few adjustments in order to meet the upcoming Euro 6 restrictions.

DC Design Avanti

All of those ponies will be sent to the back wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission also taken from Ford. As an optional feature, the DC Design Avanti will be available with a dual clutch PowerShift transmission.

Carrying a weight of 3,443 pounds (1,562 kg) and featuring 240 hp under its hood, this certainly won’t be a supercar, but the good news is that its price tag will be of Rs 30 lakh, which in dollars means approximately $56,000.

DC Design Avanti

The company’s plans for the future are to introduce a turbocharged Honda-sourced V6 engine for the Avanti which should be able to generate about 400 hp. Most likely, this variant of the car will be significantly more expensive.

Source: DC Design via Carscoop | Photos: Motorbeam

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2013 Ford Fusion goes official

2013 Ford Fusion

Today marks the beginning of the 2012 NAIAS event and for this occasion the Blue Oval automaker has decided to unveil the new 2013 Fusion model which in international markets will be known as the Mondeo. The car is going to go head to head with popular models like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry.

2013 Ford Fusion

Ford will be offering this model with a choice of gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, each of which are set to achieve the best fuel economy efficiency in this competitive class. The car will be offered with an all-wheel drive configuration, automatic start/stop system, and also a choice between manual and automatic gearboxes.

2013 Ford Fusion

Those who prefer gasoline engines will be able to get the 2013 Ford Fusion/Mondeo with a 1.6-liter direct-injection Ecoboost engine that comes with the aforementioned start/stop system and it will be able to return 31.5 mpg in the combined cycle. This engine will mark the very first time the automaker has offered an automatic gearbox with an automatic start/stop system. The beefier 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine will be able to develop 237 hp.

2013 Ford Fusion

The hybrid version of the Fusion will feature lithium-ion batteries instead of the previous nickel-metal ones. As a result, the car will be more powerful and at the same time it will have a lower curb weight, while under electric power only it will be able to hit a top speed of 62 mph (up from the previous 47 mph). This hybrid model will adopt an all-new, Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder 2.0-liter engine that can deliver 47 mpg during city driving and 44 mpg on the highway.

2013 Ford Fusion

Ford says that the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is going to be the most fuel efficient midsize car in the entire world, which will be able to deliver more than 100 MPGe. This figure is 8 MPGe higher than what the Chevrolet Volt can offer and 13 MPGe more than the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid model. This version of the Fusion is set to arrive in the upcoming fall.

2013 Ford Fusion

Source: Ford via WCF

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Have you considered an auto service contract?

Have you ever considered buying an auto service contract? This can be acquired regardless if you still have a valid used car warranty or not, and it will cover the costs that are associated with repairing the car, including here not only the parts, but also the labor and/or sales tax. There are a lot of contracts available which offer various levels of coverage, depending on what you need and how much money you are willing to spend to get the necessary protection.

The repairs covered by your car warranty are valid up to a certain point, based usually on the age and mileage of the car. You would be surprised to find out how many things could go wrong with your car after this warranty expires and you can image how much money this will cost you. For this reason, many mechanics recommend buying an auto service contract so that you’ll be covered in the event that something will malfunction.

To point out the difference between a vehicle service contract and the warranty offered by the manufacturer of the car, you have to understand that the latter come with the product and is included in the price that you pay for the vehicle, whereas service contracts are agreements which are entirely separate from the contract or sale of the car. Such a contract is separate because it costs the customer a fee beyond the car’s purchase price or simply because the contract was signed at a later date after the car has been purchased.

You have to know that most of the used car warranties come with a lot of restrictions and are offered for a limited period of time. For these reasons, you will probably save more money during the period while you own the car, especially if we’re talking about an older model. You don’t have to worry about paying for the vehicle service contract upfront because most of the companies that offer such services will allow for a payment period of 12-18 months without any extra fees involved.

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Horrible bus accident in Bolivia

A horrifying video was uploaded on YouTube a few days ago, showing a fearless bus driver creeping past a cliff edge on a very treacherous stretch of a Bolivian pass. In his attempt to get through in one piece, you can hear how he revs the engine, desperately trying to escape. Even though he tried really hard, the large vehicle eventually plunged off the cliff, plummeting 50 meters down the mountain while the bystanders were horrified.

The bad news is that the driver did not make it but until he perished he had the foresight to unload all of the 50 passengers which escaped without any scratches so it’s not all bad.

Sorry for the quality of the video, it’s the only one available.

Source: The Sun via YouTube

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2012 Citroen C1 launched

2012 Citroen C1

After Peugeot launched its refreshed 107 model, Citroen did the same thing with the C1. It is powered by the same three-cylinder 1.0-liter engine that develops 68 hp, the one found in the 107 and the Toyota Aygo. By implementing a few tweaks, the engine generates only 99 g/km of CO2 and can return 65.7 mpg UK when mated to the 5-speed manual transmission.

2012 Citroen C1

Clients will also be able to get the 2012 Citroen C1 with an optional EGS automatic transmission that has paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. With this gearbox, the car returns 62.8 mpg UK and has CO2 emissions of 104 g/km. Citroen mentioned that they have recalibrated the suspension and they also revised the power steering which in return brings more ride comfort and better agility on the road.

2012 Citroen C1

The front bumper now has a new design which incorporates the LED daytime running lights and the fog lights. A new color has been added – Botticelli Blue, a color which is already available for the C3 and DS3 models. For the mid and top-spec versions, the C1 comes with a chrome strip on the grille.

2012 Citroen C1

Other modifications include a new leather steering wheel, leather/Alcantara upholstery, a redesigned manual gear lever, all of each are now available for extra money.

2012 Citroen C1

The 2012 Citroen C1 will make its public debut next week at the Brussels Motor Show.

Source: Citroen via Auto Express

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