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Can Seat's Arona Small SUV Lure You Away From The Competition?

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 01:56 AM PST

In 2016, Seat launched their first SUV, the compact Ateca, and one year later, it was followed by the smaller Arona.

It represents the Spanish brand's foray into the very crowded subcompact SUV segment, and takes on the Hyundai Kona, Citroen C3 Aircross, Ford EcoSport, and the old Nissan Juke.

The Arona posses a clean styling both inside and out, combined with plenty of standard features, even on the entry-level model, which gets 17-inch alloy wheels, metallic paint, and DRLs, among others.

Sharing its underpinnings with the latest Seat Ibiza, the new Arona offers plenty of storage spaces, and it can take four passengers on long journeys, but add a fifth one, and they might not be your friend for long, as the middle rear seat is very cramped. The Seat SUV also offers one of the largest boots in the class, which can become even more generous with the omnipresent 60/40 split rear seat.

On the go, the petrol powered versions are smooth and quite, although you may want to ditch the entry-level 95PS (94hp) 1.0-liter TSI and go for either the 115PS (113hp) version, or the FR, with a  punchier 150PS (148hp) unit, as the former can be a tad slow.

Those who still want to have a diesel, can get the 1.6-liter TDI, with either 95PS (94hp) or 115PS (113hp). Still, regardless of the model, all versions come exclusively with FWD.

Now, is the Seat Arona really worth buying? Well, let's see what CarBuyer had to say about it.


Here's A Bold Face For The Next Renault Clio

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 12:59 AM PST

While we haven't seen any prototypes of Renault's new Clio out in the open yet, the French brand's recent studies might give us an idea of what's to come.

Rendering artist Aksyonov Nikita chose to keep it simple, by taking the fourth-gen French supermini and fitting it with the front end of the Symbioz Prototype.

The latter was a zero-emission vehicle, with Level 4 autonomous driving among others, so don't expect to see that closed grille on the Clio, as its internal combustion engines still need proper ventilation, so if any car could adopt it, that would be the successor of the Zoe.

The shape of the headlights, with the incorporated LED DRLs, might be carried over, though, albeit with a more down-to-earth shape, similar to those that can already be seen on the latest Megane.

We're still at least one year away from seeing the fifth generation Renault Clio in an official environment, as it's expected to arrive in 2018.

It will get an entirely new cabin, dominated by a portrait-style touchscreen infotainment system, and fitted with better quality materials, which will up the game for its direct rivals such as the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta.

The engine lineup will include the usual small petrol units, and probably mild hybrids too, but in a surprising move, Renault hasn't decided yet whether it will offer the Clio Mk5 with diesel powertrains.


Volkswagen Adds New Powertrains To Select Golf Models

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 11:57 PM PST

Volkswagen is starting the New Year with further revisions to the Golf, after updating it at the end of 2016.

One of them is the addition of a new BlueMotion model, which is offered in the hatch and estate variants of the Golf GT. It uses a 1.5-liter TSI petrol unit makes 130PS (128hp), and works together with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

In this flavor, the hatch needs 8.8sec for the 0-62mph (100km/h) acceleration, while the estate can do it in 9.2sec, with either transmission. Top speed stands at 130mph (209km/h) and 131mph (211km/h), respectively.

The engine, which is already offered in the SE and SE Navigation models, also features a full shut-down mode. This turns off all four cylinders temporarily, and starts them automatically once more power is needed. The automaker claims that "the driver barely notices the process other than the illumination of a small light on the dash panel to show the engine is in 'Eco' mode".

Previously available with a 2.0-liter diesel engine, in two outputs: 150PS (148hp) and 184PS (181hp), the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack now gets a 1.8-liter TSI petrol option, rated at 180PS (177hp). Naught to 62mph (100km/h) takes 7.5sec, and top speed is 135mph (217km/h).

The car maintains its increased ride height, off-road-tuned suspension, and unique styling on the outside, and gets a 12.3-inch TFT screen in the cabin that replaces the traditional analog dials.

The updated Volkswagen Golf models can already be ordered in the United Kingdom, carrying a starting price of £23,435 ($31,721) for the 1.5-liter BlueMotion 3-door hatch, and £31,525 ($42,671) for the Alltrack.


Hennessey Hustles The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk To 175 MPH

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:40 PM PST

In between developing the promised world-beating Venom F5 hypercar and Ford VelociRaptor 6x6, John Hennessey recently jumped behind the wheel of the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to see just how fast the super-SUV is.

Off the line, we recently saw a stock Trackhawk demolish a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in a scene that would've inevitably upset many Challenger fan-boys. Now we know just how fast the Trackhawk can go in a straight line.

Jeep asserts that the Trackhawk is capable of hitting 180 mph (289 km/h) and when behind the wheel, Hennessey was able to take the SUV up to 175 mph (281 km/h), as indicated on the speedometer.

Although the ultimate Jeep fell somewhat short of the automaker's claim, 175 mph in an SUV of this size is an extraordinary feat.

For those that want to go even faster, Hennessey will soon have the answer, recently confirming that it'll offer a tuning package with 1012 hp and 969 lb-ft (1,313 Nm) of torque on tap.


Former Toyota President Tatsuro Toyoda Passes Away

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:08 PM PST

Former Toyota President Tatsuro Toyoda has passed away at the age of 88, the automaker said in a statement this past Saturday. The late executive was paramount in overseeing Toyota's global expansion, and more specifically, in the United States.

Toyoda was president from 1992 to 1995 after health issues pushed him out of the top role. However, before he took control of the entire company, he was president of the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc, or NUMMI, in California.

The plant, a joint-venture with General Motors, helped usher in Toyota's efficient manufacturing processes and showed the system worked outside of Japan. Toyoda's leadership and the NUMMI plant opened up opportunities for future U.S. investments. Today, the Japanese automaker operates 10 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Arguably, it's this role that cemented Toyoda's legacy.

His departure in 1995 ushered in Hiroshi Okuda to take control of the automaker. Okuda was the first president outside of the Toyoda family since 1967. In 2009, Akio Toyoda, Tatsuro's nephew, became president, which brought the family back in control of the automaker.

Toyoda held various positions after his tenure as president, including an advisory role and vice chairman. Toyota's statement said the former executive passed away on December 30, 2017, after a battle with pneumonia. A private funeral was held for family, but Toyota plans for a farewell gathering at a future date.

2018 BMW 540d xDrive Brings Diesel Power To The United States

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:32 PM PST

BMW's diesel-powered lineup is about to get a new addition as the EPA has signed off on the new 540d xDrive, as reported on TCC.

Designed to appeal to diesel fans, the model is expected to mirror the 530d which is offered in other markets. As a result, the car should have a 3.0-liter diesel engine that develops 261 hp (265 PS / 195 kW) and 457 lb-ft (620 Nm) of torque. The engine is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system which enables the sedan to accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 5.4 seconds.

The EPA listing for the 2018 540d xDrive reveals the model will be rated at 26 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. The government agency goes on to say drivers can expect to spend around $1,500 annually to refuel the luxury sedan.

The 540d xDrive will reportedly go on sale in the United States next month and cost $62,995 including destination charges. That's significantly more than the 530e xDrive iPerformance which features a plug-in hybrid powertrain that enables the model to travel up to 15 miles (24 km) on electricity alone.

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Chinese Demand Drives Cadillac Sales To Second Best Year Ever

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:00 PM PST

Cadillac has just reported the second-highest sales year in its history, thanks largely to skyrocketing demand in China.

A total of 356,467 vehicles were delivered by Cadillac in 2017, a 15.5 per cent sales increase over the previous year. Despite this increase, sales of the brand's vehicles actually fell by 8 per cent in the United States from 170,006 in 2016 to 156,440 last year.

However, China more than made up for this. In fact, Cadillac reports a 50.8 per cent increase in sales in China, soaring from 116,406 in 2016 to 175,489 deliveries by the time the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2017. In a timespan much quicker than Cadillac predicted, China has become the brand's largest market.

The most popular Cadillac currently on sale is the XT5 crossover with 143,905 examples delivered to customers throughout 2017. Additionally, ATS sales rose 17.2 per cent and the average sales price of a Cadillac in the United States continues to increase, currently sitting at "well above $54,000."

"The resurgence of the brand is underscored by our attaining the second-highest total sales figure in Cadillac's 115-year history," said Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen.

"Our objective of rapidly establishing a second volume hub for the brand to complement our U.S. operations has been attained, as our Chinese business grew exponentially, leaving us well-positioned for sustained growth going forward."


Insane FWD VW Golf GTI Mk3 Runs 1/4 Mile In 8.53 Seconds

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 05:32 PM PST

Remember when 10-second cars were exotics or heavily tuned Japanese models with all-wheel drive?

Well, things have changed, because this insanely-modified Volkswagen Golf GTI of the Mk3 generation, literally blew its front door off while running the quarter-mile in a blistering 8.53sec.

That's faster than a Bugatti Veyron, but the time posted isn't even close to what appears to be the 1/4 mile record for front-wheel drive cars, which was allegedly set by a Volkswagen Gol last year, in Brazil, after completing the run in 7.7 seconds, at 301km/h (187mph), or 19km/h (12mph) faster than this Golf GTI.

Nevertheless, an insane amount of work went into this old hot hatch and the owner was kind enough to pop the hood for a few brief seconds and talk about some of the upgrades.

These include a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, and plenty of effort put into the aerodynamic and weight distribution. New suspension was added too, along with better brakes, racing seats with six-point harness, and roll cage, in case things go bad.


2018 Ford Mustang GT Matches Lexus LFA In Quarter Mile

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 04:31 PM PST

When Ford revealed the figures behind the 2018 Mustang GT, we were shocked to the say the least.

The automaker claimed the pony car, thanks to its 460-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine and new 10-speed automatic transmission, is capable of a sub-four-second zero to 60 mph time. That, as Ford was quick to point out, made the new Mustang with the GT Performance Package quicker than a Porsche 911 Carrera.

Ford, though, never provided an official quarter-mile time for the car.

Hot Rod (via Road & Track) got their hands on a 2018 Mustang GT and decided to do some instrument testing at a drag strip in Florida. Without beating around the bush, the outlet managed to clock a time of 11.83 seconds at 119.51 mph. We don't have to tell you that's quick, but we will – that's a quick time.

It's important to point out that Hot Rod also tested a fully-loaded model with every option box ticked, so it wasn't some stripped out featherweight. And the outlet didn't tune the Mustang GT or manipulate it in any way. All Hot Rod did was change the tire pressures – 26 psi for the rears and 45 psi for the fronts – and launched the car at 2,000 rpm using the car's drag mode.

To put that into perspective, Car and Driver clocked the 2012 Lexus LFA with a quarter mile time of 11.8 seconds at 124 mph. So, the new Mustang with the GT Performance Package is as quick as a bona fide supercar, which is just mind boggling. If the Mustang GT is this quick, we can't wait to see what the upcoming GT500 that's rumored to have a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine is capable of on a drag strip.

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Kia Niro EV Concept Plugs Into CES

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:24 PM PST

The Consumer Electronics Show continues as Kia has unveiled the new Niro EV concept.

Designed to represent the company's next step in its "ongoing journey to electrification," the Niro EV concept was created by the company's design studio in South Korea and it features a more stylish appearance than the production model.

The styling changes are pretty noticeable and one of the biggest modifications is the elimination of the grille which is no longer required for engine cooling. It has been replaced by an interactive display panel which can show various messages such as "Hello, CES." Designers also installed new headlights, a sportier front bumper, and a redesigned rear end with "clean and sharp trailing edges allowing air to flow more easily off the back of the car."

The unique styling carries over to the cabin as the interior has a "pure, minimalist, and digital appearance." Drivers sit behind a unique steering wheel which has been equipped with sensors that allow people to making swiping gestures along a perforated leather area at the base of the wheel. Kia says the sensor allows drivers to switch between music tracks, turn up the volume, and adjust the climate control system.

Elsewhere, the concept has a digital instrument cluster, an infotainment system, and a unique shifter. Another notable feature is the concept's Human Machine Interface (HMI) which allows drivers to "log-in" using facial and voice recognition technology. When the system recognizes a driver, it will automatically adjust the vehicle's settings to their presets.

On the performance front, the crossover is powered by an electric powertrain that consists of a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery and a 201 hp (150 kW) electric motor. Kia says this will enable the Niro to have a range of approximately 238 miles (383 km).

Kia is already working on a production variant and the automaker revealed plans to offer a total of 16 electrified vehicles by 2025. Kia Vice Chairman and R&D Center boss Dr. Woong-chul Yang said this figure includes "five new hybrids and plug-in hybrids, five new battery EVs, and an all-new mass market FCEV" which will be launched in 2020.

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Can The Acura NSX Hold Its Ground Against The CBR1000 RR?

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 04:00 PM PST

Ever since it was introduced in Detroit nearly three years ago, the Honda/Acura NSX has impressed motoring enthusiasts in various tests, but how does it fare against a CBR1000 RR sports bike?

Without spoiling the following video, we'll answer that question in a couple of words: quite well, but before seeing the result, let's go through some of the numbers.

The Honda NSX uses a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that's backed up by three electric motors - two at the front, and one at the rear, producing a combined 581 horsepower that's transferred to the ground via a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Its challenger, the Honda CBR1000 RR, has a 1.0-liter inline four-cylinder 16V DOHC engine that makes 190 horsepower, and has the weight advantage as well: 200kg (441lbs) compared to the NSX's 1,780kg (3,924lbs).

Now, the as far the video goes, it actually shows two quarter-mile drag races, from a standing start, where the two vehicles came very close to each other, and a rolling race, from 80km/h (50mph), which had a clear winner.

Ladies and gentlemen, this would be a good time to place your bets.


Hyundai Nexo FCV Debuts At CES With 370 Mile Range

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:24 PM PST

Hyundai has used the Consumer Electronics Show to introduce its all-new fuel cell vehicle which is called the Nexo.

Described as a technological flagship, the Nexo is a stylish crossover which is a key part of the company's plan to introduce 18 eco-friendly vehicles by 2025.

The Nexo will go on sale in selected markets later this year and the model will be offered with an assortment of new driver assistance technologies including a blind-spot view monitor that uses wide angle surround view cameras on each side of the vehicle to show areas that cannot be seen by a traditional rearview mirror. Images from these cameras will then be displayed to drivers on a "center cluster screen."

The Nexo will also become the first Hyundai model to offer Lane Following Assist. The company says the system automatically adjusts the crossover's steering to help keep the Nexo centered in its lane of travel. Another notable feature is the Highway Driving Assist function which uses sensors and map data to automatically adjust the Nexo's speed.

If that wasn't impressive enough, the crossover also features a Remote Smart Parking Assist function which enables owners to remotely park or retrieve their vehicle. Hyundai didn't say much about the system but stated "When faced with any challenging parking scenario, Nexo drivers will be able to park with complete confidence and accuracy."

The Nexo is built on a dedicated architecture and this enables the model to be lighter, faster, and roomier than the Tucson FCV. The model also features an improved fuel cell stack and battery as well as a lighter powertrain with improved packaging.

Speaking of performance, Hyundai says the Nexo has an electric motor that develops 160 hp (120 kW) and 291 lb-ft (394 Nm) of torque. This enables the crossover to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 9.5 seconds which is a full three seconds faster than the Tucson FCV. The model also has a range of approximately 370 miles (595 km) which is 105 miles (168 km) more than its Tucson counterpart.


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2019 Audi A1 Scooped Playing In The Snow

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:19 PM PST

Work continues on the 2019 Audi A1 as spy shooters have snapped the model undergoing cold weather testing.

Set to be unveiled later this year, the A1 has a familiar design but adopts a new front fascia with a wider grille that echoes recent models such as the A4 and A8. The five-door hatchback has also been equipped with new headlights and restyled mirrors which are now mounted to the A-pillar.

Moving further back, we can see designers kept the strong character lines and added more muscular rear fenders. The rear doors also appear longer than before and this suggests the A1 will grow in size and offer additional rear seat legroom.

The rear of the car is pretty evolutionary but the model features a new tailgate and wraparound taillights. We can also see a tailgate-mounted spoiler and a rakish rear window.

Little is known about the car but the cabin is expected to equipped with improved technology including an updated MMI infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Drivers can also look forward to an optional digital instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch display.

Engine options remain unconfirmed but previous reports have suggested the model will be offered with an assortment of different powertrains including a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder that produces around 113 hp (84 kW). The A1 could also be equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that develops approximately 250 hp (186 kW) in the S1.

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Cadillac XT4 Inches Closer To Production As The First Test Vehicles Roll Off The Assembly Line

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 02:32 PM PST

The compact crossover segment is booming and luxury automakers have been enjoying strong sales of models such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes GLC. Cadillac is notably absent from that list but that's about to change as the company is putting the finishing touches on the all-new XT4.

Designed to slot beneath the larger XT5, the XT4 will become Cadillac's entry-level crossover when it is launched later this year. The company has been coy on specifics but Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen used to the 2017 Geneva Motor Show to announce the model will be offered with an "entirely new series of efficient and powerful engines."

There's no word on specifics but the model is expected to be offered with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and an optional all-wheel drive system. Spy photographers have also snapped photos of a plug-in hybrid variant which should appeal to eco-conscious buyers.

Cadillac hasn't said much about the model but Bloomberg is reporting the vehicle will be built at the Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas. The publication says the plant has already begun building test versions of the crossover and states the vehicle will use "similar underpinnings" as the Chevrolet Malibu which is also built at the plant.

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

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Nissan Teases A New Crossover Concept For Detroit

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:24 PM PST

The North American International Auto Show kicks off next week and Nissan has released the first of three animated teaser videos which hint at the company's latest unveiling.

The first clip doesn't reveal much but it tells viewers to "picture a world in which strength is used to protect" and hints "tradition is a bridge to the future." The video goes on to say "purity attracts attention" and then it shows several glimpses of what appears to be a new concept.

The pictures are only on screen for a few seconds but the images show the concept will feature slim LED headlights and a large grille that appears slightly Audi-ish. Nissan is staying tight-lipped about the model but Automotive News is reporting the vehicle will be a new crossover concept.

Little is known about the crossover but the teaser video mentions Nissan Intelligent Mobility and this suggests the concept could come equipped with autonomous driving technology and advanced connectivity features. The company alluded to this fact by saying "Nissan, from the beginning, has worked to bring the right technologies to its full spectrum of vehicles and the most amount of people. This takes more than innovation, it takes ingenuity and that is what Nissan Intelligent Mobility delivers."


New Kia Cee'd Sportswagon Gears Up For A Possible Geneva Debut

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:27 PM PST

Spy photographers have caught the 2018 Kia Cee'd on multiple occasions and now we're getting our first glimpse at the Sportswagon variant.

Previewed by the Procee'd concept, the production model is heavily camouflaged but we can see it will have a tiger nose grille that is flanked by new headlights with integrated daytime running lights. The wagon also has chrome trim, roof rails, and what appears to be a panoramic glass roof.

The interior will likely echo the standard model so we can expect to find a relatively straightforward cabin with a trick-rimmed steering wheel, metallic accents, and an infotainment system. However, the Sportwagon variant will have a more accommodating interior with additional luggage space.

Engine options remain unconfirmed but choices are expected to mimic the Hyundai i30. As a result, petrol options may include a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder with 120 PS (88 kW) and 171 Nm (126 lb-ft) of torque as well as a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 140 PS (103 kW) and 242 Nm (178 lb-ft) of torque. On the diesel side, there could be a 1.6-liter engine with outputs of 110 PS (80 kW) and 136 PS (110 kW).

The Kia Cee'd is expected to debut at the Geneva Motor Show and reports have suggested the Cee'd Sportswagon could debut at the same time.

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

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CES 2018: Toyota e-Palette Concept Is The Future Of Service Vehicles

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:10 PM PST

Toyota provided a glimpse into the future of mobility with the e-Palette concept, which made its debut at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show on Monday.

The study imagines a future where Toyota merely manufactures the hardware and other companies provide the software to operate the vehicle.

The automaker also announced the e-Palette Alliance alongside the physical concept. The Alliance encompasses a host of launch partners, including Pizza Hut, Amazon, Mazda, and Uber, which will all leverage Toyota's proprietary Mobility Services Platform (MSPF). The goal is to develop the right mobility services for the future alongside the appropriate vehicle.

As mentioned, that vehicle is the e-Palette. Toyota said the concept boasts an open interior ripe for customization. For example, the automaker imagines the concept vehicle as a package delivery van, a ride-sharing vehicle, and a mobile e-commerce vehicle.

The open interior design allows for purpose-built interiors to suit each of the mobility needs specifically. Thus, the e-Palette can shift from one service to the other and companies can ultimately share the platform. Pizza delivery vehicle by day, Uber ride-sharing vehicle by night.

Additionally, the automaker envisions the concept will come in three sizes to meet the needs of all businesses in the budding world of mobility services.

Various companies would take delivery of the e-Palette and provide their own self-driving-car software, while Toyota's "Guardian" technology works to ensure proper operation. The same MSPF can also provide over-the-air updates for self-driving systems.

The concept isn't quite a reality yet, however. The automaker's president and namesake, Akio Toyoda, said the e-Palette concept and Alliance is a stepping stone for a new business model that balances traditional vehicle sales and new mobility services. Toyota hopes to conduct the first vehicle tests in the early 2020s and potentially provide mobility solutions for athletes competing in the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

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VW Beetle Meets Chrysler PT Cruiser Woody In Horrific Mishmash

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 12:29 PM PST

The eBay listing of this 2003 VW Beetle suggests that the car is the rare "Woody Edition" but in reality, it is just a horrific cream-colored Beetle convertible with styling inspired by the Chrysler PT Cruiser, an ugly vehicle in its own right.

Images from the listing reveal that the owner has managed to mimic the front grille of the PT Cruiser and slap the creation onto the front fascia of the Beetle. It makes an already putrid-looking car appear even worse.

Beyond the grille, fake wood paneling has also been applied to the sides and rear of the car. The Beetle itself is pretty hilarious but the description provided by the seller delivers even more laughs.


Perhaps it would be reassuring to ignorant buyers to know that the seller is "truthful" about the listing, but to us, it's a little disconcerting that something like that needs to be stipulated in the listing. What's more, we already know the description isn't entirely truthful as there is no "Woody Edition" of the VW Beetle.

In terms of pricing, the car has a price tag $6,999, precisely $6,998 more than we'd be willing to pay.


When Will It End? Takata Recalls Another 3.3 Million Airbags In The USA

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 12:21 PM PST

Takata added another 3.3 million airbag inflators to the continuously expanding recall, making it the largest of its kind in the United States of America.

According to a report published by DetroitFreePress, the latest action revolves around the faulty frontal airbags in certain 2009, 2010, and 2013 vehicles made by a variety of car brands.

The list of automakers includes Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Tesla. The exact models will be announced later this month, in the paperwork submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Takata's faulty airbag inflators include ammonium nitrate, a chemical used to create a small explosion that fills the airbags quickly in the event of a crash. However, it's known that when exposed to high temperatures and humidity, the chemical deteriorates, causing the metal canister to blow apart and spreading shrapnel into the cabin.

So far, at least 180 people have been injured by the metal bits worldwide, and more than 20 have lost their lives.

The NHTSA continues to monitor the automakers' repairs progress, but even though Takata recalls originally began back in 2001, many companies have been slow to replace the airbag inflators.

A report published by an independent monitor, quoted by DetroitFreePress, states that 43.1 million inflators had been recalled until September 15, 2017, out of which only 18.5 million had been replaced, which accounts for 43 percent.


Did BMW Really Just Refuel An M5 Mid-Drift?

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:19 PM PST

With 600 horsepower and a trick all-wheel drive system, the new 2018 BMW M5 is surely capable of a lot. But a mid-drift refueling?

From what this video has to show us, yes – that's exactly what the Bavarian automaker has pulled off with its new performance sedan.

Though the details have yet to be released, it appears that the M5 just set some sort of record – Guinness-certified, no less – for the world's longest sustained drift, covering the greatest distance possible in one continuous, 8-hour power slide.

In fact the M5 appears to have drifted for so long that it needed to be gassed up in the middle. So they did it military-style, lining up with another M5 and transferring fuel from one car to the other.

That's about all we know at the moment, but BMW promises to give us more on the stunt tomorrow. In the meantime, you can get a taste for what they pulled off in the pair of videos below. Just please promise us that you won't try to do the same yourself.


MINI Tipped To Reveal Updated Hatchbacks, Convertible In Detroit

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 11:12 AM PST

It may not seem that long ago that Mini rolled out the current core of its range (pictured). But it's been four years now, which means it's about time for a refresh. And that's just what the British marque has in store for this year's Detroit Auto Show.

Autonews reports that BMW's little retro brand will showcase updated versions of the three- and five-door Hardtop hatchbacks along with a similarly revised version of the convertible next week at the Cobo Center in the heart of the Michigan metropolis.

We aren't expecting much cosmetic deviation from the brand's signature retro style, however changes to the engines are anticipated to deliver better fuel economy. The new dual-clutch transmission may not make it to North America, but don't be surprised to see some interior enhancements in store.

More than that, we couldn't tell you at this point. But with the 2018 North American International Auto Show now just a week away, it won't be long before we have all the details – so watch this space.

Note: Current-gen MINI pictured

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GAC Motor Enverge Concept Teased For Detroit

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 10:43 AM PST

GAC Motor has released the first teaser image of the upcoming Enverge concept.

Set to debut at the Detroit Auto Show next week, the Enverge is a compact crossover that has been designed specifically for the North American market. Little is known about the model but it will be an electric vehicle that features "cutting-edge technologies."

That's not much to go on but the teaser image shows the Enverge will have sporty styling and massive five-spoke alloy wheels. We can also see a rakish windscreen, slender headlights, and a coupe-like design.

Besides showing the Enverge, GAC will introduce the new GA4. The model is billed as a mainstream sedan that will be built on the company's A-Class sedan platform. The sedan will be shown alongside a handful of other models including the GA8, GS8, and GM8.

GAC intends to enter the U.S. market in 2019 and the company's president Yu Jun said "The American market has the strictest standards, laws and regulations, so entering it is a challenge as well as test for GAC Motor's quality, technology and R&D capabilities. We believe that entering the North American market will drive GAC Motor to improve its R&D, product quality, brand influence and business management, while enabling us to integrate global resources in developed markets and further facilitate internationalization."

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GMC Will Reportedly Refresh Canyon Pickup In 2018

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 10:18 AM PST

GMC and Chevrolet introduced their mid-size pickup twins for the 2014 model year, and since then, changes have been relatively minor. However, a new report from AutoNews published on Monday claimed the GMC Canyon is in for a refresh this year.

The mid-size pickup received two notable updates since its re-introduction: a 2.8-liter Duramax inline-4 cylinder engine and a range-topping Denali trim. Details on what a refreshed Canyon will include are scarce, but design tweaks and new content are likely.

The report also reiterated news that the 2019 GMC Sierra will not show up at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. Instead, Chevrolet will debut the 2019 Silverado in full after its surprise showing in Texas last month.

It will be the first time since 1998 that GMC and Chevrolet will not reveal the latest full-size pickups together. GM President Dan Ammann told the publication that GMC will work to "broaden" its appeal and further differentiate itself from Chevrolet. While the Sierra and Silverado may be mechanically related, the designs will likely differ quite a bit.

The North American International Auto Show will be heavy on trucks, dictated by consumers' relentless appetite for utility vehicles. In particular, the Ford Ranger is rumored to debut at the show and will provide direct competition to the GMC Canyon and its Chevrolet Colorado cousin.

Note: current generation 2017 GMC Canyon pictured

CES 2018: VW To Use Nvidia’s AI In Future Models, Including Electric Microbus

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:50 AM PST

Volkswagen and Nvidia outlined their collaboration for the development of the new generation of VW models at the CES in Las Vegas.

Nvidia's artificial intelligence technologies will play a crucial role in creating autonomous VWs such as the upcoming production version of the I.D. Buzz concept.

"Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the car," Herbert Diess, VW's CEO said. "Autonomous driving, zero tailpipe emission mobility and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning. Combining the imagination of Volkswagen with NVIDIA, the leader in AI technology, enables us to take a big step into the future."

VW says that the addition of AI into its future models includes the so-called "intelligent co-pilot" capabilities, a range of systems that will combine convenience and driver assistance features based on data from both inside and outside the vehicle. The "intelligent co-pilot" will receive over-the-air updates, thus gaining new capabilities as autonomous technology progresses.

Thanks to the AI's deep learning process, the system will be capable of accurately assessing situations and analyse the behaviour of others on the road, enabling it to make the right decisions.

At its core sits Nvidia's Drive IX computer, which also will allow for things like facial recognition for unlocking the car from the outside, driver alerts for bicycles, gesture recognition for onboard systems and natural language understanding for voice control among others.

VW's future electric lineup of models will be based on the new EV-only MEB platform, including the production version of the I.D. Buzz concept. The company is planning to launch more than 20 electric vehicles by 2025 while they also plan to gradually introduce autonomous driving technologies by 2020.


Old Audi S6 Challenges Lada Niva In A Tug Of War

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:24 AM PST

In the snow, choosing between an old performance-oriented saloon and a high ground-clearance, off-roader should be pretty straight forward.

Then again, you need to factor in weight, tires and performance, and so the second-generation Audi S6 (C5) kind of has the Lada Niva out-gunned when it comes to power and torque.

Powering the S6 C5 is a 4.2-liter V8 engine, pushing down 340 PS (335 HP) and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque to all four wheels. With a kerb weight of just over 1,800 kg (roughly 4,000 lbs), it can also dig in pretty well during a tug of war.

Now, while this Niva seems to be packing a few after market modification, it would have to be something truly special in order to match the Audi in any way.

When stock, the Niva 4x4 only puts down a little over 80 HP, so right off the bat, it doesn't look like much of a fair fight.