2012

2012

Last month, Nissan unveiled the Japanese specifications for the 2013 Nissan GT-R and announced that the 2014 U.S. model year will be making its world debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. As we expected, the 2014 U.S.-spec GT-R will be nearly identical to the 2013 JDM-spec GT-R, but American customers will enjoy a few more updates, thus avoiding completely disappointing us.

The updates are mostly limited to minor tweaks to the engine’s internals. Despite these minor adjustments, the 2014 GT-R will carry over the same output specifications as it had in 2013. AS we all know, horsepower is only a portion of the equation. You also need to reach the peak-output rpm in an efficient manner, and this is where Nissan made most of its changes – what most people simply refer to a “throttle response.”

So, are these improvements worthy of trading in your 2013 model year for?

Updated 01/24/2012: Nissan has just released the official prices for the 2014 GT-R, which is now on sale at the dealers nationwide. Bad news is that when compared last year’s model, the 2014 model year prices have been increased by $2,770. As a result, the 2014 GT-R Premium is priced at $99,590 and the GT-R Black Edition comes in at $109,300.

To find that out and more, hit the jump to read all about the 2014 Nissan GT-R.

The next-generation Skoda Octavia made its world debut in December 2012 and the station wagon was the next logical step after the sedan. The wagon, known in Europe as Skoda Octavia Combi, has been caught testing for the first time and, as you can, see it looks pretty similar to the sedan.

What differentiates it from the sedan is its increased sized, which will provide more space for passengers and their cargo. The rest, of course, will remain unchanged and we will see the same design language initially unveiled in the new Rapid .

Under the hood, the engine lineup will remain unchanged and will include newly developed petrol and diesel engines, including the new 1.6-liter TDI engine that delivers a total of 69 mpg.

The new Octavia Combi will make its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show with sales to begin in the summer. We’ll keep you updated on all of the latest info.

Infiniti’s new Q50 - aka the replacement for the G sedan - will be the first model to benefit from the company’s new naming strategy. The model will make its world debut on January 14th, 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show and today, Infiniti has unveiled the first teaser video for the next sedan.

All the video is reveals are the Q50’s headlamps. As you can see they appear to feature an LED accent wave and they give us a promising feeling about how the Q50 will look in its entirety. No other details have been unveiled, but we expect to see a completely new sedan with an updated look and new technologies. As for the engine, we’re coming up almost completely empty, as all we know is that is will feature a V-6 engine.

The Q50 sedan will be joined by a convertible, coupe, and a high-performance version.

Full details will be unveiled on January 14th, debut at the Detroit Auto Show.

One of the models to be displayed by Mazda at the upcoming 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon is based on the CX-5 SUV. This concept is called Active Driver and has been specially designed for those active families that need plenty of luggage space, but also the strong torque delivered by the CX-5’s "SKYACTIV-D" technology.

The new CX-5 Active Driver is painted in white with carbon fiber inserts on the hood and numerous gloss-black accents. The car is also offered with a set of unique alloy wheels. For the interior, Mazda has added new sports seats, a new steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara and alloy pedals to go along with color combo of black and red.

We cannot tell for sure what engine is under the hood, but we do know that it will feature SKYACTIV-D technology, like 14-to-1 compression, two-stage turbocharger and weight reduction. Will learn full details in January 2013 when the model makes its world debut.

The current generation RAV4 has been sale since 2005 and the only update was in 2009 when it received a mild refresh. It is no surprise that today, at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota decided to finally unleash the fourth generation RAV4. The new SUV has been caught testing in many times and teased a few more times, so we can say it brings nothing that we did not expect.

The new RAV4 is not only redesigned both inside and outside, but it also receives new in-cabin technologies, a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, new six-speed transmission and new safety features.

While building the new RAV4 , Toyota will use the same body-engineering principles previously used on the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon that helps improve steering and handling, and makes the car a little bit lighter.

The new generation Toyota RAV4 will go on sale early in 2013 in three well-equipped grades: LE, XLE and Limited.

Updated 12/18/2012: Toyota today announced prices for the 2013 RAV4 SUV that will arrive at dealerships in early January 2013. Prices will range from $23,300 for the LE FWD version up to $28,410 for Limited AWD one.

Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2014 RAV4

We already know that beginning with the next-generation 3-Series , the coupe and the convertible versions will no longer be offered as a 3-Series model. Instead, BMW will add a new model to its lineup known as the 4-Series .

We are all eagerly anticipating a production version of the 4-Series to show up soon, but BMW will start off with a little teasing, as it will first release a concept model. The 4-Series concept will make its world debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and BMW has just released the first official details of the upcoming concept.

The new 4-Series will take its design inspiration from the 6-Series Coupe and it will offer "greater sportiness, greater exclusivity and even clearer differentiation" from the 3-Series. It will also be longer and feature a lowered roof line.

BMW offered no details on the engine lineup just yet, but the production version will be offered with the same engine lineup as the 3-Series sedan.

Update 12/7/2012: BMW has just launched a video outlining the all-new BMW 4-Series Concept with higher ups at Bimmer talking about the improvements of the new Coupe.

UPDATE 02/18/13: Leave it to BMW to leave us dumbfounded about a new promo video for the new BMW 4-Series Coupe. It’s in German, which we don’t really understand, but a quick browse through Google Translate seems to suggest that the promo video is saying the that the 4-Series Coupe is "the Ultimate Driving Machine". And who are we to disagree. Check out the video by clicking on the photo above.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept.

Here in the U.S., auto shows are pretty much done for 2012, but Europe is still enjoying the Essen Motor Show and the amazing tuning cars displayed in there. One of these amazing cars – “amazing is likely an understatement – is the GT9 Vmax developed by 9ff .

The new Vmax package continues from where the GT9-R package left and has significantly improved both power and performance. The GT9-R delivered a total of 1,120 horsepower and was capable of peaking out at 414 km/h (257.2 mph), but the Vmax would simply walk away from its predecessor.

The Vmax is powered by a 4.2-liter, twin-turbocharged flat-six engine that delivers a total of 1,381 gut-checking ponies and 855 pound-feet of twist. The extra power helps it rocket to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 3.1 seconds. If that’s not enough for you, the Vmax also launches to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in 6.8 seconds and to 300 km/h (186.4 mph) in 13 seconds. If you though the GT9-R’s top speed was nuts, you’re in for a serious treat, as the Vmax touts a 437 km/h (271.54 mph) top speed.

The tuner also added in plenty of carbon-fiber body work, polycarbonate windows and a set of lightweight wheels. As expected, with great performance comes a grand price tag. The 9ff GT9 Vmax comes in at €895,000 - or about $1,170,000 at the current exchange rates.

Hit the jump for a video shot at the Essen Motor Show.

Press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show ended a few days ago and on December 1st, a new show opened in Europe: Essen Motor Show. For those that don’t know, Essen is basically a European version of SEMA. The German tuner, Lorisen, will arrive at Essen with a tuning kit based on the Mercedes SL500 .

The tuner changed almost every aspect of the car and, of course, it started with the exterior. The aerodynamic kit includes a new grille and larger air inlets, new side skirts that make the SL look lower. The package continues with a flared front bumper, extended rear bumper, a rear deck lid spoiler and a built-in diffuser with the Lorinser sports exhaust’s four end pipes poking out of the diffuser’s cutouts. The car sits on a set of 20-inch light-alloy RSK8 wheels wrapped in 255/30R20 front tires and 295/25R20 rear tires.

Under the hood, the V-8 engine receives a reprogrammed ECU with increased bi-turbo boost that increases the power from the standard 435 horsepower to 530 horsepower and the torque up to an impressive 590 pound-feet. Also, the tuner removed the speed limiter so that now the SL500 can hit a top speed of 173 mph.

In order to make the car even more aggressive, Lorinser also installed lowering kit that can be controlled using a button on the steering wheel. For the interior the tuner is offering any desired combination made in aluminum, wood or carbon look.

Brabus will likely have the busiest stand at the Essen Motor Show. Here is yet another incredible tuning package launched by the German tuner. It is based on the Mercedes SL500 and will add plenty of extra pop its base engine, as well as exterior and interior upgrades.

Under the hood, Brabus installed 520 PowerXtra CGI module with plug-and-play design, an auxiliary water-to-air intercooler powered by an auxiliary electric pump and, of course, a stainless-steel sport exhaust system with four chrome-plated tailpipes.

As a result, the output has been increased from the standard 435 horsepower to 520 horsepower, while peak torque has been raised to 604 pound-feet. Brabus uninstalled the speed limiter and replaced it with a variable one that allows the customer to choose from a top speed of 155, 172 or 186 mph. This upgrade also allows the SL500 to launch from a stop to 62 mph in just 4.4 seconds.

The exterior receives some significant updates, including new front fenders with side air vents, new side skirts and a new rear spoiler. Brabus also added a set of wheels, offered in four different sizes — 18, 19 and 20 inches — and in three designs, Monoblock F, Q or R wheels. The wheels have been combined with custom-tailored suspension components, which were designed in cooperation with Bilstein, and an electronic lowering module that can lower the car’s ride by 0.98 inches.

Brabus will have a very active presence at the 2012 Essen Motor Show and the third package announced for the show is the B50-500 based on the Mercedes E500 Coupe . The E500’s standard V-8 engine delivers a total of 383 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, which is already pretty stout. The B50-500 kit pumps the E500’s output to 500 horses and 575 pound-feet of torque – a 30 percent and 47 percent increase, respectively.

In order to milk this extra power, the engine has received a B50-500 PowerXtra CGI performance kit that includes an auxiliary control unit with new mapping for fuel injection, ignition and boost pressure control. With these updates the V-8 engine will launch the E500 from a standstill to 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds and to 124 mph in 13.3 seconds. The Benz’s top speed is limited to 186 mph.

The B50-500 also receives an aerodynamic package that has been developed in the wind tunnel. The package includes a new front spoiler with integrated LED daytime running lights, a new rear spoiler and diffuser, aluminum sport fenders with integrated inserts made from clear-coated carbon fiber, and new side skirts. The car sits on 19-inch wheels offered in Monoblock VI, F, Q, R or S designs and embraced by high-performance tires.

For the interior Brabus offers up any desired material ranging from leather to Alcantara and from carbon fiber to the finest woods.


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