2012

2012

The Toyota Venza was launched for the first time back in 2008, but it’s preparing to enter the 2013 model year with enhanced exterior styling, added value through several new standard convenience features, and updated option packages. Its official debut was made at the 2012 New York Motor Show and sales are scheduled to begin later in 2012.

At the front, the new Venza has received a new upper and lower grille, fog lamps, and rear taillights. Toyota is also offering a new set of 19" wheels and a choice of the new exterior colors: Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl, and Cosmic Gray Mica.

Like the previous version, the 2013 Venza will be offered in LE, XLE, and Limited grades, with a choice of four-cylinder or V6 engines. Both front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations will also be offered.

For 2013, the list of standard equipment will include, depending on the trim level: Driver Memory Seat, Reverse Tilt Outer Mirrors, Display Audio with Navigation and Toyota Entune, LED Daytime Running Lights, and Premium HDD Navigation with Entune and JBL.

UPDATE 04/03/2012: This review has been updated with the official images and specs for the Toyta Venza.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Toyota Venza.

SRT Viper

According to the official SRT count-down, we have to wait another 32 hours until we finally get to see the new generation Viper in all its glory. Until then, SRT is delighting us with another teaser image - and the last one of the series - that reveals part of the car’s hood.

From this image, we can see that the Viper will be better than ever. Its strong character lines will make it even sportier and far more attractive than any Viper before it. Of course, this new image does nothing else than intrigue us further, but the official debut is getting closer and we’re hoping we can resist until then.

The new teaser image comes with the following note: "Thank you, fans, for your excitement surrounding the 2013 SRT Viper. Keep an eye on driveSRT.com throughout the week for an insider’s perspective before, during and after the launch."

Source: Facebook

In the past few months, we have seen tons of spy shots for the upcoming BMW i8 Coupe , but not even once have we heard rumors about a possible roadster version of the car. Somehow, BMW has been able to keep a tight lid on this project, but they are now unveiling the first details of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder.

Spyder models are generally top-less versions of their Coupe counterparts, but the new i8 Spyder has a slightly shorter wheelbase and overall length than the i8 Coupe. It has also received laser headlights, a semi-transparent "V" hood, and a rakish windscreen with an integrated spoiler.

Like its coupe brother, the new i8 Spyder combines two different power sources: a 131 HP electric motor on the front axle with a 223 HP turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine on the rear wheels. With a total of 354 HP, the new concept will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 155 mph. While running on electric only, the car has an autonomy of 19 miles.

Hit the jump to read more about the new BMW i8 Concept Spyder.

2012 will be a pretty busy year for Ferrari . After the F12berlinetta and the new Enzo replacement, the company will take a little break from developing V12 supercars and will focus on offering the long rumored successor for the legendary Dino instead.

In the past few years, Ferrari has been up and down when asked about a new Dino, but now Ferrari sources have confirmed to us that a new Dino is currently being developed and that it will be unveiled this fall at the Paris Auto Show, with the production to follow in early 2013 - as a celebration of the car’s 45th anniversary.

The new Dino will be the smallest model in Ferrari’s line-up and will be powered by a detuned version of the V8 engine used in the 458 Italia. This means we’ll see a total output somewhere in the 450 HP area. As for its exterior design, expect to see the classic Dino brought to our modern days: it will combine elements from the latest 458 Italia , FF , and F12berlinetta and will still offer a 2+2 seats configuration. The best part is that the car’s legendary nose will remain, but will look a bit modernized.

As for the car’s price, our sources have confirmed that the new Dino will be the cheapest model in the line-up, but you’ll still have to dish out about $200K if you want to own one.

UPDATE 04/02/2012: In case you hadn’t realized it yet, April Fool’s!! This information is 100% false and was created for our amusement on this wonderful day!

BMW 1-Series 3-Door

The BMW 135i has been one of the more exciting releases by the German automaker, as of late, and the 2013 model year 135i is on its way. We already know that the 2013 will include a two-door coupe and a convertible model, as those are already in the 2012 lineup. We also know that BMW i BMW i s releasing a five-door hatchback model in the European market. One thing we haven’t seen, at least until now, is a three-door hatchback model.

Just recently BMW was caught testing a 135i, bearing about as much coverage as a supermodel at a beach photo shoot, on the Nürburgring and it shows all of the markings of a three-door hatchback. You can judge for yourself, but from the spy shots we saw, it looks like the little bit of covering it has is going over where the door handle would normally be on a five-door model. This leads us to believe that BMW is trying to hide the fact that this model does not have a rear door handle, because there is no rear door. You can see our rendering of the three-door model above.

Before all of you hatchback lovers in the U.S. start salivating over this 300-horsepower hatchback that could easily push the Golf R aside, it appears as if this hot hatchback won’t make it to the U.S. this model year. For now, this little number will remain in Europe, much like its five-door sibling.

With the hatchback craze growing in the U.S., especially the high-performance hatchback movement, it only makes sense for BMW to release the three-door hatch 135i stateside. We will be bold and predict it to arrive late in the 2013 model year or maybe as an early 2014 model. Given the fact that the coupe and convertible models will already be available here, bringing the hatchback model across the pond likely won’t be a difficult task.

The "GMC Truck" marque first appeared on vehicles exhibited at the 1912 New York International Auto Show. Now, 100 years later, GMC will bring the Yukon and Sierra Heritage Editions to celebrate the company’s centenary. The new Heritage Editions will be offered on the Sierra 1500 Crew Cab, Yukon, and Yukon XL models in SLT trim, priced at $2,645 for Sierra and $1,970 for Yukon and Yukon XL package.

The new models will be distinguished by commemorative exterior badges on the doors, a chrome package for Sierra, a new set of 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, and different equipment for the interiors. Three colors will be available – a new, exclusive Heritage Blue ($195), White Diamond ($995), or Onyx Black (no additional cost). Interior colors for the Yukon are Ebony and Light Tan.

"The GMC brand always looks forward, but this day provides an opportunity to celebrate 100 years of the proud GMC name," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of GMC Marketing. "Sierra and Yukon are two of our longest-running and most-respected nameplates, so it makes sense to use them to represent our heritage."

Hit the jump for a full list of equipment.

Every single year cars continue to get closer and closer to being completely autonomous, but that’s still a distant goal. In today’s world, automakers are simply trying to make getting lost a thing of the past with new integrated navigation systems. Chevy has taken this a step further by announcing that it is planning to release a new type of navigation system in the fall of 2012.

Chevy has dubbed this new system GogoLink and will debut it at the 2012 New York Auto Show. What’s weirder than the name itself is that it is a smartphone application. Yup, this application loads into any smartphone and offers a fully functional navigation system with live traffic updates. This system works through the MyLink infotainment system installed in the upcoming 2013 Sonic and 2012 Spark via Bluetooth or cable connection, and displays the navigation system on MyLink’s 7-inch LCD touch screen.

But why on Earth would Chevy put a smartphone app as its navigation system? Well, Chevy claims that 90% of Sonic and Spark buyers own a smartphone and that these higher-end customers are accustomed to using their phones for everything. We honestly think it is a cheap way for Chevy to say “Even our entry level cars have navigation systems,” but we’re skeptics.

Due to the fact that GogoLink will likely not debut in time for the release of the 2012 Spark , Chevy dealers will quickly upload GogoLink onto the MyLink system on your new Spark once it becomes available. For now, we’ll reserve judgment until more details come about, but we can certainly see a large number of Spark and Sonic customers complaining because they used up their entire smartphone data plan running GogoLink (See iPhone billing nightmares). However, if you happen to have an unlimited data plan, which we would assume most smartphone users would, this could be a pretty cool system to help get you around town.

Click past the jump to read the full press release and list of features.

Toyota Avalon has been firstly unveiled in 1994 and until know we have seen three different generation. Today, at the New York Auto Show Toyota has unveiled the fourth generation Avalon, a model that comes with a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design, improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior.

The model has been designed to attract younger buyers and features a sleek and expressive profile with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs. The car’s interior combines comfort, convenience and technology. Toyota opted to combined premium materials with smoked chrome-metallic accents. The new Avalon has been crafted with innovative technologies such as advanced capacitive touch switches, a three color display screens that support the multi-information display, the audio/navigation interface, and the climate control panel.

Toyota did not offered any details on the car’s engine just yet, but we expect to see the same 3.5-liter V6 engine maybe with improved output and fuel economy.

Updated 04/05/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

Say a driver loves the way the Challenger R/T or SRT8 looks, but is not down with driving around town with a high-output V-8 engine under the hood. For a while, customers were stuck with either the SXT or SE model, both of which are rather bland in styling when compared to the R/T and SRT8. Dodge came to bat by releasing the all-new 2012 Challenger Rallye Redline.

This mid-level 2012 Challenger features Dodge’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, just like the Challenger SXT . This means drivers are not going to be able to go out there and compete with the likes of the Mustang GT and Camaro SS when it comes to performance. However, they will also not be pulling over at every other gas station to top up at $4.00 per gallon like they would in these high-performance models.

Pitting apple against apple, the 2012 Challenger Rallye Redline just might be a formidable foe for the V-6 powered versions of the 2013 Ford Mustang and 2012 Chevy Camaro. Let’s see how this newcomer to the Challenger lineup holds up against these other members of the 300-horsepower V-6 muscle club. We may be surprised how a few slight modifications can put one car ahead of the pack.

Hit the jump for more details on the 2012 Dodge Challenger Rallye Redline.

In the modern era of automobiles, most customers want to have their cake and eat it too, meaning they not only want great fuel economy and a low price, but they also want a well-performing vehicle. Enter the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic with a 1.8-liter four cylinder engine that gets a respectable 25 to 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. This is all well and good, but what about those looking for more miles per gallon.

Greater miles per gallon is the exact purpose for Chevy offering an optional 1.4-liter engine. Instinctively, you may assume that this more fuel efficient 1.4-liter engine may require a sacrifice of power, but GM bolted a turbocharger onto this Ecotec engine, boosting it to the same 138 horsepower as the 1.8-liter. It also produces 23 more pound-feet of torque than the larger 1.8-liter engine. In addition to its added torque, this boosted 1.4-liter gets 33 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, and zips the Sonic from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.8 seconds – we’re not talking a Ferrari, but that’s still impressive.

Unfortunately, for those that desired an automatic transmission, the turbo 1.4-liter engine was not an option, as it was only available with a six-speed manual transmission. Well, GM decided to answer the demand for an auto-equipped Sonic turbo, as the auto giant announced that it will now offer an optional six-speed automatic transmission on the 2012 Sonic Turbo. This new turbocharged, automatic-equipped 2012 Sonic will accelerate to 60 mph in eight seconds, per GM, which is significantly faster than its closest competitors, which include the Ford Fiesta , Honda Fit , and Hyundai Accent .

On top of the impressive acceleration time, the auto equipped Sonic turbo will get you 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. All of these features combined, plus the 2012 Sonic’s modern and stylish exterior, make us wonder why you are still reading this and not picking one up now… Or are we talking to ourselves here?

Click below to read the official press release from GM.


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