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2012

2012

Honda unveiled the CR-Z back in 2010, but it looks like the little sports coupe is going to receive its first facelift treatment a little earlier than anticipated. The new CR-Z made its official debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and will go on sale in January 2013.

The updated CR-Z has received subtle revisions to the exterior and interior, with the biggest changes being made under the hood. The 1.5-liter petrol engine has been tweaked to deliver an extra 7 horsepower and the electric motor an extra 6 horsepower. With a total of 137 horsepower, the CR-Z will now sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 9 seconds (down from 9.7 seconds).

The new CR-Z has also received a Plus Sport (S+) boost system that delivers increased acceleration for up to ten seconds when the battery is more than 50% charged.

UPDATE 11/19/2012: Honda U.S.A. has announced prices for the 2013 CR-Z that will go on sale November 21, 2012. Prices will start from $19,975 for the standard version and from $21,655 for the EX version.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Honda CR-Z.

Back in September, Los Angeles Auto Show organizers announced the theme for this year’s Design Challenge contest: contenders needed to design a law enforcement car for the year 2025. Today, they have finally announced the six competitors coming from BMW , General Motors, Honda (two entries), Mercedes-Benz and Subaru .

BMW’s entry will be the E-Patrol (Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle), which is a concept built on a modular structure with three different drones. In the case of a pursuit in heavy traffic, the patrol officer can deploy either the flying drone or one of the single-wheel drones to chase the suspect and report back to the officer.

General Motors entered the contest with a Volt Squad — a three-vehicle fleet designed around the concept of observe, pursue and engage. Honda has two entries for 2012: the CHP Drone Squad, a vehicle-based-system for 2025, which is designed to work efficiently and seamlessly in the harsh environment of California highways. Honda’s second entry is the "CHiPs" 2025 Traffic Crawler, a vehicle that has the ability to adjust to changes in the traffic environment.

Mercedes is entering the contest with Ener-G-Force, a vehicle based on the G-Class and designed as an environmentally friendly SUV. And finally Subaru’s entry is the SHARC (Subaru Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept) highway patrol vehicles. They are capable of providing an innovative, affordable and environmentally conscious solution for 24-hour highway monitoring, protection and rapid emergency response.

The winner of the contest will be announced on November 25.

Click past the jump to read the press release on each vehicle.


The second Escape project to be displayed by Ford at the SEMA Show was a Heide Performance Products (HPP) creation that was described as having "tasteful street-performance treatment."

HPP began the project by adding a very chic body kit, which included a revised front fascia, enlarged wheel arches, new side sills and an HPP rear bumper cover. HPP then draped the entire body in Olive Juice paint from PPG. Inside the cabin, the Escape received leather and suede treatment on the seats.

To help the Escape in the corners and give it a sportier appearance, HPP lowered the chassis subtly via a set of Eibach springs. HPP also threw in a set of Forgiato 2.0 Otto wheels, measuring 20-by-9 inches.

The HPP concept was based on the 2013 Escape SE AWD version and is powered by a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine combined with a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. HPP took an exhaust system intended for a Ford Focus ST and somehow shoehorned it onto the Escape, which indicated that this one-off model delivered a little bit more than the standard 240 horsepower. This likely makes it faster than the factory model’s 6.8-second sprint to 60 mph. Unfortunately, HPP didn’t reveal its exact performance numbers.

Source: Auto Guide
BMW 4 Series Coupe

It looks like BMW will also be unveiling a concept version of the upcoming 4-Series Coupe next to the X4 Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. With about two months left before the car’s official debut, the upcoming 4-Series Coupe has been caught in production form and nearly fully uncovered somewhere in Munich, Germany while being loaded for transport to an internal presentation.

When compared to the current E92 3-Series coupe, the F32 features a sleeker roofline with a more fastback shaped tail end, but not as dramatic as in the Audi A7 . The rear quarter windows have also been elongated, but the most visible styling embellishment is the front quarter panel vent, which not only adds a sporty visual flair, but also appears to be an actual functional vent. While the front end is still camouflaged, we expect to see wider and sleeker headlamps which, just like with the 3-Series sedan , will connect with the grille.

The model caught in these pictures is the 435i (or 440i) Sport Line. As you can see, the visible parts of the front bumper show differences from the F30 Sport Line front bumper and there is also a different exhaust system. There is a more prominent center U shaped trim piece which dips down from the inside of the air vents and forms a prominent lip below the license plate area. It also looks to be either black or carbon fiber. The car sits on 19" M Sport Wheels wrapped in 225 tires up front and 255 at the rear.

The next 4-Series Coupe will be offered with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter twin-turbo in-line 4-cylinder for the base version and the successor for the current N55 twin-turbo in-line 6-cylinder engine for the top version. Both engines will be available with either a manual transmission or 8-speed automatic, and both should also be available with xDrive.

After the BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept is unveiled in January, production will begin in the spring of 2013. The convertible version will follow later in 2013.


At first glance, you may think that the Chevrolet Cruze doesn’t have much tuning potential. However, at the recently ended 2012 SEMA Show, Chevrolet set out to prove the opposite, as its Cruze Upscale Concept moves the compact sedan up a few rungs on the luxury ladder.

Chevy coated the Cruze Upscale Concept in Burnished Brandy Metallic paint, then added in Black Ice exterior trim, giving it a deep and luxurious finish. Next came a set of rocker and fascia extensions, and a set of 19-inch aluminum wheels in Black Ice. Dark-tinted windows and headlamps give the car an even smoother look.

Inside the Cruze’s cabin, Chevrolet combined brown leather with yellow stitching on the seats and steering wheel. The steering wheel is wrapped in Loft Brown and DK Atmosphere leather, as are the door and instrument panels.

To improve the car’s driving dynamics Chevrolet also added an adjustable coilover suspension kit, four-piston front brake calipers, and two-piece vented and drilled rotors.

BMW X4 Concept

Rumors about a possible BMW X4 have been out and about for quite some time now, but it has been confirmed that a concept version of the X4 will be unveiled in January 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show . According to BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer this will be a near-production prototype that will offer customers a pretty good idea on the X4’s design.

The next X4 will be built on the same platform as the second-generation X3 , but it will feature individual styling that will put it closer to the X6’s design. It will be distinguished by a coupe-style roofline, four doors and a heavily angled one-piece tailgate.

Under the hood we will most likely see the same engine as the new X3, including both four-cylinder diesel and straight six-cylinder gasoline engine. BMW will also offer an M version powered by a twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder gasoline engine - the same to be used in the next M3.

The BMW X4 will go on sale in North America in early 2014. The model will be priced at about $42K and will target models like the upcoming Porsche Macan .

Source: Autoweek

The thing that we love most about the Ford Mustang is that it’s incredibly accepting of aftermarket performance parts. With that said, the 2012 SEMA Show was like heaven for us with all of the amazing Mustang tuning kits that were displayed. Ringbrothers offered up one that it dubbed the Switchback and it certainly gained our interest.

As you probably expected, the most important modifications were under the hood. In here the car’s standard 5.0-liter engine was fitted with a ProCharger supercharger system with an intercooler, Flowmaster headers, Hose Candy sleeves and filled with only the best — Royal Purple fluids. Ringbrothers also installed a new 409S dual exhaust system from Flowmaster, which helped raise the Mustang GT from its already stout 430 horsepower to an extreme 575 ponies.

Because Ringbrothers needed a more aggressive look to match the extra power, it installed a carbon-fiber body kit and front splitter, plus a 2-piece modular carbon-fiber hood with an interchangeable insert. For the exterior, the folks at Ringbrothers opted for a waterborne paint combined with aluminum side vents. The car was then place on a set of 1-piece wheels sized 19 inches up front and 20 inches in the rear, and wrapped in Nitto tires sized 275/35R19 and 315/35R20, respectively.

Inside the Mustang Switchback, the changes were limited to the removal of the factory rear seats and the addition of a new custom-wrapped leather package.

With all these updates, the Mustang GT has been transformed into the real muscle car it should have been from factory!


Just like with the recently announced Honda Accord , the ninth generation Civic also received its first update and changes include a completely revised front and rear exterior styling, improved interior, while the 1.8-liter 16-valve four-cylinder engine remains unchanged. The model made its world debut today at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show and will be put on sale on November 29 at a stating price of $18,165.

On the exterior the 2013 Civic has received a more youthful and premium styling with an an all-new hood, updated grille, a new rear bumper design and new rear trunk lid. The interior has also being revised with soft-top materials and new technologies, while the list of safety features is being more impressive than ever and will include as a first in the compact segment standard Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems.

While under the hood the engine remains unchanged, Honda has added a new high fuel efficiency "HF" version that delivers an impressive fuel economy of 41 mpg on the highway.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Honda Civic.

At the upcoming Essen Motor Show, Brabus will unveil a tuning package based on the latest Mercedes G63 AMG . We have to admit, we never imagined a G-Class could look this good, especially when wearing that black coat of paint.

The most awesome part of the tuning kit sits beneath the hood. Here, the standard 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine received an additional intercooler and some ECU updates that boosted it from its already monstrous 544 horsepower to an incredible 620 ponies. Along with the extra ponies came a few extra pounds of twist, as its torque jumped from 560 to 590 pound-feet. We can’t tell exactly how the extra 76 horsepower will improve the SUV’s performance numbers, but we’ll surely learn more during its debut in Essen.

To add a little extra style to the package, Brabus placed the G63 AMG atop a set of 23-inch wheels painted in black and covered the calipers with a layer of yellow paint


Everyone in the U.S. is busy soaking up the 2012 SEMA Show, but in Europe, they have started preparations for the Essen Motor Show. At the 2012 Essen Motor Show., BMW will be unveiling a very cool 3-Series Touring equipped with BMW M Performance accessories. The model will go on sale in April 2013.

This new BMW M Performance 3-Series Touring is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine with its output bumped to 200 horsepower — up from the standard 184 horsepower. BMW also adds in a new M Performance suspension with a particularly sporty setup and a new M Performance brake system. This Bimmer sits on 20-inch light alloy wheels in a double-spoke design and painted in Ferric Grey.

On the inside, it boasts a sports steering wheel with Race Display, stainless-steel pedals, interior strips in Alcantara and carbon, and numerous other interior components finished in carbon.

More details on the new BMW M Performance 3-Series Touring will be unveiled during its debut and we’ll pass them on as we receive them.


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