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Hyundai Genesis

Just over 10 years ago, Hyundai was still pretty much the black sheep of the automotive industry. Despite the fact that the Hyundai Excel of the 1980s won several awards, Hyundai Hyundai ’s quality was still considered low and very few took them seriously. In the past 10 years, Hyundai has managed to dig itself out of the grave that it placed itself in and is now a legitimate competitor to import giants like Honda , Toyota , and Nissan .

Regardless of the brand’s recent resurgence, no one would ever suspect that the words “BMW” and “Hyundai” would ever be used in the same sentence, except in the case of someone saying “I can’t afford a BMW, but this Hyundai will do.” Well, that was until just now…

There are rumors being passed around the automotive world that Hyundai and BMW have been seen courting one another rather intensely, as reports indicate that Chung Euisun, the son of Hyundai’s chairman, and BMW brass were discussing sharing engine development costs.

These types of development sharing partnerships are not uncommon. Currently, we have Audi sharing its cost with VW , Toyota and Subaru joined up for the BRZ/GT 86/FR-S project, and in the past we have seen Ford and Mazda joining forces. However, those collaborations are all pretty much linear, as they are all on the same level with each other. With exception to the top-level Genesis sedan and Equus , Hyundai couldn’t be much more non-linear with BMW. In fact, Hyundai is pretty much the anti-BMW .

In reality though, Hyundai does build quality engines now and they still remain significantly cheaper than BMWs. With CAFE regulations becoming more of a reality every day, BMW needs to find a way to increase its vehicles’ fuel mileage without sharply increasing cost. Sharing some developmental cost with a company that produces quality and economically friendly engines just might do the trick.

As expected, both companies have adamantly denied any discussions of collaborating, but that means nothing in this day and age. Nearly every car company denies everything until they decide to officially release it.

We’ll keep you updated on this situation as more info comes out.

Image is of the 3.8-liter Lambda engine with direct injection (GDI) technology found in the 2012 Hyundai Genesis .

Source: Paul Tan

A few weeks ago, we let you in on the conversation that Car and Driver had with executives from Subaru and Toyota about the possibility of a turbocharger on the BRZ, GT 86 , and FR-S . It was a flat out “No” on the FR-S and an “Eh, maybe, but not now” on the BRZ and GT 86. Well, first off we think that’s a load of corporate horse manure, as Subaru and Toyota Toyota would be out of their engine control modules not to force at least 8 psi into that new jointly built 2.0-liter engine.

Apparently, Subaru is taking a nibble of the bait that us turbo junkies are tossing in the water, as it has just completed development on a turbocharged version of the FA20 engine used in the BRZ , GT 86, and FR-S family. This engine is not an identical twin to the FA20, so don’t go getting your hopes up yet, but it is its fraternal twin at least. The only real difference is that Subaru scrapped the Toyota fuel injection system in favor of its own direct-injection system.

So what kind of power are we talking about? We are hearing that it cranks out a whopping 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque! Now for the bad news… As of now, this engine is only slated to be dropped into the JDM-spec Legacy . To make things worse, Subaru is linking this awesome engine to a CVT. What a gigantic waste.

Don’t go getting all sad on us now, this is a good start that Subaru is willing to slap some boost on this puppy and get nearly 300 ponies and 300 twisting power. Now just imagine that in a BRZ…

So we will reiterate what we said before. Regardless of what smoke and mirrors Subaru and Toyota throw up there, we will see boost in at least the BRZ and GT 86, and we would be willing to bet a penny that we see the FR-S whistling down the road one day too.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster

While most of us were hoping that Lamborghini would offer the roadster version of their latest Aventador supercar in March at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the company decided against it and extended the anticipation even longer. Now, Italian magazine Quattroruote, has offered a few more details on the upcoming Aventador LP700-4 Spyder .

According to the magazine, the new Aventador Spyder will feature a removable, solid roof and not a soft-top roof like the Murcielago Roadster . The retractable hard top should detach into two sections, separated in a transverse direction. It will be made ​​of carbon fiber just like most of the other body components. This material will keep the weight of the car down and make the roof easier to maneuver. The magazine also reports that the Spyder version will feature an increased number of carbon fiber applications.

Expect to see the launch of the new Lamborghini Aventador Spyder in the coming months.

Source: Quattroruote

Not all of us are quite privileged enough to be able to lump down enough money to import a 2012 BMW M5 into the U.S., nor are we all patient enough to await the 2013 release of the new M5. This means we are stuck with videos from people like the fine folks over at Bimmerpost.

One of the new features on the 2012 M5 , which will likely be a part of the M5 when it hits U.S. showrooms for the 2013 model year, is the Active Sound system. This is a system that is integrated with the stereo system and pipes engine notes through the stereo’s speakers.

So, here is our dilemma… Is this new feature a cool trick or simply a useless gimmick that BMW is slapping on this ride to make it seem cooler? The folks at Bimmerpost saved the day again by providing us automotive nerds with audio of the 2012 M5 with the AS system active, then with it deactivated, which involves yanking a fuse that also disables the entire stereo system and the rear parking assistant.

After listening to the two audio clips, which you can do in the above video, we can certainly tell the difference between the actual engine sound and the digitized engine sound. While BMW did go to great lengths to help match the digi-engine with the real engine, it is really a disappointment. To some people it might be a cool feature, but real auto buffs want to hear the engine itself.

BMW could help us all out by putting an “On/Off” switch on this feature, without having to disable the entire audio system by pulling the fuse. This rings even more true with folks that add in aftermarket components to this already high-performance sedan. They want to hear the modified turbo whistle, blow-off valve, and exhaust note, not some synthesized version of the stock engine.

We call this a useless gimmick for now. Let us know how you feel in the comments section below!

So it is official, Ford has gone absolutely crazy with the EcoBoost trend, but it’s a good crazy, as the EcoBoost both lowers emissions and sharply increases fuel economy. The latest engine to spool its way into the EcoBoost lineup is the all-new 1.0-liter inline three-cylinder version. When most people think of a 1.0-liter three-banger, they tend to picture the early-1990s Metro with its concrete massaging 49 horsepower zipping it to 60 mph sometime in the next century, while driving downhill.

Fortunately, this isn’t your Metro’s three-cylinder engine. This boosted three-banger will pump out a respectable 98 horsepower on the base level and an even more impressive 125 horsepower on the top-level engine, the latter exceeding the current 1.6-liter’s output by 5 horsepower.

FEV, the leading developer for this engine, also claims that both versions of the engine will twist out 125 pound-feet of torque, which is 13 more pound-feet than the 1.6-liter engine and it saves 20 pounds worth of weight compared to the 1.6-liter.

The press release makes it a little unclear as to whether or not this new EcoBoost will be offered in the U.S., but given the fact that it mentions the 1.6-liter in a Focus , and it being offered in the C-Max and B-Max , we can assume that it will start off in the U.K., as the B-Max and C-Max are U.K. models, and the Focus only comes with the 1.6-liter in the U.K. . Granted, the C-Max is coming to the U.S., but as a hybrid model only.

With the power output of this engine, you can expect to see it making its way over here soon. The likely host for it would be the Ford Fiesta , as it is more accepted with a smaller engine. Focus buyers would generally not accept a 1.0-liter-powered model.

We will continue to keep an eye on this and let you know if Ford makes mention of it coming to the U.S. or not.

Click past the jump to read FEV’s full press release

Posted on by Brad Anderson 0
Porsche 911/991

If there’s anything Americans love more than American cars, it’s German cars. BMW ’s, Audi ’s, and Mercedes ’ roam the streets of the U.S. like no other European alternatives, and sports car manufacturer Porsche is right up there with the best of them. Discounting the huge 911 sales Porsche records in the U.S, sales of the Cayenne and Panamera are also extremely high with Porsche selling no less than 25,320 cars in total in 2010 in the U.S.

And with so many sales you could excuse the German brand for being a little rough around the edges when it comes to servicing, but in a recent poll conducted by the Customer Service Index 2012 of 84,000 new car owners from the past three years, results showed that customer satisfaction for Porsche was the highest of any other German brand for their service and personal care of customer cars.

In an official press release, Porsche stated that it “isn’t just constantly raising the quality and thoroughness of its repair and maintenance standards through continuous improvement processes but also optimises the call on its customers’ time to their advantage – from the making of the appointment to receipt of the vehicle to its return.”

Sure some of Porsche’s English may be off, but we can forgive them for that, however these results don’t show the full story. While Porsche is the best of the German brands, it only rates 5th in terms of luxury brands behind Lexus , Cadillac , Jaguar , and Acura .

Nevertheless, we have to commend Porsche for this achievement, as Americans are as picky with their cars as they are fanatical about them.

Ford Evos Concept

Ford already did it before, and now it appears they’re going to do it again.

Of the five generations of the iconic Ford Mustang , the third and fourth generation Mustang came with completely different designs that were both based on a platform that we don’t see anymore: the Ford Fox.

For the fifth generation, Ford went back to the Mustang’s design roots, offering a car that paid true homage to the legendary Mustangs of the 60’s. But now it appears that Ford is once again prepared to go in a different direction with the design of the next-generation Mustang.

In a report by the Wall Street Journal, the American automaker is preparing a completely new and modern design for the next-generation Mustang, slated to arrive in 2014. That means that the retro-styling of the current Mustang will be replaced by a more modern model that is said to look a whole lot like the Ford Evos Concept.

As far as the reasoning behind the decision to drop the classic Mustang look for the next-gen model, Ford pointed to the growing "Generation Y" market that doesn’t carry as much fervor and attraction to the classic Mustang look as did the "Baby Boomer" generation. So with an entirely new market to cater to, the Blue Oval is looking at opening up yet another chapter of their iconic Mustang brand that could push for a new generation of loyal and passionate owners.

There have been all kinds of rumors about what kind of beast will power the upcoming Ferrari Enzo , starting with the first rumor of a turbocharged V8 engine and going up to a hybrid V12 engine. Now, MotorTrend is stating the engine will be the same 6.3-liter V12 found in the F12 Berlinetta . Sorry, F12 Berlinetta, but your reign won’t last long, because the future Enzo will end up being the most powerful Ferrari available with an incredible 920 HP.

This would mean that previous rumors stating the shared 6.3L V12 engine were correct, but output was miscalculated. The next Enzo - or F70 as it is codenamed - will get a tuned engine delivering 800 HP - and not 740 HP as in the F12. When combined with the 120 HP electric motor, the new Enzo will deliver a total of 920 HP. With a total weight of around 2550 lbs, the new Enzo will easily beat the Veyron’s 0 to 62mph sprint time of 2.46 seconds.

Expect to see the new Ferrari Enzo launched in March 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show. When it goes on sale, it will start off at about $700,000.

Source: Motor Trend
Posted on by Brad Anderson 2
Audi R8 V8 Coupe

The Audi R8 has been an extremely successful car for Audi, as it was originally launched as their first real attempt to compete with modern-day supercars. And boy did they deliver. The R8 is now offered in an array of versions, including the popular R8 V10 which uses the same 5.2-liter engine as the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 , but just like every other car, there comes a time when it has to be updated and the facelifted R8 is set to debut in just a few months.

Various spy shots have been captured of the stunning supercar, and the biggest visual changes are set to be its redesigned headlights and taillights. Although they’re expected to largely maintain their shape, the design of the actual lights within will be very different. A difference which will only be clearly noticeable at night, but a change nonetheless.

However, the biggest change will happen underneath, as the 2013 model is set to feature a twin-clutch transmission, if Autocar is to be believed. Up until this point, the R8 has only been offered with either a traditional six-speed manual or a paddle-shift operated ‘box, but the inclusion of a DCT should do wonders for sales of the R8.

Even though the R8’s successor is being prepped for a release in the next two years, Audi went all out to redesign the tub, suspension, and engine carrier to support the larger gearbox, and this has us coming to one solid conclusion. We’re doubtful Audi would go to that much effort just to get a few more sales and keep up with the competition, and instead believe that the R8’s successor will make use of the same tub and S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox.

Additionally, the R8 V10’s engine is set for a slight horsepower increase up from 525BHP to 540BHP, but it’s currently unclear if this engine will be retained in the future model.

Either way, it’s great to see Audi updating the R8 to keep up with the times and we’re extremely excited about the 2014 or 2015 model also, which is set to be a true evolution of the car.

Source: Autocar
Posted on by Brad Anderson 1
Ford Fusion

Car manufacturers simply love carbon fiber. Especially high end, exotic sports car makers. Yep, engineers in Italy literally live and breathe carbon fiber, and as carbon fiber has developed, it’s become more accessible and slightly cheaper up to the point where ‘regular’ car manufacturers are considering using the material once reserved for the most exotic of exotics. One problem still remains, and that’s the simple fact that carbon fiber is still too expensive.

Sure, the actual fibers used to begin the process of creating carbon fiber may be relatively cheap, but the main costs are derived from the intensive manufacturing process and considering that carbon fiber is often applied by hand, it’s easy to understand why it is so expensive. Furthermore, individual carbon filaments used to make the stuff can be five micrometers thin, and yes, that’s a lot thinner than the average human hair.

However, if Ford and Dow Automotive Systems have their way, carbon fiber should become accessible to the ‘masses.’

The two are currently researching ways to increase carbon fiber production while also making it simpler and more cost-effective to construct. The biggest reason behind the new partnership is the belief that Ford will someday, in the not too distant future, be able to construct sedans entirely out of carbon fiber, such as the Ford Fusion , but in order to do so, the duo really have their work cut out.

It’s not yet known how much this venture is costing, but we feel unless Ford and Dow really come up with the goods, the American brand may be better off investing this money elsewhere, such as improved car safety. Or perhaps that’s what this is all about, car safety.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

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