No, Volkswagen is not creating a lineup of cars dedicated to your favorite southern rock band, Credence Clearwater Revival. We "Heard it through the Grapevine" that VW is actually moving its sporty trim level, dubbed the R-Line, over to its current sports sedan, the CC. This new trim level is set to debut on June 1st at the Leipzig Auto Show in Germany.
This new addition to the CC lineup will give the CC a sixth trim level to accompany the Sport, Sport Plus, Lux, Lux V6, and VR6 4Motion. Though this model receives the R-line badges and sportier appearance, it does not have higher horsepower, like other R-line vehicles, so it won’t get you “Up Around The Bend” any faster than the top-level CC VR6.
So what can we really expect from this new CC R-line? Does this mean that there is a “Bad Moon Rising” for fellow sports sedans, like the Maxima or 3-Series?
UPDATE 10/18/12: Volkswagen has released the price for the CC R-Line. Want to know how much the model costs? Hop on over past the jump and find out.
Check out our complete review by clicking past the jump and find out if this new VW CC R-line is “Born To Move.”
Even though it is not slated to come to the U.S., nor are any Peugeots, we have kept a watchful eye on the new Peugeot 301 four-door hatchback. Behind the scenes and obviously out of our prying eyes’ range, Peugeot has been working on a different version of the 301, a sedan, or saloon for you U.K. folks.
Yup, this new 301 looks just like the 301 hatchback that we have seen frolicking around, but has the hatch hacked off and a trunk put in its place. This new 301, which is set to debut at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012, is positioned in the automaker’s developing market lineup – Turkey, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Middle East, Gulf and African States, and certain Latin America markets.
Even though its release is not scheduled for a few more months, Peugeot has decided to give us a sneak peak at this new model and a short press release to let us now about some of its key features.
UPDATE 07/23/12: French automaker Peugeot has just come out with a fresh batch of photos for the 301 Sedan. Check out the car in action on the road in the gallery!
Click past the jump to rear our full review on the upcoming Peugeot 301 Sedan.
One Lap America actually has roots dating back to the original Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, known simply as Cannonball. Many of today’s enthusiasts think that Cannonball was simply a movie or plot, but this was actually a real-life cross-country race that included high speeds on U.S. highways.
The original Cannonball only lasted five runs until its organizer, Brock Yates, decided he had better quit this no-holds-barred race before the authorities decide to close it down. In 1984, the Cannonball returned, but was not about making it across the country as fast as possible, but about making it through a course that went throughout the lower 48 states and ended up with the amount of miles closest to Brock’s estimate.
In the modern era of the One Lap America, the race is now about following the rules of the road, as you drive throughout a predetermined course, and between these leisurely drives, you have track events. The scoring of this event is solely based on the track event results, but you and your co-driver(s) must also survive driving 24 hours on end, stopping only to enjoy a “gourmet” gas station hot dog or two along the way.
This 19-event, eight-day racing series just wrapped up on Saturday and we have your full list of winners in each class and we have also broken down a list of all of the oddest and most awesome cars to grace the 2012 running.
Click past the jump to read about the odd and awesome cars, as well as the winners from each class.
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’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.
We all watched as Mazda rolled out the sexy Mazda Takeri concept car in New York. At that same time we learned that the 2014 Mazda6, which we will see at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, will be “strongly influenced” by the Takeri concept and we became rather excited by its potential. With those “look at me” body lines we assumed that there would be some hot V-6 option for this new stylish body. Unfortunately, Mazda went in a completely different direction, according to Mazda spokesperson Jeremy Barnes, via Automotive News.
Barnes made it quite clear that there are no plans to place a V-6 option or any other performance engine option under the 2014 Mazda6’s new hood. Actually, Mazda is even axing the somewhat impressive 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The likely replacement for both engines is the Skyactiv 2.0-liter four-banger that cranks out a respectable-for-its-size 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. However, if you have to add “for its size” in front of something, that’s typically not a good thing.
The goal of this freshly revised Mazda6 is obviously fuel economy, which we can respect Mazda for doing. In all honesty though, they could produce a turbo-charged four-cylinder or even borrow an EcoBoost engine from Ford, who still owns a small share of Mazda. A possible performance engine would be the 250-horsepower, 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine slated for the upcoming Focus ST.
Having said all of that, Mazda did not completely rule out a future optional Skyactiv V-6 option for the Mazda6, but for now we will only see a four-cylinder engine.
We just hope that Mazda isn’t cutting its own throat by offering an under-powered four-cylinder for this hot-looking model. Then again, the automotive world tends to change with the wind, so you never know what may actually happen between now and the 2014 Mazda6’s release in the first quarter of 2013.
So we have watched as electric cars have begun infiltrating the market with maximum ranges of 70 to 150 miles per charge and a roughly 6- to 12-hour charging time. To be honest, that is just not a feasible solution for most drivers. We all know hybrids, as they have been around for what seems like forever now, but they are still reliant on gasoline and some actually get worse gas mileage than some gasoline-only cars.
This all leaves us scratching our heads looking for a solution to the gas crisis we are experiencing. Some people insist that hydrogen is the only real answer, but that experiment is far away from ever becoming a reality. There are two gasses that we have been using for ages to heat our homes and grill our food that a lot of people seem to forget, these are compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (propane).
Natural gas vehicles have been on the rise lately, with many fleet companies switching over to it, and forklifts have been propane-powered for ages. Recently, we even saw a performance car, the Maxximus LNG 2000 break a number of speed records, using natural gas as its fuel. This leads to the ultimate question of can CNG and LPG make their way into the performance and luxury car world to alleviate the gasoline crisis, especially in regards to fuel-hungry performance and luxury cars, as we find a real alternative?
For a long time we have been screaming from the hilltops that Toyota has been wasting its No. 1 slot in the hybrid market by releasing boring hybrids, like the Prius. Well, Toyota is about to release yet another hybrid concept and we can only hope that it is not more of the same stuff we have seen for the past decade.
The details are a little sketchy on this new hybrid concept, but Toyota did release a pair of teaser images, which look pretty neat from what we can see. The front headlights appear to be normal old headlights on the outside, then as they work toward the center of the car, the lights turn a shade of light blue. Not only is the ambient lighting sweet, but from the silhouette this thing looks nothing like the Prius.
In a way, it has styling similar to the NS4 concept that Toyota revealed at Geneva, which Toyota made clear was not coming into production. Rather, the NS4 was being used to test different features that would make their way into showrooms. This may be one of the cars featuring those NS4-like cues that are heading to showroom floors.
There are rumors circulating that the reason this car is only being revealed in Beijing is because the car will be available in China only. We don’t quite see a point of releasing a hybrid in the Chinese market yet, as it is still a developing market. The likely reason for a Beijing release and not a New York release is so it didn’t steal the new Avalon’s thunder.
The Beijing auto show opens up to the press today and we are sure that Toyota won’t wait long after that to unveil this new gas-electric machine. We will keep you updated as much as we can on this soon-to-be-unveiled hybrid, as we obtain more information.
What happens when an "American" car, like the Dodge Dart, wants an Italian name but also wants to live in China? You give up yet? You get the Viaggio, Fiat’s newest sedan coming to Chinese dealerships in late-2012.
We have all come to grips with the fact that the Dart is essentially just an Alfa Romeo Giulietta in a different wrapper. Now Fiat is about to confuse all of us even more by essentially taking the Dodge Dart’s blueprints to China and manufacturing the Viaggio. From the teaser images Fiat released, we can tell that the only difference between the front end of a Dart and the Viaggio is that they have differing front fascias. On the rear, the Viaggio will not bear Dodge’s full-width light bar and the license plate recess moves to the trunk lid. That’s where the differences stop, with exception of some chrome accents.
To recap, the Dodge Dart is a Giulietta with a new body, and the Viaggio is a Dodge Dart with a new front fascia and different taillights. So that would make the Viaggio and Giulietta third cousins once removed, right?
Enough with the genealogy, the Viaggio will bear the same MultiAir turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that the Dart has, but in two different versions. The base model will crank out just 120 horsepower and the optional engine will produce 150 horsepower, 40 horsepower and 10 horsepower less than the Dart’s 1.4-liter, respectively. The engines will link up to either a five-speed manual transmission or a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Fiat has kept wraps on whether or not this model will remain only in China, or if it will be an export model. Likely with manufacturing happening in China, this creation will stay there. To avoid confusing us all, Fiat, we ask that you please keep this model overseas. We would appreciate it. You can catch a full look at the Viaggio at the Beijing International Auto Show on April 23rd.
Fisker has been one of the more exciting rollercoaster rides in the automotive industry, as of late. In 2010, it was developing an extended range hybrid, then known as the Nina, and the Department of Energy was interested enough to provide the struggling company with a $529 million loan. This loan was three fold; part of it was for additional research for the Karma, part was for the Nina’s development, and the final portion was to renovate the old GM plant in Delaware.
Apparently Fisker didn’t meet the DOE’s expectations and they froze the loan in 2011, due to “unmet milestones.” Fisker then insisted that production of the Atlantic (the production name of the Nina) will commence at the Delaware plant, despite laying off 26 employees in early-February.
Well, the layoffs are still coming, as Fisker just let go of an additional 12 employees, including engineers and maintenance technicians, from its Delaware plant, which one laid off engineer called “absolutely empty.”
This is really making it look as if the Atlantic will not be produced in the Delaware plant. For that matter, it is starting to look like the Fisker brand as a whole may be in some significant trouble. The true question here is will the DOE see that Fisker’s recent progress is good enough to thaw out those loan funds and allow the company to continue its renovation of the Delaware plant and research on the Atlantic project? Or will the DOE watch Fisker squirm as it gasps for air wherever it can?
Chances are releasing the loan funds will never happen and it is looking like Fisker may fizzle out and end up amongst the heap of failed car companies, alongside Packard, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. Only time will tell, but seeing the Atlantic – an affordable hybrid sports sedan – hit the market would be a great thing for the environment and the entire hybrid realm.
We haven’t seen a new Peugeot sold in the U.S. since the company pulled out of our market in 1991, and we will likely never see one again, despite their loose ties to Chrysler. This doesn’t mean that they don’t produce some cool cars, which they most certainly do. Another cool thing they do is take risks when it comes to marketing. This can lead to an absolute win or a complete loss.
This leads us to the all-new Peugeot 208, which is the European super-mini car that the automaker released as the XY Concept in Geneva. This isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill super-mini, however, as it features an impressively modern design that takes the super-mini class to a whole new level. But we are not here to talk about the 208 and its deceptively large cabin, and ultra-low emissions diesel engines. Nope, we are here to talk about only one thing… Dancing!
That’s right, Peugeot it pulling out all the stops in advertising the new 208 with the release of the “Let your Body Drive” ad campaign. It features Marquese “Nonstop” Scott – a dancer who gained fame from a viral video – performing some sweet moves around a parking lot.
Little homage is paid to the 208, as the video centers around Scott’s dancing. It’s kind of similar to those blue jeans commercials that have more to do with a scantily clad person than the jeans themselves. The commercial is just there to get your attention and make you remember it. Ah, isn’t marketing cool!
So kick back and crank up your speakers, then watch the above video of something that would likely injure most of us. We think this one is an absolute win for Peugeot. Have a look at the car too; it’s really pretty cool… for a super-mini.