Regardless of how odd it may look to have a bulky crossover SUV, like the MKT, replacing the equally bulky, yet outdated, Town Car sedan in Lincoln’s lineup, you can’t resist saying that it just might work. It’s equally luxurious as the Town Car and far larger, allowing passengers to stretch out a little more. One complaint about the Town Car that has somewhat carried over to the MKT is the cost to fuel it.
The last Town Car got a wallet-draining 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway and the MKT was not much better at 16 to 17 mpg city and 23 to 25 mpg highway, depending on options. Well, for fleets later on in the 2013 model year, Lincoln is addressing this concern by offering a 4-cylinder engine – that’s right, a 4-cylinder Lincoln...
This variant will not be made available directly to the public, as it will be a fleet-only model. It will boast a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that pumps out 235 ponies and 260 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 65-horsepower drop from the now-standard V-6 engine, but only a 15 pound-feet decrease in torque. Where the EcoBoost engine comes into play is the fact that it gets 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, that’s a 3 to 4 and 3 to 5 mpg increase, respectively.
It achieves these increases by not only offering two fewer cylinders to fuel, but also that it is only available in front-wheel drive. The lack of an AWD variant may seem like an issue to many non-fleet, but look at any fleet of Town Cars and you’ll find out that they are all rear-wheel drive, so that’s not a concern to fleet owners.
The Lincoln MKT Town Car Fleet is expected to debut later in 2012 and will come in at a base price of $49,845. There are no details on whether the options list is thinned out from the current MKT, but we assume it will all remain the same..
We’ll update you with more info as it becomes available.
Just a few weeks ago, we let you know that Audi had scrapped its inefficient 4.2-liter V-8 engine in favor of a boosted V-6, but that there may be a new V-8 in the making. Well, that "may be" just became a certainty, as Audi has just announced that a new V-8 is coming to the A8.
This new V-8 is actually one that is already on Audi’s shelves: It is the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 used in the S6 and S7 models. This puppy will pump out a healthy 420 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque and turn the new top-level A8 into the A8 4.0T.
The A8 4.0T is slated to debut in the 2013 model year and it’ll carry with it an $81,795 base price tag and an $88,095 price tag for the A8L 4.0T, which is the long wheelbase model. The pricing points give the 8 4.0T a nice slot right between the base A8 3.0T and the flagship S8 model.
We are sure there is tons more information to come from Audi, as it works its way closer to competing with BMW and Mercedes more effectively. The addition of turbo to the A8 line will certainly help speed along that process.
We’ll keep you updated if any more information becomes available.
The CLS 63 AMG is a thing of beauty, yet it has a beast under its hood. Some people, however, would like their CLS to show a little more of its beastly side from the outside. To help satisfy the appetites of this group, SR Auto Group has just released a series of modifications to help make this powerful Benz a little more intimidating from the outside. They even have a pretty cool name for it: Project Maximus!
This Mercedes CLS 63 AMG boasts a Black Bison body kit by Wald International. Included in this kit is a stylish front bumper that has large side air intakes and a wide-mouth lower grille. Also integrated in the bumper are LED daytime running lights. This Black Bison kit also boasts new front fenders, which feature large heat extractors with black louvers and chrome strips, just behind the front wheels.
Down the side of this customized CLS 63 AMG, there is a set of side skirts that give just enough character to the Benz without taking away from its luxurious appearance. The rear end of this high-powered Mercedes boasts a bumper with louvered vents behind the rear wheels. Integrated with the bumper is a rear diffuser made of black plastic that gives the rear end a little contrast. On each side of the rear end is a dual-oval exhaust tip that exit from cutouts in the bumper. Finishing off the back end is a large trunk-mounted, lip-style spoiler.
On each corner of the CLS 63 AMG is a 20-inch Wald Renovatio alloy wheel wrapped in performance rubber. The rims have a slight contrast to them, as the face of the rim and its lip is done in chrome, but the edge of each of the 26 spokes is painted silver.
The model that SR Auto Group used for this build features the AMG Performance Pack, which boosts the 5.5-liter V-8 engine to 557 horsepower. SR Auto Group left this engine as is, so if you choose this build, the manufacturer’s warranty remains intact.
Overall, SR Auto Group did a nice job of adding just enough character and sport to the CLS 63 AMG without overdoing it and making it look over the top.
Kia has been working on a flagship luxury sedan to compete with the likes of BMW and Mercedes. Yeah, we know... A Kia competing with BMW and Mercedes? Believe it or not, it is really true. The company that brought us disposable cars through the 1990s and early-2000s is stepping up in the world.
We first brought the idea of this car to you in April, but at that time it was simply known as the K9. We also knew that it was set to boast a slew of powerful engines, including a 333-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6, a 385-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8, and a range-topping 5.0-liter V-8 that punched out 429 horsepower. Despite all of that information, we did not have an official name for it.
Well, Kia has officially announced the name for this new sedan, and it’s a wild one. Kia has dubbed it the Quoris in all markets except the Korean market. This nonsense name is claimed to be a combination of the words “core” and “quality,” but aside from having a few of the same letters, we just don’t see the connection.
Then again, this name isn’t much odder than its sister company’s flagship sedan, the Hyundai Equus. Well, at least Equus is a word...
Back on topic here... The Quoris – that’s even hard to type – is all set to debut later on this year, but pricing has yet to be released. We will continue to update you on this new luxury Kia as more info becomes available.
Australia has become a unique market for American automaker Ford and it’s no more evident than in the growing popularity of the Falcon GT (the Mustang representative in the Land Down Under).
Now it appears that Ford has a surprise for its Australian customers because the fastest Ford Falcon GT ever created is set to debut at the upcoming Australian International Motor Show in October.
No technical details have been officially announced, but it’s expected that the car, which has been codenamed as "Panther," will carry a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that produces an impressive 449 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 420 lb/ft of torque at 2,200 rpm. This allows the car to hit 0-62 mph in just five seconds with a top speed of 155 mph.
The Falcon GT Panther is also looking at carrying a set of 19" wheels to go with tuning work done on the suspension to make it sportier, as well as stability control systems, and an upgraded transmission to improve its overall handling.
Expect more details of the Ford Falcon GT "Panther" when it makes its debut at the Australian International Motor Show in October 2012.
Note: Photo is of the Ford Performance Vehicle GT Black Limited Edition
Mitsubishi has been out of the luxury sedan market for what seems like ages, but in reality it’s just about a decade. Thanks to the Japanese automaker’s relationship with Nissan, Mitsu is diving back into the luxury sedan market, as it will use the Infiniti M35hL LWB to make a luxury sedan of its own.
According to reports, the exterior of the Mitsubishi variant of the M35hL LWB will remain very similar to the Infiniti model it is based upon. The key differences between the Infiniti model and the Mitsubishi model will be the elimination of the Infiniti waterfall grille, swapping out the front bumper for a slightly revised one and replacing the Infiniti badges for Mitsubishi ones, of course.
Being based on the M35hL LWB, this new Mitsubishi Dignity will boast the same hybrid 3.5-liter V-6 drivetrain that the Infiniti has, which boasts an impressive 359 horsepower, but a slightly disappointing 199 pound-feet of torque. The base price tag of ¥8,400,000 ($105,500) is also quite the deterrent, but 30-plus mpg on the highway is definitely a draw.
In addition, if you are in the U.S. and want to snag up this upcoming model, you can pretty much forget about it. Mitsubishi is only offering this model in Japan. We would suspect that if this model performs well in the Japanese market, Mitsubishi would certainly release it in the U.S.
For now, the details on the Dignity are still a little scarce, so this is all we have to pass on for now. As more information becomes available we will pass it on.
Former porn star, err, “adult film star,” Jenna Jameson hasn’t made a new flick in many years, but we are fairly certain there are plenty of her classics circulating the computer screens of men everywhere. Well, it looks like her exit from “the industry” hasn’t treated her too well, as she was stuck leasing a Maserati Quattroporte S back in 2010.
Leasing of this luxury auto is not the story though; the real story is that she hasn’t paid the $2,299 lease payment since January. Using our crack mathematical skills, that puts her six months behind and owing $13,794 in late payments.
According to a report by TMZ, the finance company, Maserati Financial Services, attempted to repo the circa $130,000 425-horsepower sedan, but were apparently unsuccessful. Now MFS is outright suing Jameson to return the vehicle and pay an astronomical $107,000 in damages.
We are a little intrigued by the $107K in damages. What kind of damages has MFS undergone from not being able to repo a $130,000 car? We understand suing for the $13,794 in back payments, late fees, and even suing for fruitless repo fees, but what else could possibly add up to that number? Plus, if Jameson can’t afford to pay a $2,300 car payment, what make MFS think it can possibly milk $107,000 out of the ex-actress? We also have to ask, who leases a car anymore?
We’ll keep an eye on this one for you and let you know when we get any more details, as they are a little scarce right now.
Qoros Auto is a young car company co-owned by Chinese Chery Automobile and Israeli Israel Corporation. It may not ring a bell in terms of its automotive designs, but its Vice Chairman is former Volkswagen AG Executive Volker Steinwascher and its Chief Designer is ex Mini Design Director Gert Hildebrand, so that’s a good start. Steinwascher has promised that Qoros cars will "combine German design quality and craftsmanship with Japanese convenience and functionality."
Their first sedan, internally known as the C11, was taken out for some testing sessions in South Europe for the first time and our spy photographers were there to shed some light on this otherwise dark project. These images show that the future Qoros C11 will be about 4.6 meters long and will take on models like the Volkswagen Jetta. It will be powered by a 1.6 turbo engine delivered from Chery and will be connected to either a six-speed manual or a 6-speed DCT.
The C11 will be followed by three other models - hatchback, crossover, and SUV - and all four models will also be available in Europe. The new C11 is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2013.
After dropping the first details on the fourth generation Avalon, Toyota has announced that the new model will also be offered with a hybrid powertrain - a first for this sedan. Toyota has promised that this hybrid Avalon will deliver excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined.
The new hybrid Avalon combines a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, with a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack and a pair of electric motor/generators within the trans-axle. It will deliver an impressive output of 200 HP and delivers a fuel economy of 40 mpg in the city and a 39 mpg on the highway. The model comes with three unique modes of operation: EV, Eco, and Sport. In EV mode, the model can travel as an all-electric vehicle to speeds of up to 25 mph. Eco mode combines the two, while in Sport mode, the model takes full advantage of the car’s improved chassis and enhanced suspension.
The hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential, and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement.
The new Toyota Avalon Hybrid goes on sale later in 2012 and prices will be announced at a later date.
Japanese custom body kit creator, Wald International, is well known for creating some of the best looking and highest end body modification kits. The Black Bison lineup has received some of the best reviews, and rightfully so.
Wald International is now ready to add another example to its lineup, which is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate Black Bison. This station wagon isn’t your everyday grocery getter, as it boasts a set of ground effects that include stylish front apron side skirts and a rear bumper with an integrated diffuser. All of the ground effects are built from fiber-reinforced plastic. Also included with the kit is a set of LED running lights that are positioned about 9 inches below the headlights, on the front apron.
Optional on this Black Bison kit is are a set of front fenders with large arc-style vents, for an additional €2,088 ($2,652) and a set of split exit stainless steel D.T.M. mufflers that integrate perfectly with the cutouts in the kit’s rear bumper. The replacement mufflers can be had for €2,530 ($3,214). There is also a lowering kit and replacement pedal kit offered as optional equipment, but Wald does not list a price for them yet.
Unfortunately, there is no additional bite to go along with all of this bark, as Wald does not offer any engine upgrades for this kit. This means the E-Class Wagon will still have its 3.5-liter V-6 engine that cranks out 302 ponies at 6,500 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. That is plenty of power to get this wagon moving, but some extra mods to help it move as fast as it looks would be nice.
The base kit – LED running lights, side skirts, front apron and rear bumper – runs €5,062 ($6,430). Add in the base MSRP of the E-Class Wagon ($57,150) and this entire build will set you back at least $63,580 and as much as $69,446, if you opt for the custom muffler and fender vents.