industry news

industry news

  Automotive industry news, it feels like nothing of what they say is really important but put it together and you will get the big picture before the others.

BMW 4 Series Coupe

Every year, hundreds of motoring journalists from all over the world descend upon New York City for the New York International Auto Show . Among the new car reveals, fancy parties and exciting concepts, the New York Auto Show also plays host to the World Car of the Year Awards.

This prestigious award is handed out by a collection of experienced automotive journalists from around the world. Some of this year’s jurors include writers from countries like Japan, Russia, South Africa, China, Australia and more. Overall there are nearly 70 jurors in total.

Some of the previous year’s winners include the Mk VII Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan Leaf .

Of all the cars that were eligible for this year’s award, twelve have been selected as finalists. We have brought together all twelve of the final candidates for you here, and we also included a little bit information about each one.
Which one do you think deserves to win and why? Sound off in the comments below.

Click past the jump to read about the World Car of the Year candidates

Mercedes C63 AMG

In today’s news we have a report that says one of our favorite fire-breathing sports cars is getting a convertible version. We are talking about the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. In the past, the AMG-tuned C-Class models have been offered in basic coupe , wagon and sedan models, but Autocar claims that a convertible version is in the works as well.

Power will be provided by a new 4.0-liter V8, strapped with a pair of turbocharges to boost output to about 500 horsepower. Expect the torque rating to be similarly lofty.

As for the rest of the drivetrain, the AMG team at Mercedes has been making a habit of sticking an AWD system in its cars lately, but Autocar says that won’t be the case with the C63. They even got a quote from AMG boss Tobias Moers at the Detroit Auto Show , “There will be no four-wheel drive on the C63.”

Can you imagine how much you could have in a tire-destroying, 500 horsepower four-seat convertible? I can already smell the rubber and hear the passengers screaming.

No official word on when the new convertible will be coming, but since the standard sedan isn’t expected until early next year, summer 2015 would make for a safe guess.

Source: Autocar UK
Toyota FT-1 Concept

Well it looks like we have some solid confirmation that the bonkers Toyota FT-1 Concept is actually going to be the next Supra . Yes, every person in the entire world has said that the FT-1 is the next Supra already, but that was all speculation, conjecture and plain old rumor mongering. What we have now is much more solid proof that the folks at Toyota are turning their drop-dead sexy coupe concept into the next Japanese supercar .

The confirmation comes from a man named Peter Lyon. If you are unfamiliar with his name, I am sure you have probably read his work at some point. He is a journalist living in Tokyo who specializes in the Japanese Auto Industry. He has had his work published in MotorTrend, Autocar, Evo and many more. If anyone has connections at Toyota , it is this guy.

According to a source “close to Toyota” the next Supra is a go, and it is well into production. The current target is a 2016 release.

Beyond confirming that the Supra is really coming, Lyon gives drivetrain details.

Read on to hear what he has to say, and hear our take on it as well.

Click past the jump to read about the Toyota FT-1 Concept

Source: 7Tune
Koenigsegg Agera R BLT

I have come to know and love Tesla , though I try to keep our love affair under wraps for the most part. It’s not fair for myself — a journalist — to attest my love for a brand, but in this case, I feel I am in good enough company to let that little tidbit of information out.

The reason I feel so comfortable doing so is that Christian von Koenigsegg — yeah, the dude who some of the most bad-ass supercars in the world are named after — wears his love for the electric car manufacturer on his shoulder. Yup, he actually drives a Tesla Model S every day. Let that sink in for a second; the guy could drive any one of his hypercars to work, but he prefers his Model S.

He went on to say that he feels that about 80 percent of the cars sold by the year 2020 will be electric.

An added twist to this story is that when Koenigsegg was in the market to snatch up the now-defunct Saab , its intentions were to manufacture and sell all-electric cars. This may have led to Mr Koenigsegg singing a different tune had that gone through.

No matter what way you slice it, it is pretty cool to have him give Tesla the ol’ hat tip.

Click past the jump to read about the car he loves so much.

SRT Viper

While every other automaker on the planet is embracing change, SRT looks as if it is resisting the modernization of its Viper lineup. In an interview with Edmunds, Ralph Giles said that the SRT Viper will remain with only a six-speed manual transmission, while nearly every other sports car and supercar is heading toward offering at least an optional paddle-shift transmission.

Gilles had this to say about Viper buyers in relation to the paddle-shifted auto: "The people who buy (the Viper) relish the manual, they relish the driver’s car, the raw connections to the vehicle. That is what it is about. So we are not chasing rainbows here." We see your claim, Mr. Gilles, and raise you the fact that SRT had to slash the production of the Viper because they are growing roots in dealerships. Maybe you need to recheck the pulse of the American sports car buyer, sir... Just sayin’...

Edmunds then queried Mr. Gilles about the possibility of dropping a HEMI V-8 into the Viper, and releasing a less-powerful "entry-level" Viper to help boost sales. To that, Gilles answered, taking a jab at the Stingray in the process: "We have no interest in becoming a Corvette." Well, considering the Corvette is one of the hottest items available and the Viper is little more than dealership eye candy, he may want to rethink his position.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Viper, but the market has apparently spoken...

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.

Source: Edmunds
Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series Coupe

The collaboration between Daimler and Aston Martin hasn’t come to fruition yet, at least as far as tangible products are concerned. All that is still a couple of years from now, which is a pretty long time from now.

What we do know for the time being is that the two brands are teaming up to build, among other things, a new wave of V-8 engines that will combine the two most important things for vehicles these days: performance and fuel efficiency. Aston wants a piece of that AMG magic and why wouldn’t it, right?

But as far as showing the world that Aston Martin will be "AMG-fied," Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche is putting the kaboosh on rumors that future Aston Martin models will be carrying the AMG badge. Apparently, at least according to Zetsche, it won’t.

The Daimler boss man wants to keep the partnership as subtle as possibly, and any trace of visible AMG participation on those future Aston bad-boys isn’t in line with all that subtle thinking. He believes that customers will ultimately link the two and won’t need to be reminded that those V-8s under future Astons were co-developed by AMG. The connection will be organically figured out.

That’s all well and good, but here’s something we don’t understand, though. Why not do it anyway, Mr. Zetsche? It’s not like Mercedes and Aston are trying to keep the collaboration a secret. Wouldn’t it also be beneficial from a novelty stand point — even if it’s just in the beginning — to see all those Aston Martins with AMG logos on them?

One possible reason the two brands are trying to keep the partnership on the down-low is because they’re still competitors in some key luxury markets. That may be true, but that hasn’t stopped sister companies like Audi and Porsche from being competitors too, even if both brands fall under the same Volkswagen umbrella.

Ultimately, it’s not our decision, and Zetsche has every right to decide on these things for his company. But it still would’ve been cool to see an AMG-badged Aston Martin.

Click past the jump to read about an Aston Martin that could have its own AMG V-8 engine in the future, the still-to-come Aston Martin Lagonda SUV.

Source: Autocar UK
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Given the expansion of models Mercedes-Benz is going through these days, the company just might run out of letters to name its models.

According to Auto Express, the German automaker is reportedly working on a baby crossover , which it will slot just below the recently-revealed GLA-Class . The name of the model is the X-Class, and judging by its nomenclature, we won’t be surprised if Mercedes targets the young market for this baby crossover.

Besides, the CLA-Class needs a running mate, right? And what better model to do that than this reported X-Class.

On a more serious note, we don’t mind having a new Merc to choose from. Not that we can afford each and every one of ’em, but in a market where its competitors are doing their own expansions, Mercedes would be a fool to think that it can sit on its laurels and let its existing line do the fighting for them.

If the BMWs and Audis of the world are busy lining up new models for its customers, there’s no reason why Mercedes should’t do the same. There’s also some whispers that the X-Class isn’t going to be just one model, but an entire range of entry-level models that will give birth to other variants in the future. Maybe an XLA, or an X AMG?

It’s too early to say at this point, but if its the route Mercedes is choosing, we’re not going to stand up against it.

Click past the jump to read about the 2015 Mercedes GLA-Class, Mercedes’ smallest crossover SUV to date

Source: Auto Express
Michael Schumacher Suffers Head Injuries in Skiing Accident

It’s been a month since Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident and until now, his family has kept the progress of his recovery out of the media. But a recent report from French sport newspaper L’Equipe is claiming that Schumi could be slowly taken out of his coma.

“After four consecutive weeks of coma following his serious skiing accident of December 29, Michael Schumacher has been placed, according to our information, [in a] phase of gradual awakening," the newspaper reported, citing its own sources.

"It is a slow and uncertain recovery phase in the life that begins for seven time world champion.”

If there’s any truth to this rumor, it is great news and a sigh of relief for a lot of people who have been praying for the recovery of the seven-time Formula One champion. It’s going to be a tough road ahead for Michael and if he’s taken out of his coma, it at least represents the first sign that his health has improved since that fateful day last December.

His team, including manager Sabine Kehm, has refused to make any comments on his current status. But regardless of the information that is or isn’t being relayed, nobody can refute the fact that we’re all on Schumi’s side and we’re all still praying for a safe and speedy recovery.

Click past the jump to read about Michael Scumacher

Source: AutoWeek

McLaren’s brand expansion is now in full-swing and the latest reports indicate that the huge gap between the MP4-12C and the P1 will soon be filled by an all-new model.

The company is in the early stages of this new supercar , christened the "P15" prototype, but confirmation that the car is being planned was finally given by McLaren Automotive chief executive Mike Flewitt.

Speaking to Autocar, Flewitt characterized the development of the P15 as still "quite a long way off," which basically translates to "it’s not coming anytime soon." So that’s a bummer, if you’re not the patient type.

But if you are, this is tremendous news, especially taking into account the company’s stance of building and/or introducing a new model every year. This year, that model could very well be the P13 , another new McLaren that’s being billed as an entry-level model.

But the P15 is being pegged as a car that will rival the Ferrari F12berlinetta and will carry a price tag of somewhere around ₤400,000, which is about $662,000 based on current exchange rates. In addition, rumors point to the P15 using the same 3.8-liter, V-8, twin-turbocharged engine as that of the 12C, albeit one that will be heavily reworked to crank its numbers to the neighborhood of the F12berlinetta .

McLaren didn’t divulge any real details at the risk of spoiling all the surprises, but make no mistake, there’s a lot of buzz coming out of Woking these days. And for what it’s worth, it’s the kind of buzz that will be talked about by folks like us now and in the future.

For our part, we’re curious as to how all this shakes up when McLaren’s full slate of models are all up and running. It’s beginning to look more and more like it’s backing up its promise of building more models and like anything else, you’re not going to see too many complaints coming from us.

We also created a rendering of what we think the P15 may look like. You can see the clear relation to the P!, but with a pointier nose, more pronounced, downward-turning headlights, front vents on each side of the apron, larger rear air intakes with splitters and flatter hips. We’ll release more renderings once we get a few spy shots of the P15.

Source: Autocar UK
Lamborghini Urus

Ahh...the Lamborghini Urus. Long been rumored, but has yet to fully materialize. That’s been the case for the past few years, or at least back when Lamborghini first introduced the concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

Since then, we’ve heard very little of Lamborghini’s production plans for the SUV . That is until the North American International Auto Show earlier this month when Lambo CEO Stephan Winkelmann finally gave some indication as to what the company had in store for the Urus.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Winkelmann indicated that the company expects to introduce the Urus in 2017, pointing out that with the luxury SUV market continuing to grow, Lambo will have to bring its own baby to the party if it wants to get a piece of the market.

Well, look at that. Straight from the horse’s mouth. Not that it adds grains more of confidence in us. After all, 2017 is still a long ways away and there’s still a lot that could happen before that year arrives. Who knows, maybe the luxury SUV market craters before that and the Urus turns into the SUV-that-never-was.

But none of that matters now and we’re prepared to take Winkelmann’s timeline with more than a grain of salt. That’s how excited we are to see the Urus in production guise. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Lamborghini feels the same way.

It’s saying all the right things, but at the end of the day, we’re not going to be excited until we see a production Urus in the flesh.

Click past the jump to read about the 2017 Lamborghini Urus

Source: Bloomberg

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