midsize cars

midsize cars

  Midsize cars offer a compromise between expensive luxury and cheap cars. They are comfortable and nicely equiped but they often look a bit dull and not real fast. But they will often be the best deal for the money conscious consumers.

Nissan GT-R

Since its release in 2009, the R35 Nissan GT-R has been a relative success, given its niche and $90,000 price tag, as it has sold a total of 5,914 models in the U.S. For a while, it seemed as if the R36 GT-R, the replacement for the R35, was a near certainty to be produced. Well, we are getting mighty close to the fourth production year for the R35 and the fifth year is the typical redesign year for any model and according to reports, the R36 GT-R has yet to receive the green light.

Nissan has been pretty preoccupied lately with its development of electric and hybrid models, so we are not too surprised to see the R36 take a back seat. Add in the fact that sales have fallen to just 583 units, as of late July, and we are living with the possibility of Nissan axing the U.S. model altogether. At its current pace, the GT-R is only going to sell just over 1,100 GT-Rs this year, which is its lowest total since 2010 and over 600 units fewer than its debut year.

Nissan may also be worried about the CAFE changes in upcoming years and might be looking for a way to get a few more mpg from its sole sports car. A big possibility is the use of a hybrid drivetrain mated with a 4-cylinder engine to keep its horsepower near the 550 mark, but increase its overall mpg. With the near-$100K price point of the 2013 GT-R, it shouldn’t be too hard to fit a hybrid system somewhere near that price. This could explain the lack of approval, as Nissan would need a little extra time to develop a drivetrain suitable to replace the current twin-boosted 6-pot.

We’ll keep you updated on how things are progressing with the potential R36 GT-R just as soon as there is some information released.

Source: Inside Line

Since airbags have become commonplace in cars in the last two decades – yes, it’s been that long – we have seen all sorts of different airbags in different locations to protect against various crashes. Now Mercedes is adding a new airbag of sorts to its 2014 S-Class . This newfound device is called the beltbag.

Here’s how the beltbag works. When the car is involved in a crash, the rear seatbelts will inflate with air and help cushion the seat’s occupant against torso damage caused by the belt. If you’ve ever been in a hard enough crash to jar you forward, you know how badly a seatbelt can bruise your chest and abdomen. The airbelt is supposed to prevent that damage.

This isn’t the first airbelt to be released though, as Ford included it in its optional features on the 2011 Explorer. This is, however, the first time it is a standard feature. We are curious as to why Mercedes did not add this feature to its front seatbelts, as the jolt forward is no different in the rear than it is in the front.

We also wonder how many years this will remain an optional feature before the NHTSA decides that this needs to be standard in all cars, thereby driving up the cost of a new car even more... Keep in mind, even front airbags were once only an option, as were tire pressure monitors, traction control, and ABS. Now those features are all required, in one for or another, on all cars sold in the U.S.

We’ll get to see this new belt system in action in Geneva next spring, which is when Mercedes-Benz unveils its new S-Class .

In the early years of the automotive industry, the interior was simply somewhere to park your behind as you drove around. In the modern era, car interiors are becoming more like a second home, as they are now featuring climate control, TVs, huge sound systems, plush fabrics, and much more. Due to the constantly changing automotive world, automakers need to make sure that they are producing the best interiors possible, or risk losing sales to the competition.

Ford has taken this competition to a new level, as it is now using a robotic system to determine the quality of its cars’ interiors. This new robotic touch system is called Robotized Unit for Tactility and Haptics (RUTH). For those on the same vocabulary level as me and needing a more plain English description, this is a robot that uses sensors to determine the pain, pressure, or heat that a human’s skin would feel when touching something, which then turns that touch sensation into scalable data.

The above video shows Ford engineers describing RUTH as she touches and probes multiple points throughout the cabin of the all-new Ford Fusion . RUTH then uses data that Ford has collected from thousands of customers around the world and determines if the pieces it tests meet the collective wants of Ford buyers. From there, Ford engineers can adjust the texture, feel, softness, or even temperature of something in the cabin.

RUTH has been in commission in Ford North America since January 2012 and it looks like it is a complete success, at least according to the video. With advancements like this, it is easy to see why Ford was able to keep its head above water through the automotive recession.

Paired up with the new generation 3-Series is BMW ’s new M Sport package, which can now be viewed in its entirety with a cool configurator. This new configurator gives prospective buyers a chance to play with the options available for the new 3-Series M Sport.

The new M Sport package includes new 18-inch light-alloy wheels available as standard or 19" available as an option, an M Sport suspension, and the BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline trim that gives the car that typical M look. The car’s dynamic character is further emphasized by an optional exclusive M paint shade and optional M Sport brakes with contrasting blue paint finish. The theme continues inside the car with sports seats boasting distinctive cloth/Alcantara upholstery, trim elements with blue accent strips, an M Shortshifter (in models with manual gearbox), M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest, and the new M leather steering wheel.

The new BMW 3-Series M Sport package will add another $3,200 to your 3-Series price.

Kelleners Sport’ s recent run of tuning programs continues with the unveiling of their latest work for the BMW 3-Series Saloon.

In line with its reputation as one of the finest BMW tuners in the world, the German tuning company gave the 3-Series Saloon a comprehensive tuning program that includes an aero kit, interior enhancements, and performance modifications.

The aero package includes a number of new components for the 3-Series, including a new front spoiler, a boot lid spoiler, and skirt extensions on the rear bumper. From there, Kelleners fitted the car with a new set of either 19" or 20" Titanium Grey ’Hamburg’ alloy wheels and added an adjustable coil over kit that can lower the car’s height by 60 mm.

Inside, there’s plenty of leather used in the interior of the car, including Nappa and ostrich - yes, ostrich! - as well as a choice of over 60 colors, plenty of wood and carbon fiber trim, velour mats, and aluminum pedals.

Finally, Kelleners Sport built a performance program for the wide range of gas and diesel variants of the 3-Series Saloon. The 320d’s output was increased from 184 horsepower and 280 lb/ft of torque to 218 horsepower and 321 lb/ft of torque. As for the 328i, output for that was increased from 241 horsepower and 258 lb/ft of torque to an impressive 290 horsepower and 310 lb/ft of torque.

Aston Martin Rapide S

Only days ago, we were showing off some newly uncovered spy shots of the soon-to-be-unveiled Aston Martin Rapide S, but with the bikini-style camouflage it was wearing, it was hard to tell what we were really in store for. To counteract this censorship by Aston, we turned to our crack rendering team to use those spy shots to whip us up a clear look at this new model.

To be perfectly honest, according to the spy shots and our artist’s rendering, there’s really not too many outward differences between the 2012 model and this prototype. The first thing we notice is the addition of a front spoiler just below the grille. Speaking of the grille, it appears to be just slightly larger than the one on the 2012 model, as are the air intakes on the lower grille.

On the back end, we can see that the spoiler boasts a new shape, as it angles upward at a steeper angle near the center. It’s hard to tell on the spy shots what exactly is going on with the taillights, but given the fact that the camo cuts them off at one point, we can assume that they will be revised as well.

The biggest revision to the Rapide S is something you will never see, but you certainly will feel. The 6.0-liter V-12 engine under the Rapide’s sleek hood has been re-tuned to pump out an additional 40 to 50 horsepower, increasing its already impressive output numbers to somewhere between 500 and 520 ponies.

With this increase, Aston also plans to keep the Rapide’s fuel economy steady at its already wallet-draining 13 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. Then again, if you are snagging up a car that retails at more than $200K, gas mileage is likely at the bottom of your required features.

We’ll keep a close watch on this upcoming new Aston Martin and update you with any new information that comes up.


Mazda has already spent some time testing the next generation Mazda6 in winter conditions, but now the company is turning up the heat on the wagon version with some hot summer testing. The best part is that our spy photographers managed to catch an interior shot while the vehicle was making its rounds.

It is believed that the next Mazda 6 wagon will be unveiled in August at the 2012 Moscow Motor Show and will be followed by the sedan version next year. As previously reported, the next Mazda 6 design won’t have anything in common with the current generation. Instead, Mazda will take design elements from the beautiful Takeri Concept unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Car Show. This means that the next Mazda 6 will get a new, bigger grille, swept back headlights, and beefed up wheel arches. These elements will offer the next Mazda 6 a sporty and aggressive look.

The interior, now clearly shown in these images, has been altered a bit to make the Mazda 6 more driver friendly. Drivers will now get a clearer look at the navigation screen, as it has been moved further up where the radio, clock, and temperature gauges used to be. Glimmers of light throughout the shot reveal that Mazda has used more chrome trims on this model year, particularly on the dials, gauges, and steering wheel.

Also, for the next Mazda 6, the company will adopt new Skyactiv fuel saving technology, including the Skyactiv-D Clean diesel engine, the new six-speed automatic transmission, and an engine start-stop system. For the first time, the model will also be equipped with a regenerative braking system which converts kinetic energy into electricity during braking and stores it in capacitors for use later in powering electrical equipment such as air conditioning, lighting, and the audio system.

The current generation BMW 5-Series made its debut in 2011 and the current US line-up includes the 528i, the 535i, and the 550i models. After just two years, BMW has announced important changes for the top of the line version, the 550i, for the 2013 model year.

The BMW 550i will keep its usual 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, but the engine will now be equipped with Valvetronic- BMW’s variable valve timing and lift system. Thanks to this new system, the 550i will be placed next to models like the latest 7-series and new 6-series Gran Coupe .

While in 2012, the 550i delivered a total of 400 HP and a peak torque of 450 lbs-ft, the 2013 550i will go up to an impressive 445 HP and 480 lbs-ft of toque. The 550i will also receive an automatic engine stop-start system with a special Eco Pro driving mode that will help reduce fuel consumption.

We don’t expect to see any changes made to the exterior, except maybe for a new set of large air intakes to better cool the engine.

Jaguar XF

We recently took a closer look at the replacement of V-8s with supercharged and turbocharged 6-cylinders , and we determined that the V-8 is a thing of the past, for the most part. We also made it clear that top-live cars will continue offering V-8 options, but we also anticipated that standard V-8s would slowly disappear in these models too. Well, it looks as if Jaguar received that memo, as it is axing the standard V-8 in the XF sedan .

Taking its place at the base of the XF lineup is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which is a Ford design, that pumps out 240 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. The changes don’t stop there on the 2013 XF, as Jaguar Jaguar is also adding in an optional 3.0-liter V-6 with a supercharger that punches out 340 ponies and 332 pound-feet of torque. The XF will still have its trio of V-8 engines available as options, so if you are looking for a little more oomph you can opt for one of the V-8s, which crank out between 385 and 510 horsepower.

These two new engines expand Jaguar’s competition against the likes of the BMW 528i and the Audi A6 2.0T. The BMW 528i’s base 2.0-liter boosted 4-banger cranks out the same horsepower as the upcoming 4-cylinder XF, but in the torque game, the 528i comes up about 9 foot-pounds higher than the XF. The A6 2.0T, on the other hand, matches the XF’s 240 ponies but falls flat in torque, as it gives up a full 40 foot-pounds to the XF.

This new 6-cylinder in the XF also gives Audi’s A6 3.0T and BMW’s 535i a run for their money. The Audi comes in 30 horsepower and 22 pound-feet short of the XF, while the BMW comes in giving up 40 horsepower and 32 pound-feet to the XF.

So needless to say, Jaguar means serious business now, as it has an engine for the XF to compete with, and even crush, the competition. That’s something we haven’t seen from Jaguar in a long time. It’s good to see Jag back to its old form.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 1

Capital punishment. It’s one of the most fiercely debated issues plaguing the world and whether or not it should be performed, no matter the severity of the crime committed. This latest case is sure to spark off even more topical debate about the issue as a man from Saudi Arabia was recently sentenced to death by public beheading after killing two people.

The man, identifying himself as “Mustannish,” killed two spectators a few months back when he lost control of his ‘drifting’ car in a reckless form of outlaw driving known commonly as “Hagwalah” which takes place in the land-locked nation.

In short, it simply involves hoons taking to the streets in stock Honda ’s and Toyota ’s and performing dangerous slides and spins in their cars with spectators watching the action from just meters away.

If you want to find out more about these hoons, then simply head over to YouTube were you’ll find a selection of videos, including the one above, of these drivers and their idiotic ways of showing-off. Keep in mind however, that several clips posted to YouTube have depicted spectators being hit by the cars, although a select few have been removed due to their severity.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. The following video purportedly depicts “Mustannish,” which directly translates to “he who ignores,” in one of his many failed attempts at impressing the crowd before crashing into a sand bank. Fortunately, in this particular video, no one seems to be injured.

However, the case which has landed the man in hot water occurred when he plowed into the crowd, killing two, and the aforementioned punishment was swiftly handed down: Public beheading by sword. Not pleasant.

Despite this firm punishment, it’s currently unclear if and when the penalty will actually take place, as another man who killed three in 2005 under similar circumstances had his death penalty wavered and instead faced 3,000 lashes and 20 years in prison.

Source: Fox News

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