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.
Three years ago, Honda unveiled the Accord Crosstour - a model that begged to be a competitor for the BMW X6. Things didn’t turn out as expected and the Accord Crosstour turned out to be a flop. So, in 2012, Honda decided to change things up a bit and tackle the same competitors it failed against in the previous generation.
As a result, the old Honda Accord Crosstour has dropped the Accord name - being simply called the Honda Crosstour, and has received updates for both the exterior and interior to spice things up. For 2012, the Crosstour was offered in two trim levels - EX and EX-L - both of which are powered by a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine that delivers a total of 271 HP at 6,200 RPM and 254 lb-ft. of torque at 5,000 RPM.
These changes didn’t really help either, so Honda decided to give it one more try. As a result, the Honda Crosstour will receive even more changes for the 2013 model year. We’ll all have to look closely to even notice these changes, but we guess a certain amount of credit needs to be given for the effort. Most of the changes will be made to the power source, which includes a 4-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 192 HP and improved fuel economy: 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, 25 mpg combined. The V6 engine’s output has been raised to 278 HP, while rated at fuel economy is 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, 23 mpg combined.
Honda has even decided to lower the price of the Honda Crosstour, allowing it a base model price of $27,230, about $500 less than the previous model year. Will that help? We doubt it, but there is always hope!
UPDATE 11/15/2012: Honda has unveiled the official details on the 2013 Crosstour.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012-2013 Honda Crosstour.
Anytime you can add the word "rowdy" to the special edition tag of a car, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it.
That’s exactly what Kyle Busch and Detroit Speed & Engineering did to the Toyota Camry SE. Named after Busch’s "Rowdy" handle on the NASCAR circuit, the Rowdy Edition Camry was made to exude an abundance of style and substance.
There’s no denying that this Camry doesn’t look the part of a regular model, something Busch wanted to do to make the car stand out. Together with DSE, the Nascar driver decided to give the Camry SE a slew of body modifications, including the official "Rowdy" colors — red, white, and black — to go with a hand-formed, custom widebody kit; custom front and rear belly pans; DSE-designed and fabricated front air splitter and rear air diffuser; a custom, true dual exhaust system; and a new set of 18-inch Formula 43 RAD14 wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich G-Force Sport Comp 2 tires.
Inside, Busch and DSE made use of red and black leather Lexus IS F bucket seats while also adding an Advent Otocam3 DVD with rear-seat Michael Neighbors monitors.
Needless to say, Busch appears to be impressed with his body of work, calling the car something that "we should run at Daytona and Talladega.”
“Our approach to the build was to make a car with the stance, attitude and handling of a road-race car while retaining the functionality of a production Camry,” Busch adds.
The Rowdy Edition Camry will be going to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show as part of the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge. Together with its three other competitors — Clint Bowyer’s Tekked-Out Prius, Alexis DeJoria’s converted Tundra, and Antron Brown’s modified Sequoia — the car will vie for the title and the $50,000 check from Toyota that will go to the driver’s chosen charity, which, in the case of Busch, will be the Kyle Busch Foundation.
UPDATE 11/09/12: Big congratulations to Kyle Busch’s Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition for winning the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show!
Everyone in the U.S. is busy soaking up the 2012 SEMA Show, but in Europe, they have started preparations for the Essen Motor Show. At the 2012 Essen Motor Show., BMW will be unveiling a very cool 3-Series Touring equipped with BMW M Performance accessories. The model will go on sale in April 2013.
This new BMW M Performance 3-Series Touring is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine with its output bumped to 200 horsepower — up from the standard 184 horsepower. BMW also adds in a new M Performance suspension with a particularly sporty setup and a new M Performance brake system. This Bimmer sits on 20-inch light alloy wheels in a double-spoke design and painted in Ferric Grey.
On the inside, it boasts a sports steering wheel with Race Display, stainless-steel pedals, interior strips in Alcantara and carbon, and numerous other interior components finished in carbon.
More details on the new BMW M Performance 3-Series Touring will be unveiled during its debut and we’ll pass them on as we receive them.
While not as ostentatious as some of the projects you’ll see at SEMA, the Accord Sedan X-Package does carry some styling cues that can translate to a production model. The aforementioned X-Package is actually made by Honda to create a sporty, low-profile custom look for the vehicle. The kit in itself includes a number of added components, including a front and side under body, rear under body spoilers, a new sports grille, and a wing spoiler.
For the show model that is at SEMA, Honda decided to give the Accord Sedan an added vista flair, thanks to a two-tone color that features a predominant white body color with a sparking blue hood, front grille, and roof.
The goal of this show car isn’t so much to drop jaws at SEMA but to give the gathered crows a chance to see what the company’ X-Package is all about when fitted into an Accord Sedan. Anybody interested in the marker can opt to add it for a price of just $2,171, excluding installation.
Judging by the showpiece model, we’d say that the price is well worth the accentuated aerodynamic styling on the Accord Sedan. That’s money well spent in our books.
Anybody remember the Mercedes-Benz R-Class? Long story short, it was Mercedes-Benz’s attempt to popularize the MPV-meets-SUV segment, which included the likes of the now-deceased Chrysler Pacifica.
Even with the Mercedes-Benz image, this car was a failure due to it being hideously ugly and overly expensive — a failure that Mercedes later admitted. Once sales began, the starting price of the R-Class was very close to the starting price of the flagship S-Class. So, unless you owned a 5-star hotel with airport-transfer service, the R-Class never really justified its usefulness over the S-Class.
Keeping all of that aside, the R-Class isn’t exactly the type of car that would cross most minds when it comes to modification. At SEMA, however, cars showcased don’t really bend to convention. With that thought in mind, Infinite Auto Design decided to lease some new life to the forsaken R-Class.
Underneath that AMG-esque body kit is a standard R500 that is powered by an unmodified 5.0-liter V-8 engine. This means it cranks out 302-horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque, which isn’t too bad for a minivan-SUV crossover in its era.
The exterior embraces the full blown treatment that any car at Infinite Auto Design would receive. It gets custom-built front and rear bumpers that add some eye-candy to the standard and rather boring design. The car is then wrapped in a gray matte paint job and fitted with a set of delicious looking, 20-inch Forgestar wheels.
Overall, this car can only be appreciated for its attempt at injecting a few ounces of "cool" into the R-Class, much like the nowhere-to-be-seen R63 AMG.
It looks like the new generation Toyota Avalon is enjoying plenty of attention from tuning firms at the 2012 SEMA Show. Next to the Avalon TRD Concept, the guys over at DUB Magazine have developed a pretty impressive package for the sedan that transforms it into the perfect urban ride.
The package starts off with a custom mesh grille and a well-integrated custom lower body kit and continues with a new set of 22" wheels with a matte black finish wrapped in ultra-low-profile Pirelli tires. It has been painted in a Brilliant Black finish with the mysterious look accentuated by tinted windows and taillights.
For the interior, the tuner applied suede accents on the console, door panels, and headliner. The seats combine black leather with plush diamond-pattern suede inserts and feature DUB logos on the seatbacks.
Since this is a DUB project, a new JBL sound system was to be expected to see and houses three massive subwoofers and an impressive array of amplifiers.
TRD (Toyota Racing Development) isn’t just heading to the 2012 SEMA Auto with the Avalon TRD Edition, but with an Avalon HV Edition as well. This Avalon tuning firm is a concept based on the Avalon Hybrid that highlights the potential of the new car.
The new Avalon HV Edition will feature a Bright white paint finish combined with electric blue accent colors on the hybrid-blue headlights, tail-lights and turn signals, and the color-keyed custom grille. The HV sits on a new set of 19" custom wheel design with a three-stage paint finish.
The same color theme continues on the interior where the tuner opted for blue-silver metallic leather and white perforated leather seat inserts, as well as crisp blue stitching and dashboard accents. Just like the other concept headed to SEMA, the HV Edition features a 15-speaker JBL GreenEdgeTM surround-sound audio system.
We are not sure if any changes have been made in terms of power, but there are some changes in tow for the car’s suspensions and brakes. TRD installed cold-rolled steel coil springs that lower the vehicle approximately one inch at the front and rear.
Full details will be revealed during the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, so stay tuned!
It looks as though the new Ford Taurus SHO will also be part of Ford’s line-up for the upcoming 2012 SEMA Show. The first tuning package that has been announced is by CGS Motorsports and shows off a wrapped Taurus SHO, leaving it dressed to impress for a black-tie affair.
The SHO is geared with CGS Performance Products and all the finest aftermarket components making it worthy to roll out on the red carpet. While no official details have been provided just yet, the first image reveals a carbon fiber engine bonnet, hood, and rear spoiler. The concept is painted in a very cool white combined with different black elements and sits on a new set of wheels combined with new brake calipers.
Under the hood, CGS opted for the 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 engine combined with a six-speed selectShift automatic transmission, but at this point, we can not tell for sure if we will see any power upgrades.
Toyota’s newest Avalon is an impressive vehicle, but it can get even more impressive when introduced to the fine folks at the Toyota Racing Development (TRD). TRD is showcasing their take on the Avalon with a concept car appearing at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show. Their Avalon Concept not only highlights the design features of the exterior, but also adds a supercharger system to bump the V6 engine’s power. To what level it is boosted to is unknown at this point, but surely it will be revealed once the car is unveiled in Las Vegas.
The new Avalon TRD features a two-tone custom paint finish, a color-keyed grille, and tinted taillights, as well as a new set of custom 19" wheels. There is also a TRD Big Brake kit and a new spring/shock package that lowers the car about one inch.
For the interior, TRD added graduated perforated leather with red piping and stitching, plus a JBL GreenEdgeTM surround sound system with 15 speakers.
Hit the jump to read more about the Toyota Avalon TRD Edition.
Chevrolet is set to use the 2012 SEMA Auto Show to be a kind of performance and personalization showcase for a lot of its models. We’ve already seen a couple of performance Sonics that are headed to the annual aftermarket show in Las Vegas and now Chevy has announced its intent to bring a performance version of a car that was just unveiled recently: the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo.
Called the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept, the car comes decked with a basket case full of aerodynamic and performance upgrades, turning what is already the fastest production Malibu into a meaner and more aggressive sports sedan.
On the outside, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept features a unique exterior paint finish called Berlin Blue Tricoat. Looking at the renderings of the car, the color works pretty well on the Malibu Turbo. From there, an aero package was installed that includes a new front splitter, rocker panels, a new rear diffuser, a boot-mounted wing, clear tail lamp lenses, turbo badges, and a new set of 20" alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero tires. You’ll notice that the Malibu’s front profile looks a lot more menacing than its stock counterpart. That’s because Chevrolet did a little switcheroo, fitting the concept with a custom lower grille and fog lamp grilles with red surrounds.
Inside, the modifications continue with the use of Jet Black leather and Navy Blue suede trim with matching red accent stitching on the Recaro sports seats, the flat-bottom steering wheel, the door panels, and the instrument panel.
Finally, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept also received a sizable performance upgrade, courtesy of a new cold-air intake system that improves the power from the car’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Considering the Malibu Turbo already nets 259 horsepower, it’s possible that, with these mods in tow, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept can break 300 ponies easy.