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.

With the calendar turning over a new page to 2012, the very first major auto show is set to open its doors in Detroit when the North American International Auto Show welcomes automakers - both local and foreign - to the Motor City.

This year, American brands are coming to Detroit in full force where they will be joined by a number of international automakers in presenting a steady diet of concept cars, production debuts, and just about everything else in between.

Among the notable debuts set to take place include the brand-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL , as well as the 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 . German automaker Porsche has also penciled in the 911 Cabriolet for the festivities, while Lexus will be on-hand to display the intriguing and mysterious LF-LC 2+2 sports coupe concept.

As for the local contingent, Ford is leading the way with the premiere of the Fusion global mid-size sedan while Dodge is set to introduce their Alfa Romeo Giulietta-based compact sedan, the Dart .

There’s plenty of action headed to Detroit when the 2012 NAIAS opens its doors on January 14th. Head over after the jump to check out a preview of all the cars scheduled to be part of all the festivities.

We don’t usually associate Playboy with cars, unless scantily clad women were somehow involved, but the American men’s magazine has just unveiled the top 11 hottest models people should buy in 2012. Now guys can really say they are picking up Playboy’s latest issue for the articles!

The top spot for this honorable list goes to none other than the fastest production Jaguar ever built - the XKR-S ! But next to this remarkable sports car is the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 , the Fiat 500 , the Range Rover Evoque , the Lexus CT 200h , the BMW 1-Series M Coupe , the Bentley Continental GTC , the Ford Mustang Boss 302 , the Audi A7 , the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG , and the Hyundai Veloster .

There are certainly many fabulous vehicles to choose from on this list - and some not so fabulous vehicles - so do you agree with the top spot? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Playboy
Mazda Takeri Concept

With the debut of the new Takeri Concept , Mazda has revealed the design language for their future Mazda6 sedan, but that isn’t the only new model the Japanese company has in their future plans. In a recent interview with Automotive News, Robert Davis - Mazda’s Senior Vice President of U.S. operations has announced that the company plans to unveil four redesigned models by 2014.

The first to arrive will be a major update for the CX-5 in the spring of 2012. It will be followed by a redesigned Mazda6 and redesigns of the Mazda3 ,MX-5 Miata , and CX-9 in 2013.

The big news is that these redesigned models will not only receive exterior and interior updates, but new lightweight platforms and new gasoline and diesel powertrains that boost power and fuel economy. By 2016, Mazda also plans to add stop-start, regenerative braking, and hybrid technologies.

The new platform developed for the four new models will be the first one developed solely by Mazda. The company has been using platforms shared with Ford Motor Co. for most of its vehicles, but since Ford sold its stake in Mazda Mazda in 2006, the Japanese company has announced it has no plans to share its new platforms and powertrain technologies for U.S. vehicles with Ford.

As is typical with any new generation debut, the older model always gets one final hoorah before calling it quits. Now that the new generation 3-Series has shown its face, BMW will be unveiling a special Carbon Sport Edition for that last bit of cash. The new special edition BMW 3-Series will only be offered in the six-cylinder engine model with only 150 units to speak of.

The new BMW 3-Series Carbon Sport Edition will only be offered in Sapphire and Azurite Black Metallic paints and will be distinguished by an M Sport package, different BMW M Accessories, and a new set of 19" alloy wheels. It will also be offered with standard xenon lights, automatic climate control, a professional navigation system, leather seats, and an M sports steering wheel with shift paddles. Each unit will get a Harman Kardon hi-fi system.

The BMW 3-Series Carbon Sport Edition is now on sale and prices for the top model - the 335i Carbon Sport Edition - start from 61,995 euros or about $85,385 at the current exchange rates.

Compared to the BMW M3 , the new 3-Series is a little, shall we say, vanilla on the design aspect. But even if you share the same sentiments on the latter, German tuning company Prior Design has come up with a new aerodynamic wide body kit that can add some sizzle to the 3-Series’ design, turning it into something that has a little ’M’ flavor to it.

The kit was designed for the 3-Series E90 and it includes various body kit parts, including a new bonnet, a redesigned and aggressive front bumper, new front fenders, aggressive side skirts, a new rear apron, a redesigned trunk, and an integrated rear spoiler. Another addition to Prior Design’s body kit are the new side mirrors, which have been designed to replicate those found on the M3.

The end game for the 3-Series E90 is a car that comes with an aggressive wide body kit that puts a lot more flair and panache into the otherwise mundane vehicle. No improvements were done on the powertrain, but if you combine this widebody kit to the number of engine options for the 3-Series, including the powerful 4.0-liter V8 that produces 414 horsepower and 295 lb/ft of torque, then you’ll have a 3-Series that can now look as good as its power suggests.

Along with the unveiling of the new BMW 3-Series comes the new 3-Series M-Sport package, available starting in Summer 2012. The new package will further accentuate the sportiness and dynamism of the 3-Series while allowing potential customers to fully customize it to their liking.

The BMW 3-Series M Sport package includes a new M Sport suspension that drops the ride height by 10mm/0.4 in., 18 or 19-inch M alloy wheels, special body parts, chrome tailpipes, and exclusive exterior paintwork.

For the interior, the M Sport package gets distinctive cloth/Alcantara sports seats, trim elements with blue accent strips, an M Shortshifter (in models with a manual gearbox), M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest, and the new M leather steering wheel. The M-Sport package will also allow the driver to use the Driving Experience Control switch to vary the basic suspension characteristics between more comfortable or sportier settings.

Scion is wrapping up its special edition announcements in 2011 with a second model called the xD Release Series 4.0 (xD RS 4.0) for 2012. This new model will be built in only 800 units and exclusively offered in an Blizzard Pearl exterior paint. Prices start at $16,250 when equipped with manual gearbox and $17,050 when equipped with an automatic transmission. Prices do not include delivery, processing, and handling fees of $730.

The special Blizzard Pearl exterior paint on the special edition xD is combined with 16-inch alloy wheels finished in a smoked platinum color. TIt also gets color-tuned trim pieces on the center console, steering wheel, and door panels. The seats are wrapped in a distinctively patterned soft-touch material and feature white stitching. Finally, the xD will include carpeted floor and cargo mats featuring the Release Series logo and white stitching around the border. Each xD RS 4.0 features an individually numbered badge.

For the first time in 16 years, an MG -branded vehicle is returning to the market, only this time, it’s not the old MG we’ve come to know.

MG Motor UK Limited is a British car manufacturer that’s owned by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and headquartered in Birmingham, England. It’s not the same MG from decades past, having been founded only in 2006 after acquiring the original MG Rover and all the rights to the MG name.

With a new lease on life, MG went ahead and overhauled their vehicle line-up, starting with the new MG6.

As the first all new MG to come out to the market in 16 years, the MG6 represents the beginning of a new generation of models for the reborn British brand. The model offers modern British sporting style with a spacious and advanced interior that fits right in with the type of cars that are being sold these days.

The name might still be the same, but the new MG6 is a completely different model born in a completely different time.

Find out more about the MG MG6 after the jump

It’s very rare for a company like Seat to have the industry’s attention. But when it comes to a new concept car highlighting the company’s new design philosophy, then we get curious. Even for just a little bit.

The new IBL Sedan Concept accomplishes that and more. Quite frankly, the car’s design is far and away improved from what we’re accustomed to with Seat, which in our books, is a pretty good thing.

"The IBL [Concept] was created from the unique design DNA that will prevail right across our next vehicle generation," said new SEAT design chief, Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos.

The IBL Concept carries a pretty sharp looking profile, that much we’ll tell you. It’s got the look of a sporty four-door saloon that capitalizes on its elegant dynamics to catch your attention.

It certainly wouldn’t hurt to see Seat translate this concept to something a little more production-ready, but we’ll take what we can get from these guys anytime. After all, there aren’t a lot of expectations to begin with and if the IBL Concept is merely the first step in what we hope to be a more stylish future for the company, then sign us up.

Find out more about the Seat IBL Sedan Concept after the jump.

The Daytona 500 has been about as ’Americana’ as any sporting event in the US today. The only others that are on that level are the Indy 500 and the SuperBowl. So it’s no surprise that in the 50 years that the event has been held, only one of the pace cars involved doesn’t have an American lineage to it.

That is until now.

Joining the Porsche 914 that was used as a pace car in 1971 is the all-new Toyota Camry , which has been tapped to lead-off the Daytona 500 and open the NASCAR Sprint Cup season next February. But that’s only after it makes an appearance at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show.

In an event that has fielded a steady number of Pontiacs , Buicks , Chevrolets , Fords , and so many other US-born automakers, the decision to choose the 2012 Camry as the official pace car of the 2012 Daytona 500 is a testament to the Japanese automaker’s growing influence in the US stock car world.

The Camry Daytona 500 Pace Car is powered by a 3.5-liter six-cylinder, twin-cam engine that produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb/ft of torque at 4,700 rpm that’s aided by a TRD custom stainless exhaust system.

As a pace car, the Camry comes with its share of "pace car features", including a Tein adjustable suspension system, a Whelen LFL Liberty LED lightbar, an on-board fire extinguisher, four-point Simpson racing seat belts, a full roll cage, and a set of 19" BBS RS wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires with a StopTech Big Brake Kit.

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