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.

The anticipated reveal of the replacement for the Acura RL has finally made its debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The all-new Acura RLX will make its production debut in early-2013, as a 2014 model year, giving Honda’s luxury lineup a head start for 2014.

We were all starting to wonder exactly what was in store for the RLX, since Acura announced its debut. Some of the questions that arose were around its power plant and whether or not this would simply be a restyled RL with an “X” on the end of its nameplate.

Acura answered all of those pertinent questions and then some at the auto show, as it pulled the sheet off of the new RLX and surprised everyone with a vehicle that bears little to no resemblance to its predecessor, something Honda Motor Company does not typically do. For the most part, Hondas tend to evolve rather slowly, with the exception of the latest Civic model, and rarely do we see big-time changes.

This all-new sedan is set to do battle with two newly redesigned imports, both of which debuted at the same auto show. On one side, you have the completely refreshed Toyota Avalon and on the other side, you have the redesigned Lexus ES 300h .

Can the RLX possibly fend off these two sister vehicles?

UPDATE 02/20/2013: Acura announced today pricing list for the 2014 RLX set to go on sale at a starting price of $48,450. Still, the car can get pretty expensive when adding an Advance Package; in this case price will start from $60,450.

Hit the jump to find out.

Usually, a car like the Volkswagen Passat CC doesn’t enjoy much attention from us. However, when we are talking about a 502-horsepower version, things change significantly. This model has been specially developed by MR Car Design and boasts an incredible increase over the car’s standard 300 horsepower.

This package is based on the 3.6-liter V-6 version and adds an extensive HGP turbo kit and a custom exhaust system. This combination pumps the engine output from the standard 300 ponies and 258 pound-feet of torque to an amazing 502 horses and 516 pound-feet.

This special Passat CC has also been equipped with a DDC coil-over suspension system and a set of Ultraleggera wheels in the dimension of 8-by-18-inches wrapped up in 235/40R18 rubber. As you probably imagined the extra 202 horsepower also requires a new braking system and MR Car Design has obliged by installing a Stoptech ST-40 brake system with 355 x 32 mm (13.57- x 1.26-inch) discs.

BMW 5-Series

At the end of October, we brought you the first spy shots of the facelifted version of the BMW 5-Series sedan . That prototype was wearing camouflage over the good parts — the parts being updated —so it was kind of difficult to see what changes the 2014 5-Series will bear. Thanks to our crack rendering team, we have a our rendering of the 2014 5-Series. We hope it gives you a clearer look at what we all expect to see when Bimmer unveils it.

The most significant changes will be made up front, as it will feature new air intakes on the front bumper, a new headlight design and a grille that sits more upright. As you can see, we have also included headlights that go all the way to the grille — a feature first seen on the 3-Series and that we expected to make its way over to the 5-Series lineup.

Most of the changes will be limited to the exterior, but there will be one under-hood change. This change will be the elimination of the N55 engine in the 535i and the addition of a new turbocharged in-line six-cylinder.

Skoda Octavia

The next generation Skoda Octavia has been caught testing many times, but each time the car was camouflaged. This time, however, Nicolas Willson managed to shoot a photo of the next Octavia completely uncovered. The image was taken in Santiago, Chile, where Skoda was doing its own photo shoot of the new Octavia. The only thing covered up on the car is the Skoda logo on the front, but that won’t fool anyone.

As previously reported, the next Octavia will feature design elements we have already seen on Skoda’s new Rapid , including a grille that connects to both headlights.

The next Octavia will be built on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform and will come with the choice of two petrol engines — a 85-horsepower, 1.2-liter TSI and a 140-horsepower, 1.4-liter TSI — and two diesel engines — a 105-horsepower, 1.6-liter unit and a 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter unit.

Photo credit Nicolas Willson/Carscoop for CarPix.

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.

Honda’s display at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show features a number of finely tuned Accords , including one that carries Honda’s very own X-Package.

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.

Posted on by Aravind 8

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.


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