The 2012 Geneva Motor Show gave way to the new generation Audi A3, and Audi is following up that release with the debut of the five-door Sportback version at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The new model will go on sale in February 2013, with prices in Germany starting from €22,500, or $29,144 at the current rates.
When compared to the standard three-door version, the new Sportback is 73 mm longer and has a 35 mm longer wheelbase. It is also 58 mm longer compared to the outgoing A3 Sportback. This allows the new Sportback an additional 380 liters of boot space, or about 15 liters more than the three-door model.
At its launch, the Audi A3 Sportback will be offered with a choice of one TDI and two TFSI engines, with two diesel engines and one gasoline unit arriving at a later date. All engines will be offered with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox, as well as an optional S tronic transmission.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Audi A3 Sportback.
Back in late July, we received word that the ATS, Caddy’s 3-series fighter, was heading into production after lengthy speculation. At that time, apparently Cadillac had shipped the first-built ATS to a dealership, but its plans with this first model were never revealed. All we received was the canned “for later use” response about this first-production car.
We knew that the first-produced ATS would not be sold in the typical dealership and we were thinking that maybe GM would archive it somewhere, but we actually just found out that it is going to a better cause. GM is auctioning this first-run ATS off at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas event on September 20th through the 22nd.
It being auctioned isn’t the big deal, as GM has decided to donate the car to the auction and Barrett-Jackson will waive all of its commission fees, which means 100 percent of the sale will go to benefit Team Joseph, a charity that benefits Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Needless to say, this is a honorable act of kindness by two giants in their respective industry and the second time GM has stepped up to auction off a car for charity. This one, however, seems like much less of a smokescreen than the last auction.
This time, we think a tip of the hat is in order for GM and Barrett-Jackson. It’s nice to see an American automaker in recent years stepping up and showing it is willing to give back to its customers, especially one that is still in recovery mode after almost going completely belly up just a few years ago.
While the estimated auction value of the Premium-trimmed ATS is unknown, we do anticipate it pulling in much more than the $47,795 MSRP for a 320-horsepower ATS. It may even crest the $100K mark.
Click past the jump to read Cadillac’s full press release.
According to a flier obtained by Dodge Dart Forum, there is another new Dart on its way and will be getting here just about the same time as the R/T model, which is running a little later according to our watch. This model is the Dodge Dart GTS Tribute. The details are still scarce on this model, but the flier gives us a little bit of information.
It’s going to start with a basic 2013 Dodge Dart R/T and its 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder engine with the 18-inch R/T forged chrome wheels. From there, Dodge will slap on a load of Mopar accessories. On the outside these accessories include a black aluminum hood with an appearance intake (AKA a fake hood scoop), matte black chin spoiler, matte black side sills, matte black rear air diffuser, matte black rear spoiler and a carbon-fiber roof graphic (AKA a sticker that looks like carbon fiber).
The interior gets a wide array of upgrades, including: ceramic white floating island bezel – the bezel around the instrument cluster and radio – with a gloss black cluster trim and ruby-red LED. Also donning a coating of pearl white is the 360 handle finisher, climate-control knobs, chin bezel, shifter bezel and cup holder bezel. The steering wheel will boast white and black, and will have a gloss black bezel. The door armrests will be black with pearl white accent stitching and it will also feature brightwork covers on the pedals.
The Dart GTS Tribute also receives Katzkin leather seating with pearl white accents, premium carpeted floor mats, black center console with pearl white stitching, and finally a black Alcantara-wrapped cluster brow with pearl white accent stitching.
Oh, and the exterior will don a coat of, you guessed it, red paint… Kidding, of course, it’s pearl white just like all of the little accents throughout the car. From what we can tell, there are no mechanical upgrades to the Dart R/T, but we won’t know for sure until the official unveiling takes place. Stay tuned for more about the Dart GTS Tribute.
*Note: the black fingernails are not mine, nor are they part of the GTS Tribute Package
We’ve seen spy shots for the upcoming Volkswagen Golf R that range from completely camouflaged to almost entirely devoid of cammo, but we though it was high time to see the final product. Unfortunately, Volkswagen is just not ready to show it to us so we decided to take matters into our own hands by coming up with a rendering for the future Golf R.
The next generation Golf R will be distinguished by a different front bumper with larger air intakes, a pair of subtly flared side skirts, gloss black exterior mirrors, and new quad exhaust pipes, as well as a new set of wheels.
Under the hood, Volkswagen has placed a revised version of the current 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder, with an output that has been increased to a little more than the current 256 HP. The engine will be mated to a DSG or a 6-speed transmission, and power will run through a Haldex all-wheel-drive system.
Let us know in the comments section below what you think of our rendering for the 2014 Volkswagen Golf R.
Driving up alongside the 2013 Accord in Honda’s line-up is the new 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan, a model which, according to Honda, will serve as the basis for a conventional hybrid version of the Accord Sedan. The new Accord PHEV will go on sale in early 2013 and will be produced in Sayama, Japan.
The Accord PHEV is powered by a 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 137 HP combined with a powerful 124-kilowatt (kW) electric motor for a total output of 196 HP. The model can drive in pure electric mode for 10 to 15 miles and delivers a total driving range of over 500 miles.
The new hybrid version is based on the Touring trim level of standard Accord Sedan and will be distinguished by a weight-saving aluminum hood, 17-inch forged alloy wheels, and a unique front bumper.
Hit the jump to read more about the new 2014 Honda Accord PHEV.
There are two staples in Honda’s lineup that have seemingly been a part its production line forever. Those cars are the Honda Civic and Accord. The Accord has seen many changes over its lifespan, some simple and others very extreme. As we approach the 2013 model year, we know the the Accord is being redesigned, but so far we only know the specifics of the Accord Coupe.
As of now, we officially know the specifics behind the Accord sedan, thus completing the 2013 Accord lineup. Honda’s goal with the new Accord sedan was to make it better, but not bigger. One area that Honda needed to improve upon, in order to keep pace with the CAFE regulations, was fuel economy. It’s not that the 2012 Accord got poor fuel economy – 23 mpg city and 34 mpg highway with a 4-cylinder – it just needs to constantly improve to hit the corporate lineup average of 54.5 mpg by 2025.
What exactly could Honda have done to make the 2013 Accord any better than the 2012 Accord, which is pretty nice itself?
To find out what Honda did and if it met its goal of making the Accord better, click past the jump.
This all comes thanks to a report from Bloomberg, through Handelsblatt, that VW’s CEO, Marin Winterkorn, has said “We have enough to do at the moment in taking our twelve brands to where we want to be” in response to the company possibly buying Proton. He also said “We need to grow in Southeast Asia,” then followed that up with “but that does not mean that we will buy Malaysia’s Proton, like some are speculating.”
In the world of automobile acquisitions, you can always take a CEO’s words with a grain of salt, as they are saying what is true at any given second. At the drop of a hat, that truth can suddenly change, especially if DRB-Hicom decides to offer up Proton at a bargain price. Add in the fact that VW has been very shady with its business tactics lately – avoiding the tax man and sneaking Ducati under Lamborghini’s umbrella to help it meet mpg standards – and you can see why we don’t believe a word of what Winterkorn says.
VW will say what it needs to say in order to keep its labor group happy, but ultimately it is in the automobile manufacturing game to make money. If Proton and/or Lotus are seen as potential profit, VW will tell the labor group to suck it up, as they ink a deal for the Malaysian automotive group.
We’ll keep a close eye on this whole situation and see if VW stays true to it word or reverses ship if Proton falls in its lap.
Large companies, like GM, seem to have issues keeping new model leakage under control. We are not completely naive, so we do understand that some of these leaks from large automakers are actually orchestrated by the automaker itself to help drum up interest. Still, there is the occasional major leak that some disgruntled design team member decides to plaster all over the Interwebz.
Well, Lada, a Russia-based company much smaller than GM, but a relative success in the Russian market, kept its recently unveiled SUV under such tight lock and key that it took all of us aback when it was debuted at the Moscow Motor Show. The Xray, as Lada has dubbed this concept SUV, is nothing like any other SUV it has ever produced and it looks like something that belongs in a worldwide production model’s lineup. That said, don’t look for this SUV, or any Lada for that matter, to make its way to the U.S.
The styling of this crossover SUV is not something you would expect to see from a budget automaker, like Lada. It does, however, show how Lada’s eyes are on the future, making its cars more stylish and offering up a wider range.
UPDATE 09/06/12: The first official video of the Lada Xray Concept has just gone live. Click on the photo above to check it out!
Click past the jump to read our full review and find out more about the basics of the Lada XRay Concept.
If you happen to own a non-M3 E46 3-Series, but want the look of the M3, Prior design has come up with an M3 styling kit that may suit you.
Starting up front, Prior Design eliminates the boring E46’s front bumper and replaces it with a unit that boasts a wide mouth and two side air intakes. The mouth’s outline is rather thin, keeping the drag to a minimum, and it is high enough off of the ground to avoid scraping.
For the sides of your awaiting 3-Series, Prior includes a set of side skirts that not only boast a very modern ankle line, but they also make your 3-Series look lower to the ground without any suspension modifications. Unfortunately, the side skirts just don’t quite fit in with the E46’s lines and stick out pretty badly.
Prior Design makes up for its sub-standard side skirts with a sweet backside addition to the 3-Series. This new rear bumper eliminates the econo-box-looking rear bumper that BMW slapped on the E46 3-Series and replaces it with a unit that features just the right amount of shape, a small diffuser, and cutouts for a dual exhaust setup. Our only issue here is what if the owner doesn’t have or want dual exhaust? Then he’s stuck with a goofy looking bumper.
Here’s the real test; does this kit make a regular 3-Series look like an M3? We have to be totally honest here; if you flew by at 80 mph with a nasty dual exhaust system rumbling behind you, we might mistake it for an M3. Sitting at a stop light, this kit is easily pegged as a poor knock off. The only component that somewhat resembles the M3 is the front bumper and even that is off track.
It’s a noble attempt by Prior and it would be okay as a regular body kit, sans the side skirts, but to call it an “M3 Styling” kit is a reach.
If you still want it, you can get the kit for €957 ($1,200 at current rates). We do suggest skipping the side skirts and finding another set that better suits the car, which will save you €199 ($250 at current rates).
Yesterday, Volkswagen announced that the seventh generation Golf will be unveiled on September 4th. In response to that announcement, the Golf’s biggest competitor, the Peugeot 308, has launched itself back onto the testing grounds for another round.
The next 308 was initially rumored to be called 301, but it looks like Peugeot has decided to keep the original name after all. The next 308 will be built on the same platform as the Citroen C4 and DS4, and has been promised to be both lighter and more agile than the current generation.
The Peugeot 308 will be offered with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, including some shared with Citroen and some borrowed from the new 208, as well as a diesel hybrid version offered for the first time. Peugeot’s new three-cylinder family engines will also find their way under the bonnet of the next 308.
As for its design language, expect to see a mixture of the 208 and the SR1 Concept car revealing a more elegant and compact body then the current 308. Its official debut will be made sometime in 2013.