Archive for the ‘Sports Cars’ Category

Walking a Tightrope: Ford Trying to Please All with New Mustang Variants

The original pony car continues to draw new fans.

by on Apr.18, 2018

The Ford Mustang is celebrating 54 years, and the current best-selling sports car in the world intends to remain so.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

You can’t stand still in the muscle car market. What’s hot today could be all but forgotten tomorrow. That’s something Ford Motor Co. learned when rival General Motors brought back the Chevrolet Camaro in 2010, delivering a sucker punch to the long-dominant Ford Mustang.

Since launching an all-new version of the Mustang to mark the nameplate’s 50th anniversary four years ago, Ford has retaken its crown as king of the pony car hill. It has now been the world’s best-selling sports car for three years in a row.

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And Ford is determined to maintain that lead with a series of Mustang variants set to come to market during the next 18 months. That includes not only the latest version of the GT500 but a first-ever Mustang hybrid. (more…)

Mustang: World’s Best-Selling Sports Car for Third Year in a Row

Exports to Asia and Europe pushing pony car to the top.

by on Apr.17, 2018

The Ford Mustang is the world's best-selling sports car three years running.

When the Ford Mustang turned 50, the automaker decided it was time to see just how popular the pony car was, and it began selling one of America’s first muscle cars globally.

Turned out to be a fine idea.

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Now that the Mustang is about to turn the big Five-Four, it is also celebrating its third consecutive year as the best-selling sports car in the world, according to IHS Markit. Global Mustang registrations in 2017 totaled 125,809 cars, according to Ford. (more…)

Big Changes Coming at VW, Says New CEO

Diess targeting “slimmed down company” and focus on new technologies.

by on Apr.13, 2018

VW's new CEO Herbert Diess wants to both cut costs and shift focus to new technologies.

Volkswagen Group is likely to be a very different company in the coming years, at least if new CEO Herbert Diess has his way, the new chief executive outlining some of the key changes he has in mind during a Friday media briefing that followed a management shake-up the day before.

The one-time BMW board member has been viewed as a change agent since joining VW in 2015, just months before a scheme to rig diesel emissions tests was revealed by the U.S. EPA. Diess has already trimmed what is often described as a bloated workforce, in the process slashing almost $5 billion in costs.

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He is expected to further attack costs at the German giant while also putting more emphasis on new technologies and services. And VW officials suggested they could move to trim assets, though they cautioned that a rumored spin off of their truck business isn’t in the cards – yet. (more…)

Toyota, Subaru Set to Replace Sports Car

No timetable for new versions of BRZ and 86.

by on Apr.04, 2018

Toyota and Subaru are working on a replacement for the sports car each sells, in this case, the Toyota 86.

Toyota and Subaru have started development of a replacement for the two-seat sports car that both companies produce jointly and currently sell under different names.

The Japan Times reported the two automakers have agreed to extend their collaboration to produce replacements for the current versions of the Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ.

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The two companies expect to launch the new models of the compact rear-wheel-drive sports car in 2021 with improved performance, according to The Japan Times, which cited sources familiar with the project. (more…)

Luxury Plug-Ins Shift Emphasis on Performance

Emphasis shifts from mileage.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The production Aviator's fastest powertrain package will pair a turbo-six with electric drive.

When the first hybrids came to market nearly two decades ago, the emphasis was on mileage, the original Honda Insight delivering as much as 70 miles per gallon, albeit at the expense of what might be described as the fun-to-drive factor.

That approach carried over as more advanced, battery-based models came to market – and as luxury brands started to plug in with vehicles like the Cadillac ELR. Based on the Mainstream Chevrolet Volt, Caddy’s first plug-in hybrid was lavishly equipped but took almost 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60.

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A visit to this year’s New York Auto Show will reveal a wide array of PHEVs, and among mass market brands, like Chevy, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, fuel economy is still the primary target. But it’s another matter entirely among luxury brands, such as BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. There’s no question they’re also using battery power to boost mileage, but they’re also putting a premium on performance.

(more…)

NY Auto Show’s Dozen Best

Our favorites from an extensive assortment of cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The turnstiles are spinning at the Javits Convention Center and for good reason. The 2018 New York International Auto Show is winning raves as the year’s most significant North American event, with dozens of significant debuts.

This year’s NAIAS covered plenty of ground: from long-range electric vehicles to high-powered performance cars – even some high-performance electric vehicles. Followers of automotive design will have plenty to talk about, too. The show underscores all the dramatic changes sweeping through the auto industry, even on the retail side, as more manufacturers announce new subscription programs.

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Whether you’re heading down to the show or simply trying to check out from a distance the most significant, intriguing and unusual cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts on display, here’s a handy guide to our dozen favorites.

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Audi’s Bringing Sport-y Back With New RS 5 Sportback

German premium brand looking to compete with M-class and AMG models.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Audi is looking to compete with BMW's M-class and Mercedes' AMG brands with the new Audi Sport lineup, including the RS 5 Sportback.

Audi Sport, Audi’s high-performance line, launched its latest RS model – the Audi RS 5 Sportback – during the press days for the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

The RS 5 Sportback offers a balance of high design and driving dynamics and is scheduled to go on sale in the second half of 2018.

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It’s latest model in the Audi Sport family, which was re-organized and re-branded last year to compete more directly and effectively with other German performance marquees, such as the BMW M-class series and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG Division. (more…)

Porsche Adds to 911 GT3 Family With Less

New Weissach Package offering cuts weight with carbon fiber.

by on Mar.28, 2018

Porsche introduced its new lighter 911 GT3 RS with the Weissach Package with a 0-to-60 time of under 3 seconds. Photo credit: AutoBlog.com

Perhaps no automaker better takes an iconic vehicle and tweaks it everso slightly to the squealing delight of a dedicated fan base than Porsche and its 911. For 2019, Porsche is adding the Weissach Package to the 911 GT3 RS model.

Based on the 911 GT3 RS just unveiled in Geneva, the optional Weissach Package is available for the first time on a 911 GT3 RS model and complements the most powerful naturally aspirated road-going 911 ever with additional lightweight components, Porsche notes.

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Naturally, there’s a price for such subtle visual changes: $18,000 for the Weissach Package, which helps the 4.0-liter 520 horsepower flat six push the car from 0-to-60 mph in less than three seconds. (more…)

Mercedes-AMG Muscling Up the C-Class Line-UP

NYIAS brings debut of C63 versions of coupe, cabrio and sedan.

by on Mar.27, 2018

The new Mercedes C63 S Coupe comes with two V-8 engine options, one of which propels the two-door from 0-to-60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

There was a time when Mercedes’ AMG models were as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth. These days, however, it’s rare to find a model line that doesn’t get the AMG treatment.

So, it’s likely going to surprise few to see the three new AMG models headlining the German automaker’s big display at this year’s New York International Auto Show. Mercedes-AMG is giving its special touch, this time around, to three C-Class models: the C63 sedan, coupe and Cabriolet.

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“The AMG C-Class is our best-selling model series and therefore a key cornerstone of our company’s success in recent years,” explains AMG CEO Tobias Moers. With the launch of the C63 versions, he adds, there are now a full dozen different C-Class variants in the Mercedes line-up. (more…)

VW Charged Up About EV Racer Heading to Pikes Peak

“It’s about time we settled the score.”

by on Mar.19, 2018

VW hopes to leave the competition in the dust when it takes the I.D. R up Pikes Peak.

Volkswagen has put in an order for a whopping $25 billion worth of lithium-ion batteries and related technology, as we reported last week. A small share of that will be going into its new electric motorsports program which is charged up and ready to challenge Pikes Peak a few months from now.

These pics preview the new I.D. R electric race car that VW plans to use as its first entry into the grueling Pikes Peak International Hill Climb since 1987. I.D. is the new sub-brand the German automaker will begin rolling out late in the decade, with a total of 20 full-electric models due out by 2025, so it’s no surprise the hill climb car will share that badge.

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“We want to be at the forefront of electro-mobility with Volkswagen and the I.D. family,” said Frank Welsch, the Volkswagen board member overseeing its electrification efforts. “Competing in the most famous hill climb in the world with the I.D. R Pikes Peak is a valuable test for the general development of electric cars.”

(more…)

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