Posts Tagged ‘2012 nyias’

Only Select Dealers to Get New SRT Viper

As few as 1 in 20 will get revived supercar.

by on Sep.21, 2012

The SRT Viper undergoing testing. Production begins in autumn, dealers officially launching sales in November.

If you’ve been saving your pennies for the return of Chrysler’s supercar, the all-new SRT Viper you now may be in for a search to find a dealer.

Letters are now going out to Chrysler’s 2,300 U.S. dealers letting them know whether or not they’ve been chosen to carry the reborn supercar.  The maker hints the number that have been approved will ultimately come to more than 100 to 150.

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That’s a turnaround from earlier plans.  When the maker revealed the reborn Viper, last spring, it initially indicated most retailers would be offering it.  But Chrysler apparently recognized that would create problems considering it only plans to produce about 2,000 of the 2-seaters annually, or less than one for each of its dealers.


First Look: Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Who says the Hummer is gone?

by on Apr.12, 2012

Like the GL and GLK, Mercedes is updating the big G-Class for 2013.

Who says the Hummer is dead?  All right, the big tri-star on the hood is a clear giveaway, but like the abandoned General Motors off-roader, the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen is the sort of go-anywhere brute that gets folks to move aside when they see it approaching in the rearview mirror.

Known to Americans as the Mercedes G-Class, the civilian SUV with military roots has been around for 33 years without much change, and that holds with the latest update.  Nonetheless, the 2013 G-Class does fall a little more in line with the Mercedes-Benz GL and GLK models that were introduced, earlier this month, at the New York Auto Show.

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“Our G-Class has been a force to be reckoned with for the last 33 years. In its latest evolutionary stage, it offers state-of-the­-art, powerful engines, a further improved range of luxurious appointments and the very latest safety features, as well, of course, as its now legendary off-road capabilities,” says Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Mercedes parent Daimler. “At the same time the design remains true to its down-to-earth, unmistakable style.”


Dodge Delivers New Ram 1500, adds V-6 option.

Lighter and as much as 20% more fuel-efficient.

by on Apr.06, 2012

Ram boss Fred Diaz with the new 1500 pickup.

There’s plenty of talk about small cars at the New York Auto Show, this week, no surprise considering fuel prices are rapidly approaching record levels. But Chrysler’s Ram division is betting even truckers want some good news on the fuel front – and is offering a new option with the new Ram 1500 pickup.

The maker pulled the wraps off a truck that is not only lighter but also will offer a new V-6 powertrain option that could boost fuel economy by as much as 20% over the pickup’s previous base engine.

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The Ram 1500 unveiled at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center did not undergo the sort of dramatic styling changes of some previous generations.  But while it might look familiar that doesn’t mean the Chrysler brand simply stuck to the old formula.


Toyota Puts Emphasis on Striking Design with 2013 Avalon

New look for an old, familiar nameplate.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Toyota shifts design direction with the 2013 Avalon.

It was one of the big mysteries of the 2012 New York Auto Show: what would Toyota name the new full-size sedan it planned to unveil during the annual show’s press days?  Ultimately, it was no surprise at all.  The new car will stick with an old, familiar nameplate: Avalon.  But there all similarities end.

Toyota has long been known for quality, value and reliability — or QVR, in industry terms – but when it comes to design and driving dynamics, well, think plain vanilla.  But times are changing.  The original design for the 2012 Camry was panned by Toyota dealers and even after making some major changes the midsize model took plenty of critical hits.  So, when it came time to re-do the brand’s flagship, then-new Toyota Motor Co. CEO Akio Toyoda encouraged a dramatic change.

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He got it.  The 2013 Toyota Avalonhas an elegant yet edgy shape that will clearly surprise Toyota loyalists – as well as its critics.  Initial reaction following its unveiling at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center has been almost universally positive.

“This is the first vehicle in Toyota’s line-up to have Akio Toyoda’s thumbprint on it,” said Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter, following the maker’s news conference.


Infiniti Reveals LE Sporty Battery-Car Concept

“Luxury can be both desirable and sustainable,” says Ghosn.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Infiniti's LE battery car concept will reappear in production trim "within 24 months."

Following the lead of its mainstream sibling Nissan, the upscale Infiniti brand is about to charge into the battery-car market.

Confirming an earlier report on, the Japanese maker unveiled its LE Concept battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, at the 2012 New York Auto Show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn promising the production model will follow “within 24 months.”

Though the Infiniti LE is based on the same platform as the Nissan Leaf battery car it would be hard to tell at first glance.  The Infiniti model is lower, sleeker – and faster, “designed to stimulate,” not just transport, emphasized Ghosn, who proclaimed that with the upcoming addition to Infiniti’s line-up, the production LE will prove “luxury (can) be both desirable and sustainable.”

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The maker is holding back on many of the technical details but Ghosn said the concept is “85% accurate” to what the production LE should look like.  There will be relatively minor exterior changes, added Andy Palmer, Nissan’s corporate director of sustainable mobility, pointing to a grille that was clearly designed for the auto show rather than the showroom.


Honda Tries Again with Updated Crosstour

Honda hopes sales will double for more ute-like CUV.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Honda tries again with the 2013 update of its slow-selling Crosstour model.

Honda hopes to pump some new life into one of its most troubled product lines with a modest but much-needed update for 2013.

No longer linked to the maker’s mainstay Accord, Honda officials are hoping to see sales double for the 2013 Crosstour.  Of course, that starts off a low base.  While the maker presented an assortment of upbeat owner testimonials during the opening of its New York Auto Show preview, the previously named Accord Crosstour simply didn’t connect with the general public.

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As with the new RLX flagship introduced in New York by its up-market Acura brand (Click Here), Honda is calling the Crosstour on its stand a “concept,” though as with the Acura model, the Honda Crosstour show car “is very close to the product we’ll be bringing out this fall,” said Sage Marie.  The executive was a product planner on the program but recently shifted assignments and is now head of Honda public relations.


Acura Unveils New RLX “Flagship” Concept

Offers new hybrid torque-vectoring technology.

by on Apr.05, 2012

The new Acura RLX flagship will be offered with a high-tech torque vectoring system.

Acura continues its efforts to reposition itself as a major luxury player, rather than an upscale also-ran, with the NY Auto Show unveiling of the all-new RLX “flagship.”

The new model  compliments several other recent product roll-outs, acting as the top-line counterpart to the new Acura ILX entry-luxury sedan.  The RLX, which upgrades the aging RL model, largely abandons the Acura brand’s much-maligned “beak” grille while introducing a more powerful engine family that includes a high-tech way of shifting torque to help steer through corners.

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The new model is the centerpiece of a design and engineering strategy that American Honda calls “human-centered engineering,” or as CEO Tetsuo Iwamura puts it, “man-maximum/machine-minimum.”

Though roughly the same size, the styling of the new RLX is more sporty and up-market than the outgoing RL – as well as most other recent Acura entries with the exception of the NSX supercar concept the maker previewed at the Detroit Auto Show last January.


Hyundai Delivers Two Versions of New Santa Fe

Long-wheelbase model delivers added room, third row.

by on Apr.05, 2012

The short-wheelbase Santa Fe Sport.

The 2012 New York Auto Show is delivering more than a few surprises – notably including Hyundai’s unexpected announcement that it is launching not one but two new versions of the 2013 Santa Fe crossover.

The Santa Fe is one of the most important models in the Korean carmaker’s line-up.  An earlier generation signaled the start of Hyundai’s dramatic transformation from econobox maker into a high-quality, stylish brand.  But today, it’s a critical entry into one of the U.S. market’s fastest growing segments.

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The challenge, said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik, was meeting the needs of both young buyers and empty-nesters who might need just a 2-row crossover-utility vehicle, as well as growing families who want a 3-row CUV with seating for up to seven.

Rather than try to squeeze in the extra seats – as it done previously – Hyundai decided to produce the long-wheelbase Santa Fe and shorter Santa Fe Sport.


Jaguar Readying New F-Type Sports Car

All-new model joining line-up in 2013.

by on Apr.04, 2012

A camouflaged version of the new Jaguar F-Type undergoing testing.

Jaguar will add an all-new sports car to its line-up a little more than a year from now, the maker revealed during its New York Auto Show news conference.

Dubbed F-Type, it is the long-anticipated production version of the CX-16 concept car unveiled last year.  The new 2-seater will slot underneath the British maker’s current XK line and provide an affordable, high-performance entry into the Jaguar line-up.

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“It opens up a much bigger part of the market to us,” explained Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global marketing chief, during a conversation with

Though the production F-Type won’t be quite as radical as the CX-16 show car – with its unusual, side-opening hatchback – Jaguar contends the new model will put a premium on both styling and performance.  It is expected to come close to the brute power of the maker’s current muscle car, the XK-R, hinted Hallmark.


Nissan Reinvents Altima

Premium appearance without the premium price.

by on Apr.04, 2012

Nissan's latest all-new model is the redesigned 2013 Altima sedan.

Nissan is the latest major maker to weigh in with an all-new entry into the crowded and increasingly competitive midsize sedan market.

The maker pulled the wraps off its latest-generation Altima during the 2013 New York Auto Show media preview.  It’s one in a flood of new products coming from Japan’s second-largest automaker – which will introduce an all-new version of its only slightly smaller Sentra sedan, later this month, at the Beijing Motor Show.

The new Nissan Altima, declared CEO Carlos Ghosn, “appeals to the desire for a premium appearance without the premium price.”

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The 2013 Altima – which goes on sale in the U.S. in June – is arguably the most aggressively styled new offering from the Japanese, something Nissan believes will give it an edge over the bland and frequently criticized design strategy Toyota took when it launched an all-new Camry sedan last year.


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