2012 Dodge Avenger R/T Official Photo

On April 20, 2011, in CARS, RIDES, Syndicated, by SOURCE: Car and Driver
Stiffer suspenders and spiffier duds for Dodge’s mid-size family man.

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2011 Chrysler 300 and 300C Official Photos – Auto Shows

On December 27, 2010, in CARS, DWU, RIDES, by SOURCE: Car and Driver
Chrysler has released some official pictures of the new 300, as well as an information appetizer about some of the car’s features.

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Ready for the Veloster? A teaser video released through Hyundai’s YouTube channel and an accompanying countdown page confirm that the company will unveil the long-rumored car at the Detroit auto show next month. The video, which is embedded below, reveals that the car will have a direct-injected engine and a dual-clutch transmission and should return an estimated 40 mpg. Based on our spy photos and prior information, we expect the new Veloster to be a sporty-ish small coupe in the vein of the Scion tC. From the above image, digitally lightened via the miracle of Photoshop, we can see the car will wear Hyundai’s corporate grille, seemingly a blend of the designs seen on the new Sonata and Elantra. We dig the aggressive air intakes at the far edges of the fascia as well as the stylized headlamps with LED running lights. A Hyundai spokesman today confirmed the car will indeed be a front-wheel-drive hatchback, and said the Veloster will be positioned below the Genesis coupe in Hyundai’s lineup. However, we were told the Veloster is “not a Tiburon,” referring to the company’s last front-drive sporty model that vanished after 2008.   We were also told the car employs a 1.6-liter, direct-injected—but not turbocharged—engine that’s capable of up to 40 mpg. No output numbers were provided, but we’re expecting something in the neighborhood of 135–140 hp. Transmission choices will consist of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual, which is being designed by Hyundai and will be the first of its kind for the company. Given Hyundai’s recent product rollouts, we wouldn’t be surprised if a turbocharged engine appeared in the Veloster later. The Veloster will go on sale in summer 2011. We’ll have the full story after the official debut in Detroit next month.
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2010 Los Angeles: 2011 Chrysler 200 Finally Revealed

On November 19, 2010, in CARS, RIDES, Syndicated, by SOURCE: MOTORTREND
2011-chrysler-200-front-three-quarter Chrysler has already released photos of its 2011 200 sedan to the world, but the company's revised midsize sedan receive an official introduction until its debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. 2011-chrysler-200-profile Chrysler has shown off the 200's exterior through a number of press photos, but they don't entirely do the car justice. Although the 200 still uses some of the Sebring's body structure, the new front nose and tail, coupled with a host of revised body panels throughout the exterior, lend this car a sleek, muscular, and attractive presence. Try as we might, we can't exactly say that for the chunky, chiseled shape of the outgoing Sebring. The interior, however, is best experienced in person. Chrysler design vice president Ralph Gilles has long promised his teams would substantially overhaul interiors for forthcoming models, and they've lived up to their promise. A new gauge cluster and instrument panel are part of the makeover, but the biggest improvement lies with material selections -- the blocky, rock-hard plastics of the previous Sebring are a thankfully no more, as the 200's cabin is loaded with soft-touch materials on the IP, door panels, armrests, and elsewhere. 2011 200s are offered with two engine selections. Chrysler's 2.4-liter I-4 remains the entry-level offering but the company's new Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 is available. Both engines will be mated with a six-speed automatic transmission, although Chrysler will likely add a six-speed dual-clutch to four-cylinder, Limited-trim models later in 2011. Pricing for the 2011 200 will start at $19,995 (including destination), and early production cars should arrive at Chrysler dealers nationwide this spring. For more on the latest Chrysler products, click here. Keep up to date on the latest L.A. Auto Show news by clicking here.
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2011 Saab 9-4X front three-quarter The theme of the Saab press conference was light and airy, with blocks of ice, which seemed to reflect some of the styling cues used on the new Saab crossover. "Ladies and gentlemen, a true Saab." That was the line uttered, just before the new 9-4X was introduced. 2011 Saab 9-4X front three-quarter 2011 Saab 9-4X front 2011 Saab 9-4X rear 2011 Saab 9-4X interior And it does look like a Saab-attractive styling, quirky without being ugly, and arguably better looking than the Cadillac SRX on which it's based. But it is based on a GM platform, and you can expect that partnership will continue, for a while, anyway. So it's not exactly a true Saab underneath, but the styling is certainly true to the company, and has promise. We'd also hope suspension tuning to be unique for the Scandinavian cousin, to further separate the two. For those who want a luxury crossover that's a bit different, the Saab's styling may appeal to Saab fans, and could bring others into the fold. With this five-passenger crossover, you can expect that when it goes on sale in May 2011, it'll come with a choice of V-6 engines: a 265-horsepower, 3.0-liter or a turbocharged, 300-horse 2.8-liter (like in the SRX), with available all-wheel drive (Saab's XWD). It'll ride on 18- or 20-inch wheels, and is anticipated to get fuel economy as good as 18 mpg combined, and hit 60 mph from a stop in as little as 7.7 seconds. That Saab is still around means that there is plenty of potential for the company to continue to get back to its roots. Oh, and rest easy Saab fans: the ignition (okay, the start/stop button) is still near the floor. --Allyson Harwood
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2010 Los Angeles: 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

On November 18, 2010, in CARS, DWU, LA, RIDES, Syndicated, by SOURCE: MOTORTREND
2011-nissan-murano-crosscabriolet-front-quarter Nissan insists that the point of the Murano Concept CrossCabriolet is to show their boldness in decision making. We won't argue. Building an all-wheel-drive convertible (equipped with all-season tires, no less) is certainly a bold move. The new drop-top utility vehicle is creating its own genre, but is it going to fill a gap that doesn't exist? 2011-nissan-murano-crosscabriolet-rear-quarter Innovation is Nissan's core belief according to Nissan's head of design, Shiro Nakamura. The CrossCabriolet represents the reinvention of versatility and is aimed at "active optimistic couples in their 30s and 40s." Based on the D-platform that is shared with the Altima and Maxima, the CrossCabriolet will be sold in one trim level only. Powered by a 3.5-liter, 265-horspower V-6, the all-wheel-drive Convertible will only be sold with the XTronic CVT transmission. The cloth top is power operated and is said to fold up to roughly the same size as in a two-seater roadster. The glass rear-window and skylight were designed to keep the backseat from feeling claustrophobic, and pop-up rollbar system helps to increase rollover safety. The interior is unique to the CrossCabriolet and is available in; Black, cashmere and camel. Standard Navigation and 9.3GB audio hard drive and back-up monitor round out the list of luxury features. The base price for the Murano CrossCabriolet is set at $46,390. A definite release date was not given during the press conference. Nissan is confident these will be hit, but only time will tell.
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2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque five door prestige and dynamic The newest member of the Land Rover family -- the Range Rover Evoque -- will be on hand during next week's L.A. Auto Show in five-door guise and we've got more photos and details ahead of its debut. 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque five door prestige front three quarters The cute 'ute formerly known as the LRX was unveiled in coupe form at Paris, but the five-door Range Rover Evoque is a natural step for the purveyor of large, luxurious SUVs. To clear extra interior space for its people-carry intentions, the five-door version is 1.2 inches taller inside the cabin (thanks to a higher roofline) and over 2 inches wider to gain more shoulder room. Like the crossover-coupe design, this Land Rover is intended for four total occupants. Other than the additional interior space, the Evoque five-door shares the same powertrain configurations. Motivation comes from a 2.2-liter diesel four-cylinder with either 148 or 187 horsepower; the gasoline option is a Ford-sourced 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four developing 237 horsepower. Front- and all-wheel drive will move the wheels. Because it bears the Land Rover badge, the Evoque must carry some semblance of off-road utility. The company's Terrain Response system assists on loose surfaces while an optional Adaptive Dynamics with MagneRide dampers help on tarmac. Interior appointments do not disappoint as the usual luxury features will be found, including leather, metallic surfaces, full-size panoramic glass roof, surround cameras, and advanced entertainment systems. The Range Rover Evoque goes on sale in over 160 markets during Summer 2011 and the five-door model will be available in three trim levels: Pure, Prestige, and Dynamic. The range-topping Dynamic is fitted with striking, 20-inch wheels and contrasting roof and spoiler colors will be up for order. Pricing is expected to start in excess of $40,000. Source: Land Rover
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Scion, the SEMA-Ready Brand, Bringing Eight Customs to Vegas

On November 1, 2010, in CARS, DWU, RIDES, Syndicated, by SOURCE: Car and Driver
Since its introduction, Scion has made in-house customization an integral part of its allure. But for SEMA, no mere array of factory accessories will do, hence the outsourced customization of eight Scion vehicles for the brand’s 2010 show appearance. We attended a preview of a few of the cars before their Las Vegas debuts; here are highlights on all eight. All Stretched Out xB by Cartel: Simultaneously winning the awards for greatest crowd-pleaser as well as most suggestively named concept on Scion’s SEMA stand is the red-over-black “All Stretched Out” xB by Cartel. Its four feet of extra length accommodate an 80-inch suicide-door passenger entry, granting access to an interior with a glove-soft-leather-covered bench seat, a huge flat-screen television, extravagant ceiling lighting, and much, much more. Creator Jeremy Lookofsky estimates that between the amenities and reinforcements, his team added roughly 2500 pounds to the little xB, so the AEM air intake, Cartel straight exhaust, Strup Performance header, and ACT clutch probably aren’t going to help its four-banger get it moving very quickly. No matter, as All Stretched Out is all about oozing down the street, with the 2600-watt sound system shaking the long blackout windows. In this case, what Scion brought to Vegas belongs in Vegas. Tarmac xD by 0–60 Magazine: There’s something about rally prep that makes even ugly cars look cool. Perhaps that’s why 0–60 Magazine decided to give the rally treatment to Scion’s appearance-challenged xD hatchback (or perhaps it’s because the magazine brought a nearly identical car, albeit one designed for dirt stages, to last year’s show). Design Craft Fabrication provided the aero-optimized front and rear fascias, Lexan windows, carbon-fiber hood and hatch, rally-spec race cage, and suede dashboard. Countless other outfits provided stickers and parts to cover the rest of the xD, for which we couldn’t be more thankful. GReddy tC: GReddy turbocharged its tC to the tune of an estimated 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, which would be quite a handful if not for all the other modifications that went into the chassis—coil-over suspension and a TRD big-brake kit—to help it handle all that extra oomph. Then again, it’s probably quite a handful anyway. Nix the busy paint, and we’re looking at a package we’d like to see in Scion showrooms. tC Time Attack by Crawford Performance: Scion Racing–sponsored Michele Abbate is the main driver of Crawford Performance’s wide-body 2011 tC, which looks surprisingly close to stock save for its fat fenders and 18-inch wheels. Scion was a little scarce on the details of what is under the hood of Ms. Abbate’s racer, although we can say that battleship gray and black combine quite well with neon green and a carbon-fiber hood. The Squid xB by The Salty Dogs: We’ll give you one guess as to the winner of the Battle of the Builds, a contest in which a team from each of the armed forces was provided a Scion to modify. Yup, the Navy, whose xB contains a, um, squillion individual modified parts, but none as extraordinary as the custom airbrush job by David Webster of Airbrush Jax. Well done, mateys. tC Tuner Challenge by James Lin: As you can probably tell just by looking, there are too many modifications on James Lin’s Tuner Challenge tC to list, so we won’t even try. Here’s the short version: It’s shaved, bagged, turbocharged, amplified, wide-bodied, and carbon-fibered. Love the butterscotch paint—it’s seriously cool. tC Tuner Challenge by John Pangilinan: Another example of Tuner Challenge overkill comes in the form of John Pangilinan’s white-black-and red-all-over tC, with its carbon-fiber wide-body fenders, Cessna-sized rear wing, and 18- x 10.5-inch flat-black wheels. An intercooled turbocharger kit and dozens of other add-ons take JP’s tC way over the top. Still, we’d love to drive it sometime just to see if it indeed does drive after all of those mods. tC Tuner Challenge by Shawn Baker: Stealthy and clean, Shawn Baker’s slammed tC is easily the sexiest coupe on the stand. Baker chose only to make changes that “complemented” the new-for-’11 design, hence the uncluttered body that sits good and low on its 19- x 8.5-inch front and 19- x 9.5-inch rear wheels. Under the skin, it’s a whole different story: an intercooled turbocharger, new exhaust, custom interior, and, of course, a zillion-watt sound system are ready to rumble. Awesome.

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Tuned Hyundai Equuses from DUB and Mummbles are SEMA-Bound

On November 1, 2010, in CARS, RIDES, Syndicated, by SOURCE: Car and Driver
Thought one modified Hyundai Equus was plenty? Hyundai didn’t, and will present two more tuned sedans at this week’s SEMA show. DUB Magazine (above) It’s no surprise that DUB Magazine equipped its Equus with 24-inch wheels, a body kit, and tinted lights. It’s sitting on a “custom” suspension and the car nabs Pirelli Pzero tires, Infinity Kappa speakers and amplifiers (which work with the factory stereo), and a leather-and-suede interior. The two-tone paint job is tasteful, while the chain-link grille doesn’t exactly say subdued luxury like the rest of the package does. In this rendering, the car appears to be wearing the KDM (that’s Korean domestic market) hood ornament, which is not included on U.S.-market Equuses—it’s available through the dealer, although we believe it should be mandatory. Mummbles Marketing The Pennsylvanian marketing company uses the descriptors “VIP,” “luxury,” and “elegant” to describe its take on the Equus. Outside, that look entails a new body kit, a carbon-fiber trunk and hood, tinted lights, 22-inch wheels, and burgundy paint. The interior features a mix of black suede and burgundy leather; toys include two integrated Apple iPads, a 20-inch video screen, and enough Infinity audio components to deafen everyone in the subdivision. Under the hood, Mummbles installed a Legacy Innovations turbo kit, a nitrous-oxide system, and a Magnaflow exhaust, for a claimed 450 hp versus the 385 ponies available from the factory. Finally, there’s air suspension and a Wilwood brake kit with 14-inch front discs. Oh, and our favorite hood ornament, too.

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Nine Customized Mustangs Headed to Ford’s Display at SEMA Show

On October 28, 2010, in CARS, DWU, RIDES, Syndicated, by SOURCE: Car and Driver
Ford’s Mustang has long been a favorite target of tuners, so it’s no surprise the Blue Oval’s stand at this year’s SEMA show will be home to a range of modified Stangs. Here’s a look at how each tuning entity will tweak the pony car. Ford Vehicle Personalization (above) This Mustang GT shows off parts available from the Ford Custom Accessories catalog. Outside, this includes a new rear wing, faux side scoops behind the doors, a billet grille, 18-inch wheels, and louvers for the rear quarter windows. Coral—the pinkish color, not the undersea life form—accents the wheels, side skirts, mirrors, and more. Look for fake carbon fiber accents and black-and-white upholstery inside. Team Baurtwell Hip-hop DJ Funkmaster Flex and Team Baurtwell prepared this Mustang specifically for rapper Snoop Dogg. It wears a 3dCarbon body kit, NC Forged wheels, smoked taillights, and Funkmaster Flex logos. Snoop will enjoy improved hizzandling thanks to a Steeda lowering kit, new anti-roll bars, and Baer brakes. MRT Michigan-based Mustang Racing Technologies will show off a Mustang GT wearing a new body kit and wheels, a black-and-red color scheme, and faux carbon-fiber elements for the interior and engine bay. The car scores Baer brakes, improved suspension, and a stainless-steel exhaust. Creations n’ Chrome This bright-pink Mustang GT convertible is meant to help the American Cancer Society raise awareness about breast cancer. As with many of the other cars, it wears a 3dCarbon body kit and new wheels. Performance credentials come courtesy of a Vortech supercharger and upgraded Wilwood brakes. Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords The folks behind the Stang-fan magazine supplemented the car’s 5.0-liter V-8 with a Ford Racing supercharger kit and Kooks exhaust system. It wears a Roush front fascia and Cervini’s Auto Design hood, and gets upgraded brakes and suspension parts from American Muscle. Mobsteel Mobsteel chose to upgrade the new Mustang V-6 with an STS turbocharger, Magnaflow exhaust, air suspension, massive Baer brakes, and forged wheels wearing Pirelli tires. Raceskinz Outside, the Raceskinz Mustang wears a faux-carbon-fiber stripe and Corvette Grand Sport-style fender stripes. Under the hood, this GT has a ProCharger supercharger, Magnaflow exhaust, and—notice a trend yet?—Baer brakes. The rear seats have been nixed and the fronts replaced with Raceskinz buckets; carbon-fiber accent pieces adorn the interior. Street Scene Equipment Forgoing performance mods, this convertible wears a new splitter, grille, and fascia up front, with 20-inch wheels tucked into the fenders and a spoiler out back. The interior scores Katzkin leather, a Polk audio system, and a rollover bar. Tjin Edition Neil Tjin and his team equipped their car with LED head- and foglights, StreetGlow neon lighting, a new rear spoiler, air suspension, and Eibach anti-roll bars. Visual flair includes a green-and-orange center stripe and new wheels with orange accents.

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