Official: 2012 Hyundai Genesis priced from $34,200; new 5.0 R-Spec to start at $46,500

Filed under: Car Buying, Sedan, Hyundai

2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is hitting dealer lots as you read this, and pricing has officially been set at $34,200, not including $850 for destination and delivery. The facelifted Genesis four-door was unveiled at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, and though it received a minor facelift and some other small interior changes, the big news for the 2012 model year is what’s under the hood.

That $34,200 price point corresponds to the base Genesis 3.8 sedan, which now uses a direct-injected 3.8-liter V6, rated at 333 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque – gains of 43 and 27, respectively, versus the 2011 model. A new eight-speed automatic transmission is also on tap, meaning the Genesis 3.8 will achieve up to 29 miles per gallon on the highway.

Moving up in the range, the Genesis 4.6 – $44,500 – also gets an eight-speed automatic transmission, though its V8 engine remains largely unchanged. Power ratings carry over from 2011 – 385 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque.

The 4.6 used to be the range-topping Genesis, but for 2012, Hyundai has introduced the new 5.0 R-Spec model, which, as its name suggests, is fitted with the automaker’s brand new 5.0-liter direct-injected V8. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Tau 5.0 is good for 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, while still returning 16/25 mpg city/highway. The R-Spec model also features unique 19-inch wheels, sportier suspension tuning and more aggressive appearance updates. The top-shelf Genesis retails for $46,500.

Follow the jump for the full details in Hyundai’s press blast.

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2012 Hyundai Genesis priced from $34,200; new 5.0 R-Spec to start at $46,500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2012 Fiat 500C

Filed under: Convertible, First Drive, Fiat

Pop-top Cinquecento Makes For A Sunny Disposition

2012 Fiat 500C

2012 Fiat 500C – Click above for high-res image gallery

What price the sun? That’s the question Fiat is asking potential buyers of its new 500C. All else remaining (mostly) equal, would $4,000 come between you and the chance to have bright, unfiltered Helios riding shotgun? Or, using forty Benjamins to mark your steps, would you gladly throw the money down and do a Tarantella from the $15,500 Fiat 500 to the $19,500 Fiat 500C?

While logic doesn’t own a car in this segment, we can say this: Having spent an afternoon whooping it up in the 500C through the winding lanes of upstate New York, wallet aside, when compared to the hardtop model, the 500C is all gain and just a pinprick of pain.

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2012 Fiat 500C originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2012 Volkswagen Passat

Filed under: Sedan, Volkswagen, First Drive, Diesel

Americanized Sedan Shows Its German Roots

2012 Volkswagen Passat

2012 Volkswagen Passat – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Volkswagen Passat is facing a kind of perfect storm of skepticism from long-time fans of the brand. Volkswagen has wasted no chance to tell the world that the company’s newest sedan will be custom-tailored to the American market, with styling and packaging tweaks designed to set the vehicle apart from its European counterpart. If that weren’t enough, the new North American Passat will also carry the distinction of being the first VW product to be built at the automaker’s brand-new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

VW fans have always embraced the German flavor of their vehicles, but as the company pushes toward its (massively ambitious) goal of selling 800,000 units per year by 2018, we can expect to see more market-specific products in our neck of the woods. That trend kicked off with the 2011 Jetta – a vehicle that sacrificed interior materials and suspension refinement to meet a lower price point while growing larger to accommodate American tastes.

Does the Passat share a similar fate? When the sedan first debuted at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, it came packing a host of styling cues lifted directly from the smaller Jetta. That lead many onlookers (ourselves included) to conclude that in creating its new mid-sized sedan, Volkswagen had simply supersized the Jetta.

Fortunately, that’s not the case.

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2012 Volkswagen Passat originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 May 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: 2012 BMW M5 inches closer to production in a stunning shade of brown

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Spy Photos, Sedan, Performance, BMW

2012 BMW M5 spy shots

2012 BMW M5 spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

The BMW M5 that debuted at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show may have technically been a concept car, but it comes as no surprise to see that the near-production models the German automaker is testing look exactly like the car we saw on stage. For what it’s worth, we certainly hope the dark brown paint seen on this prototype will be offered when the M5 hits dealerships. Those blacked-out wheels can stay, too.

As you’ve no doubt read countless times before, the M5 will be offered with BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, packing somewhere north of 480 horsepower. In the United States, both a manual and dual-clutch transmission will be available, and all-wheel drive may be in the cards, as well.

We’ll have the full details later this year. The Frankfurt Motor Show can’t come soon enough.

2012 BMW M5 inches closer to production in a stunning shade of brown originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 May 2011 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2012 Toyota Prius V

Filed under: Hybrid, Wagon, Technology, Crossover, Toyota, First Drive

Toyota Masters The Art Of The Conjunctive

2012 Toyota Prius V

2012 Toyota Prius V – Click above for high-res image gallery

The hybrid lexicon is a language built on a foundation of disjunction. Buyers may have phenomenal fuel economy or space for kids and cargo. You can embarrass your neighbors at the fuel pump or have a satisfying driving experience. In fact, opting for a battery pack is so fraught with compromise that it’s almost as if hybrid manufacturers have completely deleted the conjunctive ‘and’ from their diction. Even so, that fact hasn’t stopped buyers from seeking out electrified vehicles in increasing numbers.

Toyota has sold over one million Prius models in the United States since the vehicle first debuted a decade ago. That number blossoms to two million if global sales are accounted for, and the model’s popularity has helped usher in a bloom of hybrid products from over 16 manufacturers. The technology may not be the perfect solution to our fuel economy concerns, but the Prius has taken off in ways that would have been difficult to imagine when the first gangly example whirred off the line.

Now Toyota is set to grow its Prius lineup with three new models. In fact, Bob Carter, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, says that the Japanese automaker fully expects the Prius family to become its best-selling product line in the near future – beating out internal combustion titans like the Camry and Corolla in the process. As a result, the company is planning to unleash of a barrage of products that include a model based on the Prius C Concept, a plug-in version of the hybrid and the taller, boxier Prius V. The thought is that a few simple variations on the company’s successful battery-powered recipe will offer buyers solutions that the conventional Prius simply couldn’t match. The only question is whether or not the will respond to what is effectively a few clever re-body jobs. If the Prius V is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes.

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2012 Toyota Prius V originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 May 2011 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Audi A6 Avant: Another wagon Americans just don’t get anymore

Filed under: Wagon, Europe, Audi, Diesel, Luxury

2012 Audi A6 Avant

2012 Audi A6 Avant – Click above for high-res image gallery

Worldwide, 60 percent of all A6 sales are Avants.

We return to an old whine: Why exactly does the United States as a whole clearly possess the psyche that can categorically reject perhaps the two most useful body configurations ever thought of for road-going automobiles? Namely, the hatchback in all its various configurations and the most wonderful all-rounder on Earth, the station wagon.

Regarding the latter, witness this latest chapter in sensational wagoning, estating, call it what you will: the new 2011-12 Audi A6 Avant, which just had the covers pulled off it at a Berlin ceremony. We know that opinionists sprout from the ether of the Internet and have the habit of saying things in ways that reflect the writer’s intensely personal and frequently skew-ish “obvious reason why” North America many years ago thumbed its collective nose at the wagon. But go ahead and comment; it’s a lively and fun ritual. And for more of our own commentary, continue reading…

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2012 Audi A6 Avant: Another wagon Americans just don’t get anymore originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Honda Civic recalled already over potential fuel leak

Filed under: Coupe, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Honda

2012 Honda Civic

2012 Honda Civic – Click above for high-res image gallery

Honda is recalling 1,156 of its recently introduced 2012 Civic sedans and coupes over faulty O-rings that could result in a fuel leak. In the affected cars, a misaligned O-ring that seals a connection in the fuel feed line could result in fuel leaking from the engine.

If any sort of ignition source is present, a fuel leak could obviously result in something quite tragic.

To remedy this problem, Honda dealers will replace the fuel feed line assembly free of charge. The recall is expected to begin before the end of the month; follow the jump for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s official statement.

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2012 Honda Civic recalled already over potential fuel leak originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2012 Audi A6 Avant arrives, automatically acquires adulation

Filed under: Car Buying, Wagon, Europe, Audi

2012 audi a6 avant

2012 Audi A6 Avant – Click above for high-res image gallery

We love a good station wagon. Audi has just pulled the wraps off its sleek new 2012 Audi A6 Avant, and we’re already swooning over the capacious cargo-hauler.

‘Lightweight’ seems to be the buzzword for the latest A6 wagon. The body is comprised of bits of aluminum (20 percent of it in fact), and the A6 benefits from composite construction that integrates high-strength steel where needed to keep passengers safe. The lightweight approach to construction has helped the 2012 A6 Avant drop 66 pounds versus the previous model, and depending on the powertrain installed, the new car is as much as 154 pounds lighter than the one it replaces. The base A6 2.0 TDI Avant, for example, weighs just 3,616 pounds.

The A6 Avant is available with a choice of six engines and four transmissions. The base unit is a 2.0-liter TDI turbo-diesel four-cylinder that produces 177 horsepower, and is rated to consume approximately 47 miles per gallon when paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. A larger diesel is offered in the form of a twin-turbo 3.0-liter TDI mill, available in 204-, 245- and 313-horsepower configurations. That last one will push the A6 Avant from 0-60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds.

Two petrol engines are offered, measring 2.8 and 3.0 liters, and both units employ variable valve technology. The 2.8-liter FSI engine produces 204 horsepower while the 3.0-liter TFSI pumps out 300 horsepower thanks to the attached supercharger. Besides the aforementioned six-speed manual, the A6 Avant can be fitted with a CVT or the seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox. However, the 3.0 TDI is equipped with an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission.

It seems there’s no word yet on whether this Audi wagon is making the jump across the pond to pose in U.S. dealerships. For now, it’s slated to go on sale in Europe later this summer with a starting price of €40,850 (approximately $58,288 USD). Read the full details in Audi’s press release, after the jump, and click through our image gallery for a smattering of high-res photos.

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2012 Audi A6 Avant arrives, automatically acquires adulation originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 May 2011 16:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Is this 2012 Honda CR-V test mule packing a third row of seats?

Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, Honda

2012 Honda CR-V spy shot

2012 Honda CR-V spy shot – Click above for high-res image

While Honda may have to delay rolling out the successor to the current CR-V crossover, a shortage of parts resulting from the crisis in Japan doesn’t mean it isn’t still working on the project. And while we hadn’t seen any prototypes running before, we’ve now received our first glimpse.

The test mule in this solitary spy shot is wearing a bra over the front end and some taping around the hind quarters, but is otherwise fairly naked for all to see. So what are we looking at? Heavily revised styling for a start, with tail-lights that extend up the D-pillar like the current model but with a rather Volvo-like shape to them. Our intrepid auto spies also suggest the extended rear end could be making room for a third row of seats (wonder what that D-pillar tape job is hiding?), but from where we sit, it looks mighty cramped.

Beyond the design, we can expect a slightly more powerful and more efficient version of the current model’s 2.4-liter VTEC four. Expect production to begin in Ohio and Ontario before winter rolls back around.

Is this 2012 Honda CR-V test mule packing a third row of seats? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 May 2011 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Here’s why the 2012 Camaro V6 makes 11 more horsepower

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Videos, Chevrolet, GM

integrated manifold 2012 camaro

2012 Chevrolet Camaro engine weight savings – Click above to watch the video after the jump

2012 camaro engine The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro will feature 323 horsepower, or 11 more ponies than the 2011 model. But General Motors engineers didn’t accomplish this feat by adding direct injection or variable valve timing. In fact, the 2011 version of the 3.6-liter V6 already incorporated those high-tech engine components.

Instead, engineers were able to add extra power by allowing the high-tech mill to breathe better. To do this, intake airflow was improved by seven percent through extensive simulation and bench testing. As a result, power is up by 11 horsepower, while exhaust flow is improved by 10 percent.

Engineers also manged to remove an incredible 13 pounds from the 3.6-liter by integrating the exhaust manifolds into the aluminum cylinder head. This change meant that a pair of old-school iron manifolds, 12 bolts, a pair of gasket and heat shields with six more bolts were eliminated.

Beyond weight savings, these changes also eliminate the potential for gasket failure while fuel efficiency is improved. The 2012 Camaro 2LS model will now boast 30 miles per gallon on the highway, up from an also respectable 29 mpg from the 2011 model.

Hit the jump to watch a short video, which shows exactly how GM was able to shave 13 pounds off of an already reasonably light engine. Then you can stay to read over The General’s press release.

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Here’s why the 2012 Camaro V6 makes 11 more horsepower originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 16:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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