Official: LA Auto Show confirms it will host nine world debuts

Filed under: LA Auto Show

We still have a whole mess of auto shows to get through before we set our sights on Los Angeles this November, but when we arrive in the City of Angels, we’ll certainly have our work cut out for us. According to the LA Show organizers, more than 50 new vehicle debuts will take place over the course of two press days, though as usual, a lot of those will simply be North American reveals of hot new cars that we’ll first see in Frankfurt this September.

Of those 50 new debuts, nine of them will be world premieres, with BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Porsche, Subaru and Volkswagen all having confirmed that something brand-spakin’-new will be shown off at the LA expo. The only one of those automakers to officially confirm its world debut is Porsche; the German company will show its new Macan crossover in LA.

As for those eight remaining debuts, some outlooks are clearer than others. Automotive News suggests that Chevrolet could show its new Colorado midsize pickup truck, and Mini confirmed to AN that “a new Mini” would be on display, though it’s unclear if that just means a version of the current model, or the all-new one, previewed by the Mini Vision concept. Honda could use its LA stage to reveal the updated Fit hatchback, and Volkswagen may show off some sort of Golf-based vehicle – perhaps the redesigned version of the Jetta SportWagen (called the Golf Variant in other markets, which we first saw in Geneva this year). As we reported earlier, Mercedes-Benz will debut the new S65 AMG in LA, and as for the others, your guess is as good as ours.

This year’s Los Angeles Auto Show kicks off on November 20, with a two-day press preview to be held before the doors open to the public. Stay tuned for our usual smattering of live coverage.

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LA Auto Show confirms it will host nine world debuts originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Elon Musk confirms Tesla Model S battery swaps, demo coming this week

Filed under: Emerging Technologies, EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors

tesla model s red

For something as secret as a battery swap option in the Tesla Model S electric vehicle, we sure have heard rumors about it for years. Four (!) years ago, after all, we knew that the Model S was designed to accommodate battery swaps and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has talked about taking long-distance EV trips that included battery swaps, and Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger network was supposed to have a battery swap component at one time. But then the discussion shifted to focus on that Supercharger network, and how, by stopping for lots of 20-minute sandwiches along the way, a cross-country EV road trip would be totally doable. And, for a while, the Tesla battery swapping talk disappeared.

“Live pack swap demo on Thurs night. Seeing is believing” – Elon Musk

Until, of course, Musk brought it back a month ago by tweeting: “There is a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged throughout the country faster than you could fill a gas tank.” That set off a fresh search for information, which we now know we will be cleared up later this week.

Yesterday, Musk tweeted: “Live pack swap demo on Thurs night at 8pm California time at our design studio in Hawthorne. Seeing is believing.” He also tweeted that Better Place founder Shai Agassi “actually got the idea from a visit to Tesla. The idea is obvious (many things allow battery swap), but the technology is not.”

We have so many questions about this new option: does it apply to all Model S vehicles? Will it be free, like Supercharging? Will the swap locations be at Tesla stores, Supercharger stations or at other locations? Why is Tesla thinking of battery swaps when it’s also been so bullish on its fast-charging technology? We’ll try to find answers to all of these questions when the first public swap is performed live on Thursday.

Elon Musk confirms Tesla Model S battery swaps, demo coming this week originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mopar confirms full Ram Runner kit details

Filed under: Aftermarket, Truck, Chrysler, Dodge

mopar ram runner

Mopar Ram Runner Kit – Click above for high-res image gallery

Are you a Ram Truck owner? Are you tired of watching Ford SVT Raptor drivers effortlessly fly across desert sand dunes and mall parking-lot curbs? Well, it’s payback time. Mopar is ready to sell you the Ram Runner Kit.

Designed for installation on 2009-2011 Ram trucks, seven component sets compose the full Mopar Ram Runner Kit (they can also be purchased separately if you want to do the build in stages). The largest and most expensive item on the list is the Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit. Priced at $13,270, it includes a five-link coil-spring rear suspension, 4130 chromoly lower control arms, upper control arms, rebuildable high-angle ball joints, and forged steel, high-angle tie rods. Couple that with three-inch internal bypass shocks from Fox, and you now have fourteen inches of suspension travel.

All those suspension components can be dressed up with a variety of Mopar exterior upgrades. An off-road bumper, front and rear fenders and a Mopar sport performance hood are offered as individual add-ons. Mopar also offers a rear tire carrier and a cat-back exhaust system to let your 5.7-liter HEMI breathe a little easier.

Click past the jump for full details and more pricing information.

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Mopar confirms full Ram Runner kit details originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 28 May 2011 18:36:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volvo confirms all-new XC90 for U.S.

Filed under: SUV, Crossover, Volvo

volvo xc90

Volvo has confirmed that the U.S. market is primed to receive a redesigned XC90. Automotive News had the chance to sit down with Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, and suss out the automaker’s plans for the future. While pushing for increased sales of the new S60 is part of Volvo’s short-term strategy, bringing in a replacement for its aging XC90 is certainly a key component to the marque’s long-term success.

There is no talk yet of a timetable or just what’s in store for the next generation XC90. Now that the S60 sedan has been given a well-conceived makeover, we have to assume that Volvo’s dealers are chomping at the bit for the strong-selling XC60 to get a new-and-improved big brother.

Volvo confirms all-new XC90 for U.S. originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 May 2011 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jaguar reportedly confirms 3 Series rival, XFR-S under development

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Jaguar, Luxury

2010 Jaguar XFR in motion

Jaguar XFR – Click above for high-res image gallery

Eager to show it’s at the top of its game, Jaguar has been promoting a raft of new technologies, models and variants under development of late. We’ve recently confirmed a new four-cylinder diesel for the XF (earmarked towards European buyers) and reports of an all-wheel-drive variant of the XJ flagship (targeted for North American consumption), but new reports give us some more to anticipate from the Leaping Cat marque.

First up, word out of the UK indicate that the long-rumored 3 Series rival – possibly (and counterintuitively) to be called XS – has been confirmed by Jaguar’s global brand director, Adrian Hallmark, who justifies that in order to compete with other European luxury marques, it needs to do so on all fronts.

Potentially more exciting, however, is the development of an even hotter version of the XFR (pictured above). The project reportedly transplants the upgrades in the XKR-S to the XF to make for a 550-horsepower super-sedan capable of taking on the likes of the forthcoming BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.

Gallery: First Drive: 2010 Jaguar XFR

Photos copyright (C)2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: PistonHeads]

Jaguar reportedly confirms 3 Series rival, XFR-S under development originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 17:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Infiniti confirms plans to launch in Australia

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Sedan, Crossover, Infiniti, Australia

Infinity M37

2011 Infiniti M37 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Infiniti has big plans to expand beyond North America, and Drive reports that the Japanese luxury automaker intends to include Australia in its expansion. The site says that officials at Nissan have officially announced that Infiniti would head Down Under by September 2012, adding that the brand would start off with three stand-alone dealerships in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

When those dealerships launch, there will only be three Infiniti products from which to choose. The G37 coupe and convertible, the M sedan and the FX crossover were chosen in part because of their freshness in the market. Infiniti has reportedly decided against exporting the high volume G37 sedan to Australia, opting instead to wait until the next generation model goes prime-time. The Australians will be able to choose from the same 3.7-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 options we have here in the States, and they’ll also be able to pick a 3.0-liter diesel that we aren’t afforded.

The folks at Infiniti also hinted at their strategy for the brand. Infiniti brand GM Kevin Snell reportedly told the press at a launch event that the brand wouldn’t try to be the “cheapest” make Down Under, adding that Infiniti models are often better-equipped than the competition from Europe.

Gallery: 2011 Infiniti M37: Review

Photos copyright (C)2010 Michael Harley / AOL
[Source: Drive]

Infiniti confirms plans to launch in Australia originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lexus confirms LF-Gh concept for New York Auto Show

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Sedan, Lexus

Next-generation Lexus GS spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

A couple weeks back, we told you that Toyota had big plans for the New York Auto Show. We heard that one of the vehicles scheduled to make an appearance was the totally redesigned Lexus GS, but what we’re going to get instead is the LF-Gh hybrid concept. Lexus tells us that the concept “will present a glimpse into the future of Lexus design.”

We’re all for a concept car that reveals future styling direction, but we were really hoping to see a production a replacement for the aging sport sedan. Thankfully, our sources tell us that the LF-Gh and the next-generation GS should be one and the same, though we’re certain the concept car will feature styling cues (read: massive wheels, ridiculous interior, etc.) that won’t make it anywhere near production.

Lexus will officially unveil the LF-Gh on the evening of April 19, and you can expect a full report right here on Autoblog within minutes of the unveiling.

Gallery: Spy Shots: Next-Gen Lexus GS

Next-generation Lexus GS spy shotsNext-generation Lexus GS spy shotsNext-generation Lexus GS spy shotsNext-generation Lexus GS spy shotsNext-generation Lexus GS spy shots

[Source: Lexus]

Lexus confirms LF-Gh concept for New York Auto Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW confirms New Energy Vehicle, an electric 5 Series for China

Filed under: Concept Cars, Sedan, China, BMW, Shanghai Motor Show, Electric, Luxury

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid5 Concept

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Chinese will get their very own plug-in hybrid BMW at next month’s Shanghai Motor Show when BMW debuts the 2011 5 Series New Energy Vehicle. According to BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer, the car – based on the long-wheelbase 5 Series – is aimed specifically at the Chinese market.

There wasn’t much else to be had from BMW about the New Energy Vehicle, except that it probably won’t hit North American shores. It may, however, loan some of its technology to the ActiveHybrid 5, which BMW showed off as a concept last year. So far, we’re still waiting on the production version of that car, which uses a more traditional gasoline-electric hybrid set up.

Gallery: Geneva 2010: BMW 5 Series Active Hybrid Concept

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Motor Authority]

BMW confirms New Energy Vehicle, an electric 5 Series for China originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Mar 2011 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi confirms diesel A4, A6, A8, Q5 for U.S., first e-tron vehicle expected in 2013

Filed under: Sedan, Crossover, Audi, Diesel

Audi A3 TDI

Audi’s clean diesel initiative here in the United States started with the A3 TDI hatchback and Q7 TDI crossover, but in the coming years, we can expect the vast majority of the company’s volume models to offer oil-burning powerplants. This isn’t the first time the German automaker has spoke of expanding its diesel lineup here in the U.S., but during a press conference this morning, Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen outlined exactly what we can expect to see over the next 24 to 30 months.

The first new implementations of TDI clean diesel will be in the A6 and A8 sedans, as well as the Q5 crossover. All three of these models are expected to have hybrid variants, as well, meaning customers will have a full range of powertrain options in the coming years.

As for the A4 – Audi’s highest-volume model – TDI power is still in the cards for U.S. consumption. Instead of offering a diesel engine in the current model, Audi will be waiting until the next-generation car arrives. The all-new A4 is expected to launch in 2015, or possibly even 2014.

Finally, de Nysschen stated that Audi’s first electric vehicle is expected to arrive in the U.S. by early 2013. The automaker’s e-tron EV technology has been displayed multiple times over the past few years, and while it’s unclear exactly what sort of electric vehicle will arrive in the U.S., our bet is on something R8-based to rival BMW’s new EfficientDynamics i8 sports car.

[Image: Drew Phillips/AOL]

Audi confirms diesel A4, A6, A8, Q5 for U.S., first e-tron vehicle expected in 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Mar 2011 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Jeep confirms B-segment SUV

Filed under: Geneva Motor Show, Etc., Crossover, Hatchback, Jeep, Rumormill

Jeep

According to Autocar, Jeep CEO Mike Manley has confirmed that his company is working on a new B-segment SUV. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Manley said that there’s room in the small SUV market for an offering from Jeep, and that the vehicle should touch down in 2013. If that’s the case, odds are high that the company will turn to Fiat for the pint-sized SUV’s bones. That may mean that Americans will finally be able to sink their teeth into the Grande Punto, even if the vehicle does wear significantly different sheet metal.

Jeep may also make use of Fiat drivetrains for the project. European buyers will likely be able to enjoy the Italian automaker’s 1.3-liter and 1.6-liter diesel mills while Americans are more apt to see a 1.4-liter Multiair gasoline four-pot under the hood. All three of those lumps are typically associated with a front-wheel-drive transaxle, though Manley said that four-wheel drive will make an appearance on top-end models.

[Source: Autocar | Image: Zach Bowman/AOL]

Report: Jeep confirms B-segment SUV originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 11:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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