Official: Honda Factory Performance pack now available for Accord V6 Coupe

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Honda

2013 Honda Accord HFP - front three-quarter view, blue

When the Honda Factory Performance package debuted for the 2013 Honda Accord at SEMA last year, we were told it would come as optional fitment for both the four-cylinder and V6 Accords. Now that Honda has put it on sale, however, it’s only for the V6, at least for now.

The upgraded coupe will be limited to just 500 copies, and it will be known by its 15-millimeter-lower ride height thanks to a sport suspension, exclusive 19-inch wheels on summer tires, ground effects all around the car and HFP badging. Interior updates will be limited to red illumination and HFP floormats.

Honda says the package will cost $4,620 – a $30 drop from the price announced at SEMA – not including installation, and it come with a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty if you have it put on when buying the car new. The press release below can tell you more.

Continue reading Honda Factory Performance pack now available for Accord V6 Coupe

Honda Factory Performance pack now available for Accord V6 Coupe originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla Model S battery swap takes just 90 seconds, will track your old battery pack

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors

tesla model s

We’ll link to this 2009 post up front, just to make sure everyone’s clear that the fact that a Tesla EV can, indeed, do battery swaps is old news. Yes, four years ago, we learned the all-electric Model S was designed with battery swaps in mind. Or, as Tesla CEO said tonight, “We designed Model S from the beginning to be capable of swapping out the battery pack faster than you can fill a gas tank.” Are we clear? Good.

Still, last night’s first public demonstration of such a swap – which took place at the Tesla Design Studio in Los Angeles and involved two Model S EVs getting fresh packs before a gas car at “LA’s fastest gas station” filled up its tank with gasoline – represents a big new step in the evolving electric vehicle landscape. With the recent departure of Better Place, no one could blame you if you thought the only reasonable way to travel long-distance in an electric vehicle was to use fast charging (where there are three competing standards: CHAdeMO, SAE Combo and Tesla’s own free Supercharger network). But now Tesla has surprised us all with an official announcement about the Model S battery swap. Tesla has been hinting about the battery swap system for weeks now (1, 2), and here’s what we learned tonight.

Musk framed the choice to Supercharge or swap as one between “free or fast.” While Supercharging costs a Model S driver nothing, getting a new, fully charged battery pack will cost around the same as about 15 gallons of gas (so, let’s say around $60). Later, you can get your old pack back (again, fully charged and for another $60 fee) or you can pay an undetermined fee and keep the pack. Forbes says there will be a warranty available on the replacement pack, depending on its condition.

The pack swap stations, which cost around half-a-million dollars to build, will be installed next to Supercharger locations and will be available in busy Tesla areas, like the I5 corridor in California and between Boston and Washington, DC.

We’ll have more information later today.

Tesla Model S battery swap takes just 90 seconds, will track your old battery pack originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 21 Jun 2013 02:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Nissan

2013 nissan leaf

Perhaps this is where some of that excess battery manufacturing capacity in Smyrna, TN will be used. Nissan announced a new battery replacement program for the all-electric Leaf today at a cost of “approximately $100 per month.” The offer is in addition to the standard Leaf battery warranty that already covers the battery for against defects for eight years or 100,000 miles (and was upgraded late last year to cover capacity loss for five years or 60,000 miles).

Even after the warranty ends, a Nissan Leaf owner can sign up for the battery replacement program.

Here’s how it works. At any time, like when the warranty is about to end – so, at 4 years, 11 months or 59,999 miles – or even after the warranty ends, a Nissan Leaf owner can sign up for the battery replacement program. At that point, you start paying $100 a month (or whatever the final cost will be) and immediately get a new battery pack that has a full 12 bars of capacity.

Nissan’s senior manager of corporate communications, Brian Brockman, told AutoblogGreen that “Owners can opt in at any time. When they opt into the program, they will receive a new battery pack with the latest available technology that is compatible with their vehicle. Then, Nissan provides assurance that the replacement pack will maintain 9 bars or more capacity for the time that they own their car and make monthly payments. If their battery drops below 9 bars, we will repair or replace the battery pack.”

So, basically, the new program provides a reasonably priced piece of mind to Leaf owners. On top of that, anyone with an older Leaf who wants to take advantage of newer technology (as long as it’s compatible) can get a newer pack using this program. So, if you buy a used 2012 Leaf today but want a 2015 battery pack in a few years (should it fit in the car) you can get one for $100 a month. This cost is transferable to the new owner if you later sell the car.

Which brings up the questions about what happens If you stop paying after, say, six months. Brockman said the situation would be similar to what happens to anyone who stops paying their car loan and Nissan is currently trying to determine “if there is an end point” to the payments. We’ll know even more when Nissan releases more information “later this year,” including how the program will work outside the US, and there are also more details below.

Continue reading Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time

Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cadillac ATS-V to pack twin-turbo V6 power

Filed under: Sedan, Cadillac, Rumormill

Cadillac ATS spy shots

Cadillac ATS spy shots – Click above for high res-image gallery

When we heard Cadillac was mulling up a V-Series variant of the upcoming ATS, we were really hoping for LSA V8 power. But if Car and Driver sources are correct, we may not be so lucky. Those sources claim the upcoming entry-level performance Caddy will boast a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with around 380 horsepower. That should be more than enough juice to push the performance ATS to 60 in under five seconds, while also saving a bit of fuel compared to a supercharged V8.

Cadillac is targeting the BMW M3 with its new ATS-V, and the folks in Munich have already confirmed that the next-gen M car will also have turbocharged, six-cylinder power.

C/D opines that an uber-ATS could also be in the works, LSA power and all. While far from a sure thing, a supercharged V8-packing ATS would no doubt serve notice to the world of entry lux models that Team Cadillac is playing to win. Still, a twin-turbo V6 ATS could still be an ass-kicking marvel of considerable proportions. 380 horsepower could indeed be an underestimation, in part since no V variant has ever featured less than 400 horsepower. We’d further add that any Cadillac V-Series model should be able to best a $28,000 Mustang GT, but that’s just our opinion.

Cadillac ATS-V to pack twin-turbo V6 power originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 May 2011 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda CR-Z Mugen show car to pack 197 horsepower for Goodwood debut

Filed under: Concept Cars, Hybrid, Performance, Hatchback, Honda, Misc. Auto Shows, UK

Mugen Honda CR-Z sketch

Honda CR-Z Mugen – Click above for high-res image gallery

Call it anticipation or call it wishful thinking, but reports of a hotter version of the Honda CR-Z have been circulating pretty much ever since the hybrid hatchback hit the market. The CR-Z may be sportier than most hybrids, but when the faithful were expecting a spiritual successor to the iconic CRX with an added jolt of electricity, many were left disappointed.

Along those lines, we have good news, and we have bad news. The good news is that some new details on the hotly anticipated Mugen version of the CR-Z have dropped. The bad news is that it’s still strictly a one-off show car, at least for the time being.

Honda CR-Z Mugen engineThe concept car will be revealed in July at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. And when it is, it won’t be turbocharged as earlier speculated, but it will be supercharged. With the added benefit of forced induction, the output from the 1.5-liter i-VTEC four that forms the internal combustion part of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system will be increased by 50 percent, and when coupled with the electric component will serve up 200 metric horsepower (197 on our scale) and 181 pound-feet of torque.

To go with the added power, the pseudo-works Honda tuner is also fitting adjustable dampers, a wider track, upgraded brakes and rolling stock, an enhanced aero kit and a weight-reduction regimen. Although Mugen insists it holds no plans for producing its breathed-on hybrid, there’s no telling what sufficient demand might yield. Follow the jump for the press release and check out the two engine shots released to join the renderings released previously in the gallery below.

Gallery: Mugen Honda CR-Z Sketches

Mugen Honda CR-Z SketchMugen Honda CR-Z Sketch

Continue reading Honda CR-Z Mugen show car to pack 197 horsepower for Goodwood debut

Honda CR-Z Mugen show car to pack 197 horsepower for Goodwood debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 May 2011 19:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ferrari’s next-gen 599 to pack “at least” 700 horsepower

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Ferrari

Ferrari 599 GTO

Ferrari 599 GTO – Click above for high-res image gallery

With the new FF already released, the focus at Ferrari is reportedly turning to a successor for the 599 GTB Fiorano, which, according to various sources, will pack “at least” 700 horsepower – the magic number achieved by arch-rival Lamborghini’s new Aventador.

The engine is expected to form the latest stage in the evolution of the V12 that powers the 599 GTB at 612 hp, upped to 661 hp for the 599 GTO and has produced as much as 850 horses in the FXX Evoluzione. With direct injection, a version of the same engine produces 651 hp in the FF – the same output as the Enzo for which the engine was originally designed – and a good 120 more horses than the 612 Scaglietti it replaces.

A lighter aluminum chassis is likely to further improve performance, but don’t expect the all-wheel-drive system from the FF to drive the 599’s successor too. While a future version could foreseeably adopt the system, reports indicate the car will (at least initially) be rear-wheel drive only, but the replacement for the California could incorporate all-wheel drive like its big brother.

Gallery: Ferrari 599 GTO

[Source: Autocar]

Report: Ferrari’s next-gen 599 to pack “at least” 700 horsepower originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GTI35.com celebrates Volkswagen hot hatch’s anniversary with special tuner pack

Filed under: Aftermarket, Performance, Hatchback, Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf GTI35.com

Volkswagen Golf GTI35.com – Click above for high-res image gallery

It’s not unusual for an automaker to roll out a special anniversary model when the brand or a specific model celebrates a milestone. This Volkswagen doesn’t come from Wolfsburg itself, though. Instead, an independent outfit bent on marking the 35th birthday of the Volkswagen Golf GTI is behind the effort.

Partnering with German tuning house Wunschel Sport, the website GTI35.com has outfitted the hopped-up Golf with a 50-horse boost to 260 hp, a body kit, lowered suspension, and 19-inch OZ Quaranta wheels on low-profile rubber. The result is a claimed half-second off the 0-100 km/h (62mph) sprint, now down to 6.4 seconds (as equipped with the DSG) and a top speed of 255 km/h (158 mph).

The titanium-colored aftermarket special also wears decals emulating a racing number, which is repeated on the keychain, parking sign and t-shirt that come along with the €32,800 package, which is also available as individual components. Follow the jump for the press release and check out the high-resolution images in the gallery below.

Gallery: Volkswagen Golf GTI35.com

[Source: GTI35.com]

Continue reading GTI35.com celebrates Volkswagen hot hatch’s anniversary with special tuner pack

GTI35.com celebrates Volkswagen hot hatch’s anniversary with special tuner pack originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Mar 2011 12:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevy leads this year’s pack of Super Bowl car commercials

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Chevrolet, GM

Chevrolet Camaro Super Bowl commercial

You don’t mess with the Bumblebee – Click above to watch the video after the break

General Motors is back and back big in this year’s Super Bowl. The automaker will have eight 30-second ads in and around the game, including the pre-game show.

“We’re looking to win the day,” says Chevy marketing director Chris Perry

GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick, who came to GM in April 2010 from Hyundai, with a short six-week stint at Nissan in between, is big on big media venues. He likes the Super Bowl, Academy Awards, Olympics, Presidential debates and the like.

Don’t look for big yucks, though, which is a mainstay of Super Bowl ad themes. All of the ads will be for Chevrolet, with ads by San Francisco ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which launched the “Chevy Runs Deep” campaign last fall.

Ewanick told the agency to focus on telling stories that convey information and product benefits about Chevy’s newest and most important vehicles – the Volt, Cruze and Silverado pickup. There are two ads running in pre-game, five within the game and one during the post game show.

“We’re looking to win the day,” said Chevy marketing director Chris Perry. Among auto marketers, Chevy will be competing against Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW, Kia and Chrysler. Toyota, Honda and Ford, which have bought time in the past, are sitting this year out.

Continue reading…

Continue reading Chevy leads this year’s pack of Super Bowl car commercials

Chevy leads this year’s pack of Super Bowl car commercials originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Feb 2011 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: BMW 1 Series M Coupe to pack 451 hp?!

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, BMW, Rumormill

BMW Manifest

The rumor furnaces are cooking at full tilt when it comes to what will be lurking under the hood of the upcoming BMW 1 Series M Coupe. The sleuths at 1addicts.com have managed to lay their hands on a clandestine manifest that supposedly outlines all of the new models set to flow forth the Bavarian automaker. Nestled among the more common 1 Series metal is a vehicle that appears to be code named “1 M Pyrat” that will supposedly pack a 340 horsepower N54 engine in European trim. That’ll send your eyebrows to your hairline, sure, but it’s not nearly as shocking as the U.S.-spec model just a bit further down the list.

According to the enthusiast site, BMW is planning a 451 horsepower version of the 1 Series M Coupe just for American consumption. Now, we hate to the little black rain cloud that rains on everyone’s parade, but this seems more than a little unlikely. After all, the big daddy M3 rolls with 414 horsepower right now, and even if BMW is planning a substantial bump in power in the near future, it seems unlikely that the baby 1 would be given the chops to pass its bigger brother.

Still, it doesn’t hurt us one bit to dream this little dream until BMW says otherwise. Head over to 1addicts to have a closer look at the manifest.

Gallery: BMW 1M Coupe teasers

[Source: 1addicts]

Rumormill: BMW 1 Series M Coupe to pack 451 hp?! originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Nov 2010 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Leave a Facebook comment, win a Top Gear prize pack: Last Chance!

Is your DVR set? Are you inviting people over? What plans do you have to watch the premier of Top Gear USA tomorrow (10PM EST/9C on the HISTORY Channel)? While you’re thinking about it, why don’t you spread the word about our last Top Gear prize pack to give away and enter yourself. The winner will receive a prize pack worth $200 that includes a Top Gear-branded remote-controlled car, Top Gear-branded Auto Roadside Kit and History Channel fleece.

In order to enter, simply “Like” the Autoblog Facebook page (if you already have, thanks), then check the FB page in a few minutes for this post to appear on our Wall (it’s live now!). Once it’s live, leave a comment on that Facebook post (here’s the link again) to enter the giveaway. Feel free to “Like” the post itself so your Facebook friends can see the giveaway, and remember to allow direct messages in your Facebook privacy settings. So no one gets confused, we’ve turned off commenting on this post since only a comment on the Facebook post will earn you an entry.

To enter giveaway #3:

  • “Like” the Autoblog Facebook page. Leave a comment on the Facebook entry titled “Leave a Facebook comment, win a Top Gear prize pack: Last Chance!”
  • You must be 18 years or older and a resident of the U.S. only.
  • Limit 1 entry per person.
  • The entry period ends at 2:30PM ET on Sunday, November 21.
  • At that time, we’ll select 1 winner from the eligible commenters to receive a Top Gear USA prize pack valued at $200 that includes a Top Gear-branded remote-controlled car, Top Gear-branded Auto Roadside Kit and History Channel fleece.
  • Make sure your Facebook privacy settings allow for direct messages to receive notification in the event you win.
  • Standard giveaway rules apply for everything else.

Leave a Facebook comment, win a Top Gear prize pack: Last Chance! originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Nov 2010 14:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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