Rumormill: Chevy Trailblazer headed for US in 2014?

Filed under: SUV, Chevrolet, Rumormill

After killing off the previous Chevrolet Trailblazer back in 2009, General Motors continues to sell a new-for-2013 version of its midsize, body-on-frame SUV in foreign markets including Thailand and Brazil. Using an unnamed source, Edmunds is reporting that GM is looking at bringing this second-generation Trailblazer to the US, although an official statement from the automaker suggests otherwise, a stance that echoes what the company said when it revealed the truck back in 2012.

The article states that the current Trailblazer could go on sale here as early as next year, retaining its seven-passenger, rear-wheel-drive layout, but a Chevrolet spokesperson quoted in the story maintains that there are “no plans” to add another utility vehicle. If added to the lineup, the Trailblazer would give Chevy five crossovers and SUVs. One aspect that could make it an easier decision for GM is the fact that the Trailblazer is built on the same platform as the next-gen Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, models that will be built in the US. Only time will tell if GM plans to bring its global Trailblazer to our market, but with as many car-based CUVs as there are these days, the idea of another rugged SUV sounds good to us.

Chevy Trailblazer headed for US in 2014? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Aug 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Is the Subaru BRZ STI being teased really only a tS version?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Scion, Subaru, Toyota, Rumormill

Subaru BRZ teaser depicting either a tS or STI model

Teaser images of a purported Subaru BRZ STI were uncovered last night and sent the internet into a collective state of hysterics. That’s not hugely surprising, though, considering the reverence that the BRZ, along with its fraternal twins, the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86, have garnered from the automotive media. The sole sticking point, really, has been its mere 200 horsepower. People have been chomping at the bit over a higher output version of the sublime rear driver.

Those same people may be in for a disappointment, though. See, the BRZ STI that was teased last night might not be a real STI. Instead, it’s looking like it might be a BRZ tS. According to 7Tune.com, the timing of the photos posted on Subaru’s website lined up with Subaru’s 86 Festival at Fuji Speedway, where the Subaru BRZ tS debuted. Despite wearing STI badges, the tS isn’t the full-tilt STI model we’ve been hoping for. Instead, you can think of the relationship between tS models and STI models as sort of like the difference between a BMW 3 Series M Sport and a BMW M3.

Certainly, the speccing of the tS supports that idea. The engine of the BRZ remains untouched in both tS models, which is one of the primary things we expect a full-bore STI to address. A number of interior and exterior styling items have been added, along with Bilstein suspension pieces and six-pot Brembo brakes. The tS sports two different trim levels, with the higher end using Recaro seats, black alloy wheels, and a carbon-fiber rear spoiler. The base tS features silver wheels, standard seats, and all the same suspension and brake upgrades. Adding fuel to the fire that these are not the true STI models is the limited production run – Subaru will only build 750 tS cars.

Still, there’s hope that we’ll eventually see a BRZ STI, with rumors to support that argument. The 2013-2014 auto show season will ultimately tell the tale.

Is the Subaru BRZ STI being teased really only a tS version? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Porsche forum claims eco-friendly 911 Blu coming to Frankfurt

Filed under: Porsche, Rumormill

2014 Porsche 911 Carrera Blu Edition front three-quarter

The fiftieth anniversary of the Porsche 911 has been a nearly year-long affair, with unique tributes and even a special anniversary edition with plenty of retro throwbacks. The party is expected to continue through the end of 2013, and if one 911 enthusiast forum is right, we’ll see yet another special edition model near the anniversary of the original car’s September 1963 debut, when it arrives at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show.

It’s called the 911 Blu, and where the 911 50 Years Edition was more expensive than a 911 Carrera S hardtop, the Blu would be an entry level special edition. That’s right, a limited run car that actually slots in at the very bottom of the 911 range. According to Porsche forum 911UK.com, the new car would be priced at 74,600 euros ($98,718 at today’s rates) or 64,750 pounds. That undercuts the price of a base 911 in Germany by nearly 16,000 euros and in the UK by nearly 8700 pounds (although to be fair, it’s roughly identical to the price of a base 911 C2S in the US).

This 911 will reportedly feature a detuned flat-six with 300 horsepower and 211 pound-feet of torque.

This 911 will reportedly feature a detuned flat-six with 300 horsepower and 211 pound-feet of torque, while cylinder deactivation and active grille shutters should help with economy. Stop-start technology will be standard, along with Porsche’s new Regeneration System. (There’s no explanation of what this system is, by the way.) The wheels will be 18-inchers, and will use hollow spokes for less weight. Porsche’s Active Suspension Management will be an optional item rather than standard. Finally, the Blu is reportedly a hardtop convertible.

If you’re like us, you’re mainlining salt by this point. There are so many things about this proposed special edition that don’t make sense that it’s difficult to cover them all here. And that’s without us even mentioning the woeful Riviera Blue/Guards Red exterior seen above. (No, we aren’t kidding.)

First and foremost, there’s been nothing from Porsche about this car. Not a peep, not a spy shot, not so much as a hint that something special was coming to Frankfurt. The oft-rumored budget 911 is already available – it’s called the Cayman S. There’s even a convertible version called the Boxster S. The reported run to 62 takes 5.4 seconds in the PDK-only car, meaning you will get trampled by most other sports cars that cost half as much as this 911. Who, but the most diehard 911 fanatic, is going to spend this kind of money on a car that will be slower and more expensive than a Cayman S? Also, if Porsche had developed some kind of “revolutionary” hardtop for the 911, why not show it on one of the more robust Carrera models? We could go on.

According to the forum, the 911 Blu will be limited to 911 units (cute), with 300 earmarked for the US market. We’ll see if any of this is true when we attend the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

Porsche forum claims eco-friendly 911 Blu coming to Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo to hit 60 mph in 2 seconds?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Nissan, Rumormill

Here’s your daily dose of incredulity – AutoExpress is reporting the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo will hit 60 miles per hour in two seconds. Okay. The report comes from an unnamed source that AE spoke with at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and would mean that the GT-R Nismo, a car that will likely sit below $150,000, will be able to outsprint (over short distances) a 1200-horsepower, $2.58-million Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

Citing a more potent version of the GT-R’s twin-turbocharged V-6 along with a healthy drop in weight, AutoExpress says that the performance is the result of the same group that helped develop the Juke Nismo, Williams Advanced Engineering. An unnamed engineer for Williams (it’s not made clear if this is the same source from Goodwood) notes that there are improvements to be had “even with a car like the GT-R.”

As exciting as the GT-R Nismo is going to be, we’re having a hard time accepting that it will be able to hit 60 in two seconds flat, at least on street tires. What do you think? Have your say in Comments.

2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo to hit 60 mph in 2 seconds? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Range Rover Sport and Evoque rumored to get RS versions

Filed under: Performance, SUV, Land Rover, Rumormill, Luxury, Off-Road

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

A report in Autocar claims that Jaguar’s RS badge and its herd of extra horsepower is walking across the aisle to the Land Rover stable. Autocar sources say the Range Rover Sport and Evoque will get RS designations, the supercharged V8 in the Sport RS getting cranked up to “at least” 542 horsepower, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost in the Evoque RS getting 300.

The magazine has spy shots of an extra potent Sport testing at the Nürburgring, slight changes to the lower parts of the SUV giving it away as a ringer. Supposedly, with the same horsepower (or more) than the RS cars in the Jaguar fold, Land Rover wants it to get from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds; that would make it just 0.1 second shy of the same run in a Jaguar XJR. The Evoque RS is said to be arriving first, perhaps this year, with the Range Rover Sport RS coming next year.

Range Rover Sport and Evoque rumored to get RS versions originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: First 1K next-gen Mustangs to carry 2014 1/2 model year?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Ford, Rumormill

Next-gen Ford Mustang spy shots - profile view, camouflaged

A new report from Mustangs Daily, citing insider sources at Ford, tells us that the Blue Oval will produce 1,000 next-generation Mustangs with the model year designation of 2014 ½, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the storied marque. The commemorative half-year designation is a rumor that’s been swirling in Mustang forums for quite some time now, and seems more plausible than ever with this most recent report. Certainly it’s not far-fetched to believe that Ford will want to make a big deal of the golden anniversary for its most-loved model.

The story (compiled by Drew Phillips, who runs the aforementioned Mustang site when he’s not directing the photography on these pages) goes on to say that the limited-run cars will be the first built on the new Mustang platform internally known as S550 (and spied testing in the attached gallery). Each car is said to carry a “special” VIN and build number, though no performance upgrades versus the 2015 cars to follow are in the works. A collector’s dream then, rather than a weekend racer’s.

First 1K next-gen Mustangs to carry 2014 1/2 model year? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Jul 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Ferrari 458 Scuderia to be unveiled in Frankfurt?

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Motorsports, Coupe, Performance, Ferrari, Rumormill, Racing

We’re heavy on the speculative side with this, but Auto Express is saying that “Rumours of Ferrari 458 Scuderia emerge, with possible debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.” To be clear, that’s the possible debut of a car that is still only a rumor, and we’re not sure it will be called “Scuderia,” either – remember, the track-day 360 was the Challenge Stradale. Admittedly, the rumor of its existence is strong and there is plenty of precedent: Ferrari has introduced some model or variant of its mid-engined V8 sports car at the last three Frankfurt Motor Shows.

Car and Driver went into a great deal of indepth speculation about the coming, track-focused 458 in a piece back in May, and also predicted it would be shown first in Frankfurt. According to C/D we can expect “roughly 600” horsepower and 9,300-rpm redline – up 300 rpm from standard – a faster shifting seven-speed gearbox, a dry weight under 2,900 pounds thanks to “exotic compound materials” and a “slightly stripped interior,” less exhaust silencing, uprated carbon-ceramic brakes and active aerodynamics on the rear diffuser.

As far as rumors go this one sounds thoroughly lovely. We hope to see it in made metal in Frankfurt in two months, you can enjoy a detailed gallery of the 563-horsepower Ferrari 458 Challenge above for now.

Ferrari 458 Scuderia to be unveiled in Frankfurt? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Next Mazdaspeed3 could go naturally aspirated?

Filed under: Performance, Hatchback, Mazda, Rumormill

Mazdaspeed3 rendering

The new Mazda3 is a stunner, both aesthetically and from a driving perspective. As with all good things, though, there’s always room for improvement. That’s where the wizards from Mazdaspeed come in. Mazda’s in-house tuner has been tweaking and turbocharging the five-door Mazda3 since 2007, with impressive results.

We’ve shown you renderings of what the third-generation Mazdaspeed3 could look like, and for the most part your response was quite positive. Now, AutoExpress has come out with details of just what might be under that long hood. According to our friends across the pond, the new Mazda3 MPS (that’s what the Speed3 is called in Her Majesty’s auto industry) will be arriving with a new, high-revving, naturally aspirated engine. Wait, what?

Yes, if the rumors are to be believed, the next Mazdaspeed3 will ditch its turbocharger. According to an anonymous engineer, the new MS3 will arrive in December (this is for the UK market, mind you) with a 200-horsepower, naturally aspirated engine. The 2.0-liter mill is based on the Skyactiv engine in the new 3, and should be capable of a sub-seven-second run to 62 miles per hour.

Now, we strongly encourage you to take these rumors with a grain of salt. There are a lot of things that don’t add up here. With 200 horsepower, the new Speed3 would be down over 50 horsepower on the original model. It’d also be easily outgunned by the competition from Ford, Subaru, and Volkswagen. And what about torque? The only way we can see a 200-horsepower Mazdaspeed3 working is if it weight is dramatically reduced. Considering weight savings is a tenet of Mazda’s Skyactiv philosophy, that seems like a possibility.

We’re still a long way from the new Mazdaspeed3’s debut, and a lot can change between now and then. What do you think – does a Mazdaspeed3 work without a turbo? Would you buy one with the more powerful alternatives available? Let us know in the comments.

Next Mazdaspeed3 could go naturally aspirated? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Jul 2013 17:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Jaguar working on 700-hp, 200-mph hybrid F-Type?

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, Jaguar, Rumormill

2013 Jaguar F-Type - front three-quarter view

After first driving the 2014 Jaguar F-Type in Spain this spring, we came away mighty impressed. Of course, if you had to pin us down for a top three wish list of what improvements we’d like to see, we’d probably hit you with something like: 1) Less weight. 2) Less weight and 3) Less weight. Oh, and if we’re feeling presumptuous, maybe some additional transmission choices.

Despite leveraging aluminum for the body and chassis, this Jaguar is still a bit of a fat cat compared to its rival models from Porsche. We never felt like it was lacking for power in any of its three supercharged trims, least of them the 495-horsepower V8 S, which is a genuine madman. We knew the variants would come, though – a quick look at the rest of Jag’s lineup provides all the evidence you need of that. And so we’re not surprised to see word of a hyper-powered F-Type on the horizon, an R-S version. What is surprising, however, is a new report that put its motivation at over 700 horsepower and its top speed at 200+ mph. Us? We’re just hoping the latter figure comes at least partially as a result of a hardcore diet.

This F-Type R-S news comes according to the rumormongers at AutoExpress, who expect the high-power Brit to come in coupe form, at least initially. We still haven’t seen the debut of the fixed-head F, but plenty of spy shots suggest its arrival is imminent. Wildly, AE posits that Jag won’t look for more displacement to gain power, it will instead radically downsize by using a 1.6-liter turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder and an array of electric motors. If that sounds familiar, that’s because AE suggests the high-tech powertrain will be scavenged from the defunct C-X75 supercar program (interestingly, earlier reports suggested this combination would only deliver about 500 horsepower).

AutoExpress says we’re in for a bit of a wait before the F-Type R-S checks in, likely 2016 or later. Intriguing as it all sounds, we won’t exactly be holding our breath…

Jaguar working on 700-hp, 200-mph hybrid F-Type? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Jun 2013 17:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Lexus working on even hotter LFA II?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Lexus, Rumormill

Lexus LFA Nurburgring package

Lexus LFA Nürburgring package – Click above for high-res image gallery

Even amidst the disastrous situation on their island nation, the Japanese are showing no signs of slowing down. At least, not when it comes to its supercars. Honda was recently reported to be forging ahead with on-again, off-again plans to resurrect its NSX supercar, Nissan is hard at work on the new GT-R and now Toyota is said to be working on a new version of the Lexus LFA.

While the handle being used in the interim might suggest a completely new successor, rumor has it that an LFA II is being developed as a variant of the existing model. Following in the footsteps of the above-pictured Nürburgring package, Japan’s Best Car says that the so-called LFA II is expected to push the performance envelope even further. Just what that will entail – or for that matter, if it will come to fruition at all – remains to be seen, but if there’s any truth to the reports, we certainly applaud the company’s spirit.

Lexus working on even hotter LFA II? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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