Dodge updates Attitude for Mexico with latest Hyundai Accent, forgets badges *UPDATE

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Dodge, Hyundai

2012 Dodge Attitude

What you’re looking at is not the 2012 Hyundai Accent, it’s the 2012 Dodge Attitude. Yes, we see the Hyundai badge. No, we aren’t kidding.

Dodge has, for quite some time now, sold a rebadged version of the Hyundai Accent in Mexico under the Attitude moniker. (Hyundai, as an automaker, is otherwise absent from the Mexican market). And while the previous-generation Attitude was simply a rebadged version of the old Accent sedan, it appears that the 2012 model doesn’t even go that far.

We got our first glimpse at the U.S.-spec Accent at the 2011 New York Auto Show earlier this year, and while our market will benefit from the functionality of the five-door hatchback configuration, the Dodge Attitude will only be available as a sedan. A 1.4-liter gasoline engine is standard, with a 1.6-liter powerplant available as an option.

Dodge N100UPDATE: Looks like the Accent isn’t the only Hyundai vehicle being given the Pentastar treatment in Mexico. The Korean automaker’s Starex van (known as the iLoad and iMax – seriously – in Australia) also wears a Dodge nameplate in Mexico, though like the Attitude, the Hyundai badges have remained intact. The Dodge H100 is available in both cargo van and passenger van configurations. (Hat tip to owenrec!)

Dodge updates Attitude for Mexico with latest Hyundai Accent, forgets badges *UPDATE originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 May 2011 11:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Vilner updates Smart Fortwo [w/videos]

Filed under: Aftermarket, Europe, Videos, Hatchback, Smart

2011 Vilner Smart fortwo

2011 Vilner Smart Fortwo – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Smart Fortwo, despite all its trying, is a car that needs all the help it can get. True, a big part of the car’s problem is that it just doesn’t make very much sense for the American market. That said, it’s underpowered, uninspiring to drive, terrifying on the highway, and not particularly efficient, given its size. It also features one of the worst transmissions in motoring.

Enter Vilner, a Bulgarian custom shop that has tried with some success to make the car just a little more appealing. Built for a Bulgarian businessman, the Vilner Smart Fortwo employs a design scheme the company has dubbed “square style.”

Inside and outside the car gets a square motif, which translates nicely into a completely redone interior featuring quilted upholstery. Outside, the car gets loud, oversize orange wheels and serious amounts of chrome. While Vilner takes the styling of the Smart to a new, supercar-aping level, the go bits have been left alone. Despite the lack of power adders, Vilner’s efforts have gone a long way to making the Fortwo a bit more appealing. Read the full press release and check out two videos after the jump.

Continue reading Vilner updates Smart Fortwo [w/videos]

Vilner updates Smart Fortwo [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford Taurus Police Interceptor to hit streets with 2013 updates

Filed under: Sedan, Government/Legal, Work, Ford

2013 ford taurus

2013 Ford Taurus and 2012 Taurus Police Interceptor – Click either image for high-res gallery

2012 Ford Taurus Police InterceptorThe Ford Crown Victoria has been such a valuable asset to police agencies around the U.S. that some municipalities have gone as far as to order extras. The reason? The Crown Vic will be retired at the end of 2011, with a replacement coming in the form of the Taurus Police Interceptor. But with the new 2013 Taurus being shown at the New York Auto Show and Ford already having shown a version of the cruiser based on the 2011 model, which version will the cops get?

USA Today reports that Ford product boss Derrick Kuzak says the Taurus PI will in fact be based off the 2013 model, which includes LED taillights and new front and rear fascias. Beyond cosmetic upgrades, the 2013 Taurus will also receive a 27-horsepower boost from the 3.5-liter V6 (to 290 hp) and an EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbo that boasts highway fuel economy of 31 miles per gallon. The V6-powered EcoBoost Taurus SHO will continue to feature 365 hp.

Since the new Taurus PI will be a 2013 model, will it also offer all three powertrains? We’re thinking there might be a few police agencies that would be interested in a more fuel efficient cop car. A 2.0-liter EcoBoost model could save municipalities some bucks, but historically, most departments have shied away from the high-tech and smaller displacement in favor of the less complex and tried-and-true, so we’re not sure how well they’d fare in the marketplace. What are your thoughts? Have your say in Comments.

Gallery: 2013 Ford Taurus

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Gallery: 2012 Ford Police Interceptor

[Source: USA Today]

Report: Ford Taurus Police Interceptor to hit streets with 2013 updates originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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General Motors updates official statement about Chevrolet Volt in CT fire

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Government/Legal, Chevrolet, Electric

2011 Chevrolet Volt involved in Connecticut fire

While some have been quick to point fingers at the 2011 Chevrolet Volt involved in two separate incidents at the Barkhamsted, CT home of Storm and Dee Connors, General Motors has updated its earlier statement to improve the clarity of the situation. “While the Volt’s battery pack sustained damage,” says General Motors Global Electric Vehicle Executive Doug Parks, “it was not extensive enough or of the type that would suggest that it caused the fire.”

GM experts are working with fire officials in the small town in the Northwest corner of Connecticut to help determine the cause of the blaze that also destroyed a home-built Suzuki Samurai EV that Storm Connors had been chronicling on a blog. General Motors is confident that the engineering and systems in the Chevrolet Volt provide exceptional safety, and the vehicle’s involvement in this situation is one of circumstance, merely a damaged vehicle due to its parking spot, and not the root cause of the fire. Full statement posted after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]

Continue reading General Motors updates official statement about Chevrolet Volt in CT fire

General Motors updates official statement about Chevrolet Volt in CT fire originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 23:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Infiniti EX gets numerous updates, starts at $34,150*

Filed under: Wagon, Crossover, Hatchback, Infiniti, Luxury

2011 Infiniti EX

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

The biggest news for Infiniti’s 2011 model year lineup may be the all-new M sedan, QX56 SUV, G25 sedan and IPL G coupe, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the automaker’s portfolio sails into the new year unchanged. The smaller EX crossover/wagon thingie, for example, gets a host of new updates including a seven-speed automatic transmission, larger wheel choices and more standard technology.

Curiously, Infiniti is still offering the EX with its smaller 3.5-liter V6, even though the majority of its products now use the more powerful 3.7-liter mill. Still, with 297 horsepower on tap, the EX35 should continue to be a surprisingly engaging steer, and with a new seven-speed gearbox in place, fuel efficiency should be improved for 2011, especially in the all-wheel drive models.

From there, all EX models now come standard with 18-inch wheels (a 19-inch set is available with the Deluxe Touring Package), dual-zone automatic climate control and new exterior paint options including Arctic Blue (pictured). Other changes for 2011 include Active Blind Spot Warming being added to the EX’s technology package and a revised premium package that encompasses both the upgraded Bose audio system and around-view camera system.

The 2011 EX is making its way to dealerships as you read this, priced from $34,150 (*excluding destination fees). A top-end EX35 Journey AWD will set you back $37,750, drastically undercutting the price of BMW’s new (and admittedly larger) X3 xDrive35i that we recently tested. Follow the jump for the full list of 2011 EX changes in Infiniti’s press release.

Gallery: 2011 Infiniti EX

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[Source: Infiniti]

Continue reading 2011 Infiniti EX gets numerous updates, starts at $34,150*

2011 Infiniti EX gets numerous updates, starts at $34,150* originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Oct 2010 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: BMW 1 Series updates come into sharper focus

Filed under: Spy Photos, Coupe, Europe, BMW

2011 BMW 1-Series Spy Shots

2011 BMW 1 Series Coupe Spy Shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

Our special-ops spy photographers have managed to lay their lenses on the next BMW 1-Series Coupe, and from the looks of things, BMW won’t be putting the car under for any serious surgery for the 2011 model year. Instead, buyers can look forward to a raft of small updates to keep the design fresh. This prototype was spotted on public streets wearing camouflage over what we assume to be updated body componenets. Judging from the photos, the next 1er will feature a redesigned front fascia with newly sculpted air intakes set low to the ground.

The wee Bimmer will also enjoy new headlight and taillight designs, and while there may be a few interior updates along for the ride, we expect the drivetrain to remain largely unchanged for the majority of the lineup. That is unless of course we’re talking about 1 Series M Coupe, but that’s a different beast all together.

Gallery: 2011 BMW 1-Series Spy Shots

Spy Shots: BMW 1 Series updates come into sharper focus originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Oct 2010 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Suzuki quietly updates 2011 GSX-R600 and GSX-R750

Filed under: Suzuki, Motorcycle

2011 Suzuki GSX-R600

2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 – Click above for high-res image gallery

You’d be forgiven if you forgot all about the brand spankin’ new motorcycles brought into the States by Suzuki last year… because there weren’t any. Purse strings were pulled so tightly during the global economic collapse that the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer decided not to bring in any new models for 2010.

However, all of that is set to change for 2011, and the first major announcement from Suzuki are updates to its GSX-R600 and GSX-R750. Interestingly enough, the engines are all new but there isn’t actually any more horsepower than before – 123 horses from the 600 and 148 from the 750.

Instead of more peak power, Suzuki focused all of its efforts on reducing weight, lopping off four pounds from the motor, three pounds from the exhaust and another three pounds from the aluminum frame. Add it all up and Suzuki has cut about 20 pounds from each model, with the 600 coming in at 413 pounds wet and the 750 tipping the scales at 416 pounds.

Another notable feature new for 2011 are the brakes: 310mm fully-floating front brake discs and radial-mount, four-piston Brembo monoblock calipers. Styling closely mimics that of the range-topping GSX-R1000, featuring new vertically stacked headlamps; see for yourself in our high-res image gallery below. Pricing comes in at $11,599 for the 600 and $11,999 for the 750, and full details can be found after the break.

Gallery: 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600

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Gallery: 2011 Suzuki GSX-R750

2011 Suzuki GSX-R7502011 Suzuki GSX-R7502011 Suzuki GSX-R7502011 Suzuki GSX-R7502011 Suzuki GSX-R750

[Source: Suzuki]

Continue reading Suzuki quietly updates 2011 GSX-R600 and GSX-R750

Suzuki quietly updates 2011 GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Oct 2010 18:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mercedes-Benz updates Mbrace app with ‘Concierge’ service

Filed under: Technology, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

mercedes-benz mbraceMercedes-Benz and its partners at Hughes Telematics have released an updated version of its Mbrace app for the iPhone, and 2.0 brings along a new line of location-based services.

In addition to the usual array of safety and convenience features (locking and unlocking doors, finding the Benz in a parking lot, etc.), the app now includes Mercedes-Benz’ Concierge service which can pull down everything from driving directions and traffic updates to movie times and restaurant listings and then ports them directly into the navigation system. The Roadside Assistance program has also undergone a rework and Mbrace Plus subscribers can download it now from the App Store. Full details in the press blast below the fold.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]

Continue reading Mercedes-Benz updates Mbrace app with ‘Concierge’ service

Mercedes-Benz updates Mbrace app with ‘Concierge’ service originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 Sep 2010 08:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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