The Nissan GTR is a bit of an enigma. It’s one of the rare few that satisfies more than one personality traits. It’s nearly untouchable at the Ring, only beat by the million dollar Porsche 918 when counting series production vehicles.
The highly anticipated Ford Focus RS hot hatch makes it’s North American public debut here at the New York International Auto Show, and it’s a stunner in person. 315 horsepower, torque vectoring AWD, and Brembo brakes will guarantee tons of excitement in this segment with the likes of the Subaru STi and VW Golf R.
The Focus RS, powered by a 2.3L Ecoboost engine, manages it’s torque through a clever AWD system that’s unique to the car. Multiple drive modes defines how the torque is managed to each wheel. A maximum rear torque split of 70% gives the Focus RS a rear wheel drive handling bias. The torque vectoring computers perform calculations 100 times per second, and pre-emptively sends torque to the outer rear wheel to aid in turn-in, greatly reducing understeer, an arch nemesis in normal AWD applications. The party trick here is the drift mode, where the traction control and torque vectoring systems allows the driver to initiate and hold high rear slip angle drifts without intervention. Truly awesome.
At the track, the Focus RS aims to outpace everything in it’s class. Stiffer springs, and 2 mode dampers lets the driver tweak the setup to individual demands required at varying race tracks. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are standard, and for the ultimate in grip, Michelin Pilot Cup 2 R compound tires can be spec’d out on the order sheet. The only thing missing is a dual clutch transmission, as the Focus RS is only available in a six-speed transmission.
A car for the 1% of the 1%. Only 24 will be built. They cost $2.3 Million USD.
Here’s what you need to know.
FIA certified for racing.
Lots of Carbon
6-speed sequential gearbox
Driver controlled ABS and traction control
Each owner is offered an opportunity to learn how to race cars. The programme will use high-end AM cars such as the One-77 and the GT4 race car. The racing programme is only intended to have the Vulcan race other Vulcans.
The show car had no interior, so I don’t know if there is a seat in the car for Kato.
I do a fair bit of travelling, so I’ve spent a lot of time with the Chevy Malibu, the de facto mid sized “standard” rental car. It’s not the most exciting car out there to drive, nor is it the best looking, but it gets the job done. With the unveiling of the all new Malibu, I’ll feel a little more stylish the next time I’m in a rental.
The biggest difference with the updated car is the looks. Bringing modern design cues to a what was a really bland and dated design, the restyled shape brings the Malibu in line with the current Impala. The interior grows significantly thanks to the longer wheelbase, and rear leg room grows 1.3 inches, perfect for your travel companions. In car Wi-Fi, wireless charging, and USB ports for the rear seats ensure all your gadgets are ready to go when you hit your destination.
The crossover formerly known as the Infiniti EX, and now called the QX50 has received a facelift here at the 2015 New York Auto Show. However, despite it being the first facelift for the QX50 since its introduction as the EX35 before the nomenclature change this isn’t really a big change. Infiniti had launched a QX50 specifically for the Chinese market previously with a longer wheelbase and now it is being introduced to all markets as a facelifted model for 2016.
The 2016 QX50 gets a subtle makeover on the front and rear fascias and now looks closer to the Q50 sedan it is based on. The wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer an the overall length has grown by 4.5 inches. The result is an 8.3 cubic feet increase in interior space and passengers in the rear will be the main beneficiaries. Rear legroom grows by 4.3 inches and rear knee room grows by 3.9 inches. The QX50 has been raised by just under half an inch on the RWD models and 0.8 inches on the AWD models.
More pictures of the 2016 Infiniti QX50 after the break.
Kia has updated the Optima. It was shown here in New York today. Dimensionally bigger in every direction, it brings a challenge to the hotly contested mid-size market.
3 Engine choices. A 1.6L Turbo 4 that makes 178hp. A 2.4 GDI that makes 185hp and a 2.0L Turbo that pushes 247. The first engine comes mated to a 7-speed DCT (a first for Kia). The others come with a 6-speed auto. Luxury features abound and Kia gave the Optima better seats. A First for Kia is a large panoramic sunroof support structure made with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which helps reduce weight and lower the vehicle’s center of gravity.
No pricing information. Should go on sale in the last quarter of the year.
Today, Hyundai revealed an all-new version of its Tucson crossover at the New York Auto Show. The 2016 Tucson has been given a slew of small updates to update its look moving it a bit closer to its bigger brother, Santa Fe crossover. The A pillars are pushed back to create a longer hood line and a slight forward rake on the wheel arches give the new Tucson a bolder stance. The trapezoidal grille has been updated with the newer look found on the Santa Fe’s front end.
While its hard to tell in pictures, the new Tucson is slightly bigger than the outgoing version. The overall length has grown by 3 inches and the wheelbase has been increased by a couple inches offering an additional 5 cubic feet of space (nearly 20% increase). Great news if you plan on bringing that new big screen TV home. For the first time, Hyundai is offering optional 19″ wheels on the Tucson.
On the technology side, emergency breaking with edestrian detection, rearview camera, lane departure warning, and blind spot detection are all included and the new Tucson also features a hands-free smart powerlift gate, which they noted does not require a spare foot to operate (hah!). Other comfort and convenience features include a segment first ventilated front seats in addition to the heated front and rear seats. Up front, another first for the new Tucson are available LED headlights and daytime running lights. LEDs can also be found out back in the taillights and even the door handles are fitted with convenient proximity LED lighting
Under the hood is a standard 2.0L four cylinder that delivers an estimated 164 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. An optional 1.6L turbocharge four-cylinder bumps that up slightly to 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The turbo motor is mated to a segment-first dual clutch transmission. Peak torque on the 1.6L turbo motor hits early at 1500 rpm. Hyundai rolled out a pair of the new Tucson onto their stage and we shot a bunch of pictures of both so check it out after the break.
Many Honda fanboys were anticipating a Honda Civic Type-R unveiling today in New York but having covered many auto shows in the past, I knew not to have false hopes for vehicles especially when it comes to Honda. They were after all the company that first announced the HR-V by showing a picture of one on the screen and then followed up at the next show after that with Asimo and a motorized self balancing bar stool (haha, not really). Today, they actually brought a vehicle to unveil at their press conference and while it wasn’t the Civic Type-R it was still good news for Honda fans.
They revealed a new Civic Concept that previews what is to come from Honda for the 2016 model year. It had long been rumored that Honda would be expanding the market for the Civic that is available overseas. While Honda hasn’t confirmed that the “euro civic” is in fact coming to North America, they have confirmed that the Civic would now be exported to key markets around the world so we’re just going to assume that means the Civic will now be a global model and that the neutered North American Civic will be no longer. Honda is looking to boost production of their UK plant that churns out these Civic models and they won’t be able to do that without significantly expanding the market that these vehicles ship to. Many are also holding out on the possibility that this means the hot Type-R model will be available in North America.
Now before you get all excited, what you see here is still just a concept of what the next generation Civic coupe will look like when it does arrive here. That means the aggressive front and rear bumpers will be gone. That flattened center exhaust? Gone. Wraparound LED taillights? Gone. The LED matrix headlights? Probably gone. How else will they differentiate the Acura ILX? All this will be moot because the only thing anyone and everyone cares about is that the Civic Type-R is coming to North America! The next year will be an interesting one for Honda fans as Honda is now back in the hot hatch game in North America joining the likes of the GLA, Focus RS, and Golf R. We took a ton of pictures so check out the gallery after the break.
The Infiniti QX30 Concept was unveiled earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show and like other concept vehicles released lately, it is not too far from production. In fact Infiniti has said they plan to bring out the production version next year and as you can see in the photos there really isn’t much work to bring it to production specs. The body work will of course get toned down a bit but the wavy lines aren’t too aggressive as it is in my opinion. The front end on the concept is a bit busy and will likely be where we will see the most changes when the production version comes out. The over-sized air intakes on the lower front fascia will probably get smaller and be filled in with some sort of fog light.
Under the hood, the concept is packing a 2.0L turbocharged engine coupled with a 7-speed automatic transmission. The engine is supplied by Mercedes-Benz (right out of the B250) so it’ll likely be about 220 horsepower. It rides on a set of 21″ wheels which sit under a set of plastic fender flares on all four corners. If you’re thinking this is similar to something like an Audi Allroad, you couldn’t be more correct. Like the Allroad, the QX30 Concept is essentially a Q30 Concept with a bit more road clearance and wider plastic over-fenders.
As has become the new fashion for manufacturers lately, Mercedes released press photos and information about the M-Class facelift to the internet a week before it’s debut at the New York International Autoshow. My guess is that manufacturers are doing this to pre-empt inevitable leaks and disregarded embargoes of their new releases.
This facelift of the current M-Class allows Mercedes to rename their mid-size SUV into the recently announced change in the naming convention. It follows the latest design language that began with the refreshed E-class in 2013. Softer faces adorn most of the line.
I’ve been supporting McLaren in Formula One for as long as I can remember, cheering on the likes of Senna, Häkkinen, and Montoya in the glory days. Sure they’re dead last in F1 this year, and it’s been painful watching them struggle, but there’s nowhere to go but up at this point for the second oldest Formula One team on the grid. Their new road car division however, has been really hitting the marks with products that caters to Generation X’ers struggling through mid-life crisis with really deep pocket books. And today, with the unveiling of the McLaren 570S Coupé, the price of admission just got a little more affordable.
Targeting the upper sports car customers, McLaren has aggressively set the target in the $180,000 range, making the 570S by far the most attainable McLaren to date. First in the line of the newly minted McLaren Sports Series, the 570S brings race derived technology and unparalleled performance into this sports car segment held by the Porsche 911 Turbo, the Audi R8, and the now discontinued Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
What does McLaren bring to the table? The 570S features the only car in its class with a Carbon Fiber monocoque, dubbed the MonoCell II in McLaren speak. Derived from the 650S’s MonoCell, it weighs around 170lbs in the 570S, offers exceptional strength and stiffness, and brings the weight of the 570S down to around 2900lbs. The engine, another derivative from the 650S, pumps out 562hp (570PS, hence the name), giving the 570S a blistering 5.2lb/hp power to weight ratio. The combination results in a 0-100km/h time of 3.2 seconds, 0-200km/h blast in 9.5 seconds, and a top speed of 204mph in a mid-engine RWD package under $200k. Isn’t it great having big brother pay all the R&D bills?