The Acura ILX has not been posting the best sales numbers and the near-luxury brand of Japanese carmaker Honda is not so pleased. In 2012, only 12,000 ILX were sold, clearly far from the 30,000 units set as the brand’s target. Acura is not so pleased and is determined to do something about it.
During an interview recently, the president of American Honda shared the reality of the dismal performance of their compact sedan in the market. Consumers have commented that they are looking for 2.4L engines and also automatic transmission but there are also buyers saying that they feel the lack of power for the midrange version and cannot find the real value of the vehicle.
The ILX is based on the Honda Civic and currently markets it with three powertain options including a 2.0-L gas engine that gives out 150 horses with automatic transmission, a 1.5L hybrid powertrain that cranks out 111HP, and the top of the line 201 HP gas engine with 2.4L displacement that is linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
In order to boost sales, Acura is planning to add an automatic transmission option for the range topper and also improving the equipment features of the ILX.
According to the topman of the brand, they will do some tweaks to enhance the value of the ILX. Acura ensures its fans that they have a very good plan for the ILX. Somehow the ILX has done its part of bringing consumers into its showrooms and is expected to better its performance in the near future.
Mitsubishi officially launched the redesigned Outlander in Japan recently and announced that the vehicle will be hitting the U.S. shores by summer as a 2014 model. According to a spokesman of Mitsubishi Motors in North America, the company has not yet determined the pricing of the new Outlander.
The Outlander has rolled out in Japan with a tag price equivalent to $30,271. The top of the line variant goes for $38,664 at its home market. The Mitsubishi Outlander was first released in Europe and Russia.
The Japanese car manufacturer also confirmed that the Plug-in Hybrid will first roll out in its home market by 2013. The U.S. arm disclosed that the Plug-in Hybrid Outlander will hit showrooms in the U.S. before the end of 2013 or early part of 2014. The eco-friendly version of the Mitsubishi Outlander will have a full-time all wheel drive system that will rely on electric motors.
The new Outlander will have advanced features, upgraded interior, and better fuel efficiency than its predecessor. The 2WD 2.4L 4-cylinder 2013 Outlander has an EPA rating of 22 mpg when snaking through city streets and 28 mpg when cruising on the highway. There are no postings yet on the fuel efficiency of the new Outlander.
The new Mitsubishi Outlander will be rolled out in Japan in several trims and will feature the new safety technology as standard for the 24G Safety and the 24G Navi trims. Mitsubishi also equips the 2014 Outlander with lane departure warning system and collision assist that make use of cameras and radars. These new technologies are specifically designed to help the driver during poor driving conditions or during long drives.
The 2006 C30 model from Volvo in the company’s entry level segment will soon get an update. The five door C40 which Volvo unveiled uses the same technology that can be found in the C30. Volvo is also looking at entering the small car segment and plans to release their rival for the MINI Cooper. With the company’s resources spent on developing their SPA platform it is highly unlikely that they can develop their small car segment on their own, and would likely need to look to one of their competitors to help them with this project. BMW being the most likely candidate for Volvo to partner with in order to develop their MINI rival.
With Volvo’s plan to enter the small car segment thecompany would need tomove beyond plans for the C30 update and focus in offensively competing in the small car segment.
Since there are only a few competitors withthe small car segment with the main rivals being the MINI Cooper and Audi A1, Volvo would need to adapt to the new standards that are being set by potential buyer’s who are looking for fuel efficiency to fight the rising oil prices, as well as the growing awareness for being more environment friendly as well as the congestion in urban areas.
Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby stated that the definition of luxury has already changed and that practicality has now taken over with consumers who are looking at their best options for their own specific needs.
Jacoby also explained that the company would need to develop a smaller engine that will be even smaller than the current engines that they are using right now. Volvo’s Chinese parent company Zhejang Geely may develop the new engine which would need to be just three cylinders. As previously stated the company may need to partner with one of their rivals to help them with the cost for their MINI rival. With BMW already working on a three cylinder engine they are the most likely partner for Volvo’s plans.
With their new SPA Platform the MINI Cooper rival may need to take a backseat as Volvo also plans to release updated versions of all the models in their line up. The first being a update with their XC90 SUV, to be followed with a new version of the S80 and will then be followed by replacements for the V70/XC70. Volvo also plans to manufacture plug in hybrids and fully electric cars.
Before the demise of Saab the company also plan to release a MINI rival and unveiled their concept for the 2008 Saab 9-X. Like Volvo Saab also planned to develop a partnership with their rivals to share the cost for their MINI rival with BMW also their best option for a partner.
When you look at different reviews and more so if you have driven a G63 AMG, you will know that this vehicle has quiet an outdated styling, so expensive, and quite horrible to drive. Despite these things, a lot of people still want to have this brick in their garage.
Let us try to trace back the history of the G-Class as the darling of the 1% on top of the pyramid, arms dealers, and a prison cell with wheels by Mercedes-Benz.
In the 1970s, the Iranian Shah asked Mercedes-Benz if it can build a 4×4, so the car manufacturer tapped Steyr-Daimler-Puch which is a well-known military vehicle producer based in Austria. The product of this collaboration is the Geländewagen which literally translates to cross-country vehicle. This vehicle was built for both military and civilian use.
A development program was initiated in the 70s with trips to coalfields, Arctic Circle, and the Sahara desert. The G was built at the Graz factory where it is still being assembled today. It was formally launched in 1979.
During its first release, you can get the G with a short wheelbase and a long wheelbase. The 2400 mm G was a 2-door ragtop while the later was a 4-door wagon. It can also be purchased as a Kastenwagen, a 2-door van without windows. The first hearts of this off-roading vehicle were three diesel engine options in the form of a 3.0-liter 5-pot, 2.5-liter, and 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. There were also gas options in the form of a 2.8-liter six, 2.3-liter 4-pot, and a 2.0-liter.
The first major changes in this Merced-Benz creation was in the 1980s when the vehicle got air-conditioning, comfier seats in front, wider tires, , luggage covers, and electronic windows. During its 10th year anniversary, Mercedes pimped the ride out with permanent 4WD, ABS, wood trim, tweaked electronic differentials, and full spec interiors.
Everything with the G-Class was changed in 2004. Added to the luxury was the much needed power with new engines from AMG. The G now had a V-8 5.4-liter with supercharger, a V-8 with 5.5-liter displacement, and the latest powerplant is a V-12 6.0-liter with twin turbo. The most powerful engine can give out 612 horses and a torque of 737 lb-ft. Visually, the ride remains unchanged.
It was first thought that when it comes, it will be called the Porsche Cajun. Just a few weeks ago, Porsche sent out a press release which boasts of the record production of the Porsche Paamera and Cayenne. The car manufacturer also referred to the new SUV under the project called Cajun.
We do not know why the initial information was that but Porsche confirmed that the new baby in their garage will be tagged as the Macan. The name was derived from an Indonesian term which means tiger, and evokes the dynamics, power, suppleness, and fascination for the new SUV of the brand.
Giving a car a name is a tricky process. Porsche had to choose a name which should sound very good in different languages and of course mean in good for every culture . Remember what Mitsubishi encountered with the Pajero?
Purist who appreciates a Porsche in every sense of the brand might not be too cheerful hearing of another Porsche SUV joining the line up, but the Macan is essential to the plan of the brand to conquer markets like China. The Porsche Panamera and Cayenne are performing well in China where their sales outpace the traditional Porsche sports cars. Looking at the numbers, 59,897 units of the 118,967 vehicles sold by Porsche were Cayennes and the factory in Leipzig produced 93,838 vehicles.
About 25% of the Porsche production last year headed to the Chinese market, a 64% jump compared to the sales back in 2010. Watching at the trends, we can see where the market wants Porsche to go and it is not on the direction of the Cayman Rs or the GT3s.
The 599 of Ferrari has inspired a good range of potent variants. After the GTB Fiorano, the Italian car marque came up with the HGTE version which improved the car’s handling dynamics. Ferrari also released the HY-KERS concept, China Edition, GTO, and the track version 599XX. The Ferrari 599 aso had roadster variants in the form of the SA Aperta and the P540 Superfast.
The automotive world expects the 599 range to have a replacement soon, but there are rumors going around that a final variant may come off the assembly line to give the 599 a big bang exit.
Car forums and online boards are making a loud buzz as aficionados of the brand are speculating that Ferrari might pay homage to its Formula One star by doing a Fernando Alonso special edition Ferrari 599.
The words going around say that the 599 special edition in tribute of Fernando Alonso will be the lightest of the 599 brood, and of course quicker. Some say the Alonso Edition Ferrari 599 will be rolled out by January 2012 and will only have a limited run of forty units.
All the speculations might have stemmed from a video where the F1 driver Fernando Alonso took the F10 Tribute Edition around the track. You can watch this video we are talking about below. The car driven by Alonso though is a 599 GTO tweaked in Scuderia.
Ferrari has remained mum about the rumors and all we can do is wait if truly a Fernando Alonso 599 will be rolled out. In case Ferrari decides to give it a go, we will let you know.
The BMW M5 was first introduced to the world at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1984, and was considered the most high performance sedan of its time, thus the appeal of the car to many consumers. And the BMW M5 is still one of the best loved sedans in its class, even though the competition has increased of the recent years with cars that are similar offered from Mercedes and Audi.
The first BMW M5 was designed with the consumer in mind who wanted a roomy sedan, but still wanted the performance of a sports car, which is what most consumers want. What is interesting about the manufacturing of this car is that all the parts were assembled by hand, which made certain that each car received a certain amount of tender loving car that helped for exceptional performance. Though these were considered the first sports sedans of their day, they were still riddled with numerous options in 1984. For example, power sun roof, cruise control, power seats, on board computer and so on. Which made these sedans the pride among all the luxury sedans that were available to own.
The Ferrari Enzo first came to the automotive world in 2002 and was named after the Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari. This car was designed with Formula One racing in mind. The body is constructing of light material in order to allow for superior performance, while the engine is a redesigned V12 engine (contrary to the Cali’s V8). In addition, all of the factors, such as braking, traction and the aerodynamics were designed in order to give the best performance that any street legal car could give.
The production of the Enzo is a very selective process. During the first year, they intended to make only 350 of these vehicles. Which they then sold before they were even manufactured to customers that were loyal customers. However, after the success of this, they did build around 50 more cars. One of which appeared in the blockbuster hit, “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”. This means that finding a Ferrari Enzo is a complicated and usually bitter process, simply because they are so limited that most people keep a hold of them no matter what and keep them as collector cars.
When professionals have actually driven the car, they are surprised at the handling. However, they do warn that those are not professionals should be careful when trying to handle the car when going at fast speeds. The reason is that the car can easily get away from you because of the power of the engine. However, as far as speed, most agree that the Enzo is top of the line. One of the drawbacks that professionals touch on when reviewing the vehicle is that maintenance of the vehicle cost a pretty a penny. For example, the oil for the Ferrari Enzo is around $60 per quart. Which means that you will pay around $800 for an oil change. For those that think that they can get past this, consider that Ferrari does not honor the warranty if the oil is not changed properly and uses the same kind of oil that they suggest. And if you look at the possibility of having the car completely ruined, then you may pay as much as $200,000 out of pocket. Which means that the reality of owning a Ferrari Enzo for many, is going to remain a distant dream.
The body is made from a carbon fiber blend, which makes the weight less and the performance of the engine is better since the engine is not having to pull all of that weight that could slow it down. In addition, Ferrari did as much as they could to reduce the weight everywhere else in the car, which does show in the performance of the car.
As if the standard LFA wasn’t exceptional enough, Lexus recently announced that its customers can now get a hold of the limited edition LFA Nurburgring Package. This package pumps up an extra 10 horsepower to the already powerful 4.8-liter V10 engine. The engine, minus the package, can generate an impressive 552 HP. With the Nurburgring limited, it packs up a whopping 562 peonies.
In addition to that, the car can now sprint from zero to 62 mph or 100 kilometers per hour in just 3.7 seconds. The reported top speed of the LFA is 202 mph or 325 kilometers per hour. For this package, Lexus also reduced the gear-shift time by 0.05 seconds so customers can now enjoy faster gear changes. LFA fans should hurry, though because there are only 50 units on sale.
The Nurburgring Package includes suspension geared for sports, exclusive mesh-type black wheels, and special high-grip tires added for improved handling. The car will also have a bigger front spoiler and a permanent rear wing which will improve its down force on high speeds. Four colors for the exterior will be offered by Lexus. These are white, matte black, orange, and black. Interior colors include red, black and violet.