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Subaru Stooping Kei Car Production

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  • On 05, Mar 2012

“Subaru is walking away from minicars. According to Just-Auto.com, parent company Fuji Heavy Industries is looking to concentrate its efforts small and mid-sized vehicles moving forward. While Japan still enjoys a thriving kei car market, the vehicles aren’t as profitable as their larger counterparts and require the same level of engineering commitment. Fuji will focus on the company’s drivetrain development as well as improving vehicle safety with the cash it saves from creating new minicars.

Nissan and Mitsubishi, meanwhile, have committed to a joint venture to create a new kei car that should hit the market sometime soon, and Honda routinely uses its minicar segment as a testbed for large vehicle technologies.

Will the pint-sized Subaru models be missed? Our heart strings are still ringing over the loss of the Justy here in the states.”

Source: Autoblog

GT-R Heading for GT300

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  • On 05, Mar 2012

“Think of Japan’s Super GT series and you’re likely to conjure up images of competition versions of top-spec Japanese supercars like the Lexus LFA, Honda HSV and the Nissan GT-R lapping the likes of Fuji, Suzuka and Motegi, their thunderous 500-horsepower V8 engines drowning out the thunderous applause from the enthralled crowds. But that’s just the GT500 class.

Below it there’s also the GT300 class, where new challengers this season will include the Subaru BRZ, Honda CR-Z and even the Toyota Prius, all decked out for competition duty with no more than 300 horsepower on tap. So while Nissan has dominated the GT500 class with its purpose-built GT-R racing machine, this year it’s fielding a much more production-based version in the GT300 class as well.

While the GT500-spec GT-R ditches its twin-turbo V6 in favor of a V8 – making it more akin to the production car in appearance than in substance – the GT300 challenger is closely based on the road car. It starts out with the Nismo GT3 version (pictured above), and from there applies modifications like an air restrictor to bring it under the 300-horsepower cap to comply with series regulations.

The car is being fielded by the Nissan Driver Development Program, and forms part of the global motorsport program which the Japanese automaker just announced, with participation in both classes of Super GT, Le Mans and associated series, various GT and off-road series here in North America and even the Australian V8 Supercars series.”

Source: Autoblog

2013 Genesis Coupe

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  • On 05, Mar 2012

“Long before we saw the Hyundai Genesis Coupe in the flesh, word of the vehicle’s arrival flittered around the web with tantalizing persistence. Few rumors manage to get the enthusiast world licking its chops quite as well as one with a potent V6 in the nose of a rear-wheel-drive two-door. Editors began salivating at the thought of a performance coupe renaissance, complete with all of the associated front-page comparos, while forums lit up with threads detailing hypothetical grudge matches between the would-be Korean prize fighter and hardware from the Nissan 370Z to the then-upcoming Chevrolet Camaro V6. Hyundai had clearly rustled up some snakes.

Then the Genesis Coupe debuted, and while ingredients like available Brembo brakes and a limited-slip rear differential pointed to the possibility of a genuine contender, it’s fair to say the coupe never really became a top-flight prospect for many enthusiasts. A vague gearbox and similarly detached brakes sapped precision from the platform, consigning it to a mid-pack finish in our three-way Battle of the Sixes comparison test back in 2010.

None of this is news to Hyundai. The company began planning ways to sharpen its first genuine sports car nearly as soon as the vehicle debuted at the 2008 New York Auto Show. For 2013, the two-door receives a dose of the automaker’s patented love-it-or-hate-it styling as well as a host of mechanical improvements tucked behind the polarizing aesthetics. Are the changes enough to give the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe the fangs it needs to thrive in the cutthroat performance coupe world?”

Source: Autoblog

BMW May Revive Triumph

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  • On 05, Mar 2012

“BMW may be a German automaker, but it is no stranger to the allure of British motoring. Several years before buying Rolls-Royce, the Anglophiles in Munich bought the entire Rover Group – a collection of British marques of which BMW kept some and eventually sold others. MG it sold to the Chinese, Land Rover was eventually bought by Indian automaker Tata, but it famously relaunched the Mini brand, and along with it, kept the rights to Riley and Triumph, two dormant brands it did not sell off alongside Austin, Morris and Wolesley.

Ever since, BMW has been rumoured to be preparing to relaunch the Triumph brand, but over a decade later, nothing has materialized. Proposals were reportedly made to market a cheaper version of the Z4 as a Triumph, or label the new Mini Roadster as a Triumph – a proposal rejected by existing Mini dealers who weren’t eager to launch separately branded showrooms.

A new report emanating from the UK, however, indicates that BMW filed a new patent for the Triumph name that would extend not only to vehicles, but also all manner of branded merchandise from watches and jewelry to luggage and even Christmas tree decorations.

Whether BMW has any immediate plans to produce any actual automobiles under the Triumph name remains to be seen, but the merchandizing campaign can’t be good news for the motorcycle manufacturer of the same name that has had the brand all to itself for the past few decades now.”

Source: Autoblog

Subaru Offering Stripped BRZ

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  • On 27, Feb 2012

“In the press anouncement for the UK-spec Subaru BRZ, there’s a note about “a third, stripped-out model” the Brits will be offered as a tunable track-day special. It isn’t exactly surprising, since the Subaru is exactly the same as the Toyota GT-86, and Toyota is offering a stripper GT-86 in Japan. That model, called the RC, drops 100 pounds compared to the base coupe by omitting items like the LSD, air conditioning, radio, paint on some body parts and swapping 17-inch alloys for 16-inch steelies.

When we asked Subaru if we’d get one, too, we were told we’ll be get the Premium and the Limited, and that’s it – no stripper BRZ here in North America. While it’s possible that Subaru simply isn’t discussing another trim for our market yet, what’s more likely is that it’s time for us to wonder, again, “Why do they always get everything?””

Source: Autoblog

Help Nissan Build a 370Z

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  • On 27, Feb 2012

“Nissan knows how passionate fans of the company’s 370Z can be. The enthusiast community has long embraced the Z as a capable performer right out of the box and a willing platform that accepts a wide range of aftermarket modifications. The Japanese automaker has something special planned for this year’s ZDayZ event in May. Each year, Z fans from all over North America descend on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, and this time, they’ll have a chance to take a look at a very special vehicle when they aren’t bombing down the infamous Tail of the Dragon.

The company is building the ultimate 370Z track car by allowing fans to vote which components will be used in the project, and they’ve turned to Autoblog for help picking one of the vehicle’s most important systems: the suspension.

In order to keep things civil, the choices have been limited to three options from some of the biggest names in aftermarket handling.”

Source: Autoblog

Bugatti Set To Unveil new Veyron

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  • On 27, Feb 2012

“You’ve seen the Grand Sport. You’ve seen the Super Sport. Now meet the Super Grand Sport.

Actually, Bugatti calls its latest version of the Veyron the Vitesse – French for “speed” – but it is essentially a combination of the best traits of the Grand Sport and Super Sport models. The Grand Sport, as you may recall, is the convertible (or targa) version of the Alsatian supercar, while the Super Sport is the more powerful, record-breaking version.

As expected, Molsheim has taken the 1,200-horsepower version of the Veyron’s engine – all eight litres, sixteen cylinders, four turbochargers and (while we’re counting) ten radiators of it – from the Super Sport and combined it with the open-top body-style of the Grand Sport. The result is what Bugatti calls (and we have every reason to believe is indeed) the most powerful production roadster of all time, and with time, it will undoubtedly prove the fastest too.

In the meantime, Bugatti plans to unveil its newest seven-figure model at the rapidly approaching Geneva Motor Show,”

Source: Autoblog

Acura Unveils NSX Concept

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  • On 20, Feb 2012

“Acura spent their time slot at the Toronto Auto Show unveiling a revamp, a completely new model and a long awaited concept. Respectively, these are the RDX, the ILX and the NSX. All three are pivotal to the future of the Acura brand in Canada.

For the 2013 model year, the five passenger Acura RDX crossover has received substantial changes, enough to be considered the second generation, rather than just a refresh. At the core of the changes are the drivetrain. No longer offering a four cylinder, Acura has equipped the RDX with a new V-6 that offers increased horsepower, while improving fuel economy thanks to a new 6 speed autobox coupled to a lighter weight all wheel drive system. The changes extend to both the interior and exterior as the sporty CUV grows into a more SUV-like product.

The ILX is an entirely new addition to the Acura lineup, intending to be the first step into the brand for first time luxury car buyers. The compact sedan buyer will be able to choose from a trio of engines, from a 2.0 litre, 150 horsepower unit, a gas electric hybrid model or the range topping 2.4 litre, 201 hp gas engine that we suspect most owners will choose.

The ILX and RDX may be the most important models in Acura’s lineup, but we would be kidding ourselves to think that enthusiasts visiting the Acura stand are looking for anything but the NSX Concept.

Considered by many to be the ultimate, affordable supercar, the original Acura NSX has been an enthusiast favourite since first going into production in 1990, While some considered the original to be underpowered, the platform was practically bulletproof and became known as one of the few true exotics that was actually usable as a daily driver. It has been sorely missed from the market since it left the scene in 2005. Given Honda/Acura’s predilection towards showing concepts that are close to production ready, one might expect that the sharp edged concept that is currently making the show rounds is very close to what we’ll see go to production.”

Source: Autoblog

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