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Acura Previews New NSX

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  • On 06, Apr 2012

“We have to admit to being fairly smitten with the promise of the low-slung Acura NSX concept that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show back in January. But for this moment – and for the next several moments – “promise” is all it is, because Acura says we shouldn’t expect an NSX in showrooms until sometime around 2015. (Back in January, Acura advised that the production car is “expected to debut in the next three years”). Until then, Honda’s premium outpost is going to do whatever it can to do to stoke the fires to keep interest high – including star-studded Super Bowl commercial appearances and this – a drophead spinoff that will be Tony Stark’s ride in this summer’s The Avengers blockbuster from Marvel.

We first saw this car thanks to some intrepid movie set shots by would-be paparazzi back in early October, but this single image is the first official acknowledgement and image of the car that we’ve seen. Early in March, we told you about alleged patent drawings of an NSX convertible that was very similar to the Detroit showcar, which some interpreted as Acura planning both a fixed-head coupe and a roadster for production. However, those drawings look an awful lot like the car shown here with the exception of small details like a unique wheel pattern and differing seatbacks, so while it’s possible that Acura is pondering a topless NSX, the renderings could have simply been to protect design rights to the movie car, especially considering that neither Stark’s ride nor the patent drawings appear to have headlamps.

We’ll have to wait and see what Acura decides regarding its Ohio-built all-wheel drive hybrid supercar, but we suspect that even if it does greenlight a convertible version, we probably won’t see it until 2016. Which is… a really long time to keep believing in a promise.”

Source: Autoblog

Scion Accidentally Shows CDN Price

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  • On 02, Apr 2012

“The Scion FR-S has been generating a lot of online buzz these days and the rumours surrounding its Canadian pricing have continued to heat up. Although the April Fool’s Day timing had us thinking it could be a hoax, it was spotted earlier what looked like official Canadian pricing leaked on the Scion.ca website.

We obtained this screen shot (click image above to enlarge) just before it was removed from the site shortly after. This online snafu leads us to believe official FR-S pricing in Canada could indeed start at just CAD$25,990*. Note that freight is not included in the MSRP listed price and standard freight from Scion Canada is $1,495, meaning the base FR-S should rack up to $27,485 (manual) before taxes. We have to admit starting at $25,990 seems too good to be true, but based on the website slip-up, it could be realistic.”

Source: Autoblog

$0.50/L Gas in Toronto

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  • On 02, Apr 2012

“Time to party like it’s 1999… well for prices at the pump anyway. A gas promotion put on in Toronto had motorists lined up over a kilometre deep to get a taste of some $0.50 / litre gasoline. And when gas is currently $1.35 per litre on average in the Greater Toronto Area, a promotion like this really spread like wildfire.

The TravelNetwork.com is at it again by offering motorists of major Canadian cities limited time offers of massive discounts for the go-go juice. The have had ¢50 off promotions before in Vancouver and Toronto but this price had everyone looking to save mega bucks in the downtown area. The line-up started forming at 6:00am in front of the 759 Eastern Avenue location just east of the downtown core. By 7:00am police moved in to curb the traffic and tempers as motorists grew tired of waiting for the station to open. The promotion has just ended at 11:00 and the FlightNetwork.com pumped out 10,000 litres of regular gas.

We’re sure everyone who got a tank was thrilled with the deal but when you do the math, was it worth the wait?”

Source: Autoblog

FT86 V8 Swap

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  • On 02, Apr 2012

“Cash-strapped enthusiasts may not have had much to get all sticky over from Camp Toyota in recent years, but the automaker’s new GT 86 / Scion FR-S coupe promises to mine a rich paystreak of driving enjoyment. And while we’re big (okay, huge) fans of the car’s low-speed dynamic thrills, not every enthusiast is so forgiving of its rather middling power and acceleration figures. We knew it wouldn’t take long for the aftermarket to remedy this perceived power deficit with things like forced induction and ECU reflashes, but we foolishly expected a full engine swap to take a bit longer than it apparently has.

What you’re looking at here is Manabu “Max” Orido’s Toyota GT 86 prepped for drifting in D1 Grand Prix events. In this case, that means the two-door has been gutted and stuffed with the 5.0-litre V8 from the Lexus IS F, one of Toyota’s more emotive offerings thanks to its honkin’ great eight.

Orido’s GT 86 is shown here undergoing shakedown testing, and from the looks of things, the transplant appears to be going rather swimmingly. At first glance, we even dig the more aggressive widebody look, lack of paint and all.”

Source: Autoblog

FRS Caught Testing

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  • On 02, Apr 2012

“No doubt the 2013 Scion FR-S platform has major potential both on and off the race track. With a strong cult-like following already highly-anticipating its arrival in showrooms, the gear heads at Scion Racing wanted to tease us just a little more beyond the drift-ready FR-S rendering above.

Pro drifter Ken Gushi was lucky enough to take not only a stock Scion FR-S up to the scenic hills of Monterey, CA but also push an early prototype for his GReddy Racing FR-S drift car to its high performance limits! With Ken Gushi behind the wheel, Scion Racing tossed him the keys and let the FR-S drift prototype loose on the legendary Laguna Seca and its infamous corkscrew. Catch the FR-S getting sideways in the video below, as we certainly enjoyed this tire-smoking drift action!”

Source: Autoblog

Honda’s New Transmission

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  • On 26, Mar 2012

“Honda may be out to improve the fuel economy of its powertrains by throwing extra gears into the transmission. Automobile Magazine reports the Japanese automaker is currently working to use a new nine-speed gearbox developed by ZF in its products as soon as 2014. If you’re keeping track, this is the same transmission set to debut in a host of Chrysler products, including the replacement for the Jeep Liberty.

Despite the additional gears, ZF says the transmission is surprisingly compact, thanks in part to the fact that it uses planetary gears in place of a traditional design. Called the 9HP, the German transmission can be used in either front- or all-wheel drive applications and handle up to 354 pound-feet of torque.

All told, ZF claims the 9HP can improve a vehicle’s fuel economy as much as 10 to 16 per cent. Given the torque capacities and relatively small size, the transmission could show up in nearly everything Honda makes, but odds are the company will debut the gearbox in models like the Odyssey and Pilot as well as the Acura MDX and TL.”

Source: Autoblog

Scion FR-S Pricing

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  • On 26, Mar 2012

“The highly anticipated 2013 Scion FR-S – the sister car of the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT 86 – goes on sale this spring, and the automaker’s American website now shows that the cost of entry will be US$24,930 including destination. That base price gets you an FR-S equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, though Scion’s site doesn’t yet say what the cost will be for cars equipped with the six-speed automatic.

As we already know, the FR-S is equipped with a 2.0-litre boxer four that sends 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque exclusively to the rear wheels. And just yesterday, we learned that the FR-S is good for 10.7L/100km (22 MPG) city and 7.8L/100km (30 MPG) highway with the manual transmission, or 9.4L/100km (25 MPG) city and 6.9L/100km (34 MPG) highway with the automatic box. We’ve already had a chance to drive Scion’s new sport coupe, and while it’s certainly not the most powerful vehicle in the class, we found it to have excellent balance and declared it a more engaging steer than vehicles like the Honda Civic Si and Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

Although there is no pricing update to the Canadian Scion site as of yet, head over to Scion U.S. website for more information.”

Source: Autoblog

Camaro ZL1 Delayed

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  • On 26, Mar 2012

“Nearly two weeks ago, we reported news of a “quality assessment” issue with the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that was holding up deliveries and further production. We checked in with Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran today to get some clarification on where things stand with the 580-horsepower coupe after being alerted by a reader that forum members with the car on order are growing increasingly frustrated with the delay and not having a clear status update on the fate of their vehicles.

General Motors is declining to say what the nature of the problem is, but Doran says the automaker is confident they are close to a fix that will enable deliveries “in the weeks, not months.”

Doran estimates that GM has built “a couple of hundred” 2012 ZL1 models, but only one was delivered to a customer, and that example was handed over due to a dealer error and subsequently reclaimed pending the update. Any ZL1s that were delivered to dealers are back at Chevrolet’s Oshawa, Ontario plant awaiting the unspecified fix.

Given that the ZL1 was to launch in spring, the high-performance coupe was already looking at an unusually short model year. This stoppage could mean that the 2012 model year run is even shorter. Doran says GM hopes and expects that when production does resume that it will do so with 2012 models, but he admits that depending on timing, it’s possible that Oshawa could transition directly to 2013 model year builds. Either way, contrary to rumours, ZL1 models already built will be delivered as 2012 models. Doran also indicates that GM has instructed its dealers to not accept further orders for 2012 models at this time.

GM acknowledges that this is an unfortunate situation – particularly because the ZL1 is a hotly anticipated model where some eager customers have had their deposits in for six months or more – but Doran says Chevy wants to focus on “getting the car right” so that customers are satisfied in the end.

While the delay is no doubt frustrating for those who have been waiting months for their cars, we couldn’t help but wonder aloud to Doran if the very abbreviated 2012 model year production may result in increased collectability down the road. Doran paused and replied, “You’re not the first person to suggest that.””

Source: Autoblog

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