2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 V8 to produce 662 hp

The high-performance pony car wars are heating up. Chevrolet has the Camaro ZL1 and Dodge has the Challenger SRT8. Ford has the Mustang Shelby GT500 and for 2013, ford has upped the ante. The 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 (say that 10 times fast) will hit the road with the "World's Most Powerful V8" that has been SAE certified with power numbers of 662 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque. In a Mustang. Ford also claims that the GT500 will return better fuel economy than its competitors. The 5.8-liter supercharged aluminum V8 will get the power to the road through a six-speed manual transmission and a suspension that has been specially tuned to handle the performance and speed (reported top speed in excess of 200mph!) of this hottest 'Tang. The 2013 GT500 will be available in coupe and topless versions with lots of options including adjustable suspension set-ups that allow you to take your GT500 to the track. A Torsen limited-slip differential and Brembo braking system will help corral this beast. Exact pricing hasn't been announced, but expect the GT500 to start in the $50-60k range and go up from there. Get thee to your dealer ASAP, if you want to be one of the first to have the new 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 in your garage. Naw, make it the driveway so you can show it off. After the jump, check out the press releases (lots of info), pics, and a brief video (at the end of the releases) that has Tanner Foust taking the GT500 to the track.

Source: Ford - Press releases (3), brief video, and pics (5) after the jump.

2013 Scion FR-S set to take off

Toyota/Scion has released the preliminary specs for the Scion FR-S. The FR-S is Scion's attractive rear-drive sports coupe that was developed in conjunction with Subaru (who will have their own version) and uses a version of Subaru's Boxer flat-four engine (200 hp, 187 lb-ft of torque). Initially, the FR-S' Boxer four will come mated to either a six-speed manual ($24,200 base price) or six-speed automatic ($25,300 base price), but rumors persist that the sporty twins will draw further from Subaru's parts bins with some of the good stuff borrowed from the Impreza WRX/STI performance models (265 hp engine, all-wheel drive?). Handling and performance "balance" has been the guiding tenets during the development of the FR-S. The FR-S seats four, but the back seat accommodations are "pinched." As with other Scion models, the FR-S comes very well equipped right out of the box, but can be outfitted with numerous add-ons (see spec sheet after the jump for specifics). The Scion FR-S will start hitting Scion dealerships in June. If you want to be one of the first, it's probably too late, but check with your dealer anyway. It should be worth the wait.

Source: Scion - Press release, pics (3) and specs after the jump. Video post.

2013 Scion FR-S videos

Source: Scion - Interior vid after the jump. FR-S post.

Honda showcases two concepts at Auto China

Honda debuted two Concepts at Auto China that preview upcoming production models. According to the release, the "C" in the Concept C (above and right) represents "Cool," "Challenge," and "China" that features a sporty design that was inspired by dragons. The product planning for this model was led by Honda's Chinese associates and the development was done through cooperation between development teams in China and Japan. Honda is planning to introduce a mass-production model based on this Concept C next year through Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. The Concept S (below and after the jump) is a global design that will go on sale first in China and then the rest of the globe (no word on US sales). The "S" in Concept S stands for "Stylish," "Smart" and "Surprise." A mass-production model (hybrid) based on the Concept S is scheduled for introduction to the Chinese market through Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. next year. Does this mean that the next Honda cars will be more interesting stylistically? We shall see...

Source: Honda: Press release after the jump.

Bentley EXP 9 F reveals motive power in Beijing

Bentley's EXP 9 F (let's hope the name changes before production) took to the stage in Beijing announcing the SUV's probable engine line-up. The Big Bentley will showcase the marque's 600-hp W12, along with the new twin-turbo V8 (500 hp) and a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that will feature a V6 to go with the electrical bits. It goes without saying that the EXP 9 F will be the most expensive regular production SUV in the world and have all of the luxury fitments that will go with the price tag. The front end is a little overdone, like someone said everything has to be BIG cause it's an SUV. Granted the vehicle will receive tweaks before production, but the body and rear end have a decidedly Range-Rover look to them, in a good way of course. High-tech features will abound as well with the concept showing a tech suite that includes an office mode that turns the vehicle into a home office complete with internet access and an entertainment mode for movie viewing, etc. More information will be available when the "big B-rig" is closer to production (probably within the next couple of years, but the EXP 9 F looks ready to go). Check out the fairly extensive press release and pics (3) after the jump (especially the pic of the tail set-up for the polo set).

Source: Bentley - Press releases after the jump.

Infiniti LE Concept shows EV core in the Big Apple

Infiniti is quick to point out that the new LE Concept is more than a tarted-up Leaf hatchback. While the LE may share some parts with its little sibling, the LE is almost the size of Infiniti's G sedan with the emphasis on sedan. The laminated lithium-ion battery pack is located in a battery cage under the passenger compartment to maximize space utilization. An interesting feature is the wireless charging system that uses a magnetic pad mounted on your garage floor (or other area) to charge your LE (see pic after the jump). The car's parking assistant will help make sure that the car is in the correct position for wireless charging. While this is a good idea, I wonder if the magnetic energy transfer could lose more electrons than with a normal plug-in (which the LE has as well). We shall see since the wireless charger isn't a sure thing for production. Oh yeah, did I mention that the LE will see production and that the concept is very close to the production car? The LE Concept certainly looks almost production ready. The LE Concept is a good-looking luxury sedan inside and out and more info will be made available as the LE makes its way towards production (within two years). Check out the press release for more info and two additional pics (I like the side-view shot, but I'm still not sure about the C-pillar kink).

Source: Infiniti - Press release after the jump.

Jeep Wrangler "Dragon" Design concept breathes fire into Auto China

Based on a Chinese-market (Jeep's third largest market) Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, the Wrangler "Dragon" Design concept uses a special black with gold accent color scheme with shadow dragon accents. The rear spare-tire cover, the underhood mat and the hood and body side all have dragon adornment in honor of the Chinese celebration of "The year of the Dragon." The black and gold theme is carried over to the interior (which was updated for 2012) which has Dragon accents and special Wand metallic leather on the seat bolsters (it kinds looks like gold snakeskin - click on the pic and see what I mean) and gold piping. The Wrangler "Dragon" Design concept uses the Wrangler's updated drivetrain that features Chrysler's 3.8-liter Pentastar V6 (284 hp, 256 lb-ft of torque) mated to a new (probably six-speed) automatic transmission. I'll admit that I have a thing for dragons and I think this "Dragon" design would do well on a limited-edition basis in the US. What do you think? If you want one, tell Jeep. For more info, check out the release after the jump.

Source: Jeep - Press release after the jump.

Audi A6 L e-tron concept makes Beijing debut

Audi's e-tron models all use some form of electric motivation. In the case of the A6 L (long-wheelbase) e-tron concept, shown at Auto China in Beijing, the executive cruiser is a parallel plug-in hybrid that can drive almost 50 miles on electric power alone at up to 35 mph. A 2.0-liter, 211 hp engine is matched to a 95 peak hp electric motor that is powered by liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries. When needed, both drive systems can power the car for spirited performance. The A6 L e-tron concept's styling is similar to the production A6 L, but with the e-tron family grille, 21-inch wheels, and low-energy draw LED lighting. The body is of aluminum and features other lighwieght materials to boost performance, handling, and fuel efficiency. The interior is drawn from the production A6 L (check out the rear area pic after the jump), but with special hybrid monitors and functions embedded in the Audi MMI infotainment interface. What you have is an elegant conveyance that won't pollute, that sips gas, and can be driven in urban restricted zones due to its electric-only operational ability. A winning combination that will see production in some form from Audi soon. Check out the press release after the jump for more info.

Source: Audi - Press release after the jump.

Quick Look: 2013 Chevrolet Traverse

Chevrolet has done quite well with its large crossover, the Traverse, and for the 2013 model year, Traverse is getting its first major update. The exterior tweaks include Chevy's new corporate face, hood bulge, and revised tailgate and revised taillamps. Interior fitments are more upscale with better quality materials, improved fit and finish, and soft touch plastics on the dash and door uppers along with a revised center stack utilizing a 6.5-inch color touch radio with the available Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system. Standard equipment includes OnStar, three rows of seating, a rear-view camera, head curtain side airbags, stability control, a new front center airbag (an industry first) that inflates from the driver's seat to keep front passengers separated in a crash, and more. The standard powertrain is a direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 (288 hp, 233 lb-ft of torque) mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive. Options include eight-passenger seating, all-wheel drive, leather seating, blue ambient lighting, MyLink infotainment, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems, and as many items as your wallet will allow. Three trim levels are offered LS, LT (1LT, 2LT), and LTZ. For even more info, check out the press release after the jump or click on the link below.

Source: Chevrolet - Press release after the jump.


Top Five Posts as of 4/21

The Top Five posts this week (by pageview) are listed below (with links) in descending order (1-5).

2012 ZL1 reveals Chevy performance Camaro-style.

 Infiniti intros new JX for 2013,

Just in time for Summer - Mini Roadster,

 Volkswagen Cross Coupé Concept makes Swiss debut,

 Cadillac intros all-new "little" Caddy, the ATS - ....

Recent posts at sister site
uautoknow.net - GenNews

Ford Focus Electric to pace NASCAR race,

Mercedes-Benz Style furniture collection debuts,

Chevy Avalanche bids adieu with Black Diamond Edition,

BMW reveals new 2012 Bike collection for summer fun.

Did you see these?

Mercedes debuts new Concept Style Coupé in Beijing, (right)

Fisker Atlantic EV breaks out in the Big Apple - NYIAS,

Get bitten by Chrysler's new 2013 SRT Viper (below) - NYIAS .

Production Ford EcoSport shown at Auto China

This rather "butch" looking crossover is Ford's new EcoSport, that is being shown in production form at Auto China in Beijing (China is the world's largest car market). The Fiesta-based EcoSport is Ford's smallest SUV and is leading the Chinese SUV charge for the automaker. Ford will soon offer four SUVs in China (see last press release), the Explorer (new to China), the Kuga (Escape in the US), the Edge, and the EcoSport. The EcoSport will be available with Ford's latest (and smallest) EcoBoost engine, the 1.0-liter three cylinder that will produce about 118 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque utilizing a five-speed manual transmission. The six-speed dual-clutch automatic should be available as will Ford's full suite of technology (see second press release). The EcoSport will be sold globally, but many at Ford think the littlest SUV that could, might be too small for the US market. If gas prices keep climbing in the US, I would think Ford might reconsider and offer the EcoSport to US consumers. They could probably sell 10,000 to 30,000 a year here, although the bumpers would need work. Four press releases are provided after the jump with lots of info.

Source: Ford - Press releases (4) after the jump.

Lambo Urus Concept to take stage in Beijing

What can I say...this thing is pretty. The Lamborghini Urus Concept enters the high-end sport SUV fray to compete with, well no one right now (other high-end SUVs are on their way). You could throw the BMW X6 into this group but the expected price of the Urus should be many times that of the X6. Yes folks, the Urus is expected to see production with its 600hp engine, dual-clutch transmission, full-time all-wheel drive, and lightweight construction to provide a few lucky consumers with the driving thrill of a lifetime. Carbon-fiber is used extensively throughout and is on display in the interior (see pics after the jump). All lighting is handled by LEDs and the wheels measure 24 inches in diameter. When the Urus reaches production (not official), expect more leather swathing the inside and regular side mirrors (when will the rear-view side cameras see production? See monitors at side window edges in dash pic above). Lamborghini estimates than it could sell 3,000 Uruses (Uri?) annually. If I had the bucks, I'd be in line. What I want to know is, who drove this beautiful multimillion dollar concept onto the rocks for the pics? If I had one, I sure as heck wouldn't, which is against the point I suppose. Sigh. Check out the release for more info after the jump.

Source: Lamborghini - Press release and pics (4) after the jump.

Hi-po Ford Focus ST to be revealed at Auto China

Ford's high-performance econo-rocket, the Focus ST, is inching closer to production. After the car's official unveiling at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, the Focus ST will next be shown to Chinese buyers at this year's Auto China in Beijing. A true "world car," the Focus ST will bring its 250-hp EcoBoost 2.0-liter engine to the US market letting US consumers in on the fun. "The Focus ST will be a serious driving machine, and our design and engineering teams have developed a purposeful exterior combined with a cockpit that blends sporting function with impressive comfort,” said Nigel Harris, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service. “ST represents an ultimate expression of Focus driving quality and performance,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Moving forward, ST branding will keynote the enthusiast-directed versions of our core global vehicle lines. ST models will combine responsive performance, optimized handling dynamics, expressive design and sporty design cues. Importantly, ST models will deliver exceptional fuel economy and be priced within reach for car enthusiasts.” A six-speed manual transmission will be the standard transmission offering. More details will be made available closer to the new model's introduction this year. More to come...

Source: Ford- Press releases (2) and pics (3) after the jump.

Bentley Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition shown

China has become Bentley's largest market and to celebrate the Queen's Royal diamond Jubilee, Bentley is using the opening of one of its largest Chinese dealerships to announce the creation of 60 special Diamond Jubilee Edition Bentley Mulsannes. These very special Bentleys, designed by the craftspeople of Bentley’s Mulliner division, are distinguished by a range of handcrafted features paying tribute to the Jubilee, including bespoke embroidery to all four headrests using gold stitching, veneered picnic tables in the rear cabin decorated with a gold overlay depicting a royal carriage (used for great occasions of state) and hide cushions featuring the same motif. The Diamond Jubilee Mulsanne is powered by the standard 6.75-liter V8 (505 hp) and further features 21-inch wheels, Lambswool rugs, special walnut veneer, special exterior paints and interior colors, a rear-seat entertainment package, and a "Naim For Bentley" Premium Audio System. No prices were given, but as they say, "if you have to ask..."

Source: Bentley - Press release after the jump.

VW E-Bugster EV speedster revealed in Beijing

Seen previously at the Detroit Auto Show, The VW E-Bugster makes its Asian debut at the Auto China show in Beijing. The E-Bugster is an electrified two-seat Beetle Speedster that features lithium-ion batteries (positioned behind the front seats) to power an 85 kW electric motor. A quick-charge feature allows the E-Bugster to be recharged in 35 minutes at special charging stations. At home, the batteries of the E-Bugster can also be charged from a conventional electric outlet. The interface for the charge cable is located behind the normal ‘fuel-filler door’ near the C-pillar area. Will it see production? Not in this form. A new Beetle Convertible has been shown in Europe, but a two-seat Beetle roadster would round out VW's line-up quite nicely don'tcha think? More info and one pic after the jump.

Source: Volkswagen - Press release after the jump.

All new 2013 Nissan Altima steps out - NYIAS

Nissan tooks the wraps off of the 2013 Altima sedan at the New York Auto Show. The design and fittings move the new Altima up-market compared to previous models. Engines include a redesigned 2.5-liter four (182 hp, 180 lb-ft of torque, estimated 27 city /38 highway mpg) or the 3.5-liter V6 (270 hp, 259 lb-ft of torque, estimated 22 city / 30 highway mpg) mated to a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels. The new Altima is available in seven (yes 7) trim levels, Altima 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 SV, 2.5 SL, 3.5 S, 3.5 SV and 3.5 SL. Features increase by trim level with the SL models the top of the Altima line. The 2013 Altimas will be at your local dealer in June with a starting price of $21,500 (plus taxes, license, fees, and options). For all of the information you'll ever need, check out the six press releases and a B-roll video after the jump. Your good-looking mid-size sedan just got a whole lot better...and prettier.

Source: Nissan - Press releases (6) after the jump.

Mini Clubvan Concept to see production

Mini's Clubvan Concept was a natural extension of Mini's Clubman station-wagonesque vehicle. Put in body-colored panels in place of the rear-most and tailgate windows, put body-colored opaque film on the passenger-side rear door window (see last pic after the jump), pull out the back seat, add a cargo-area cage protector, and voila, you have a Mini commercial van. Right now the Ford Transit Connect is the only small commercial van in the US and reportedly (Car and Driver and others) the Mini Clubvan will join the Ford vanlet, yet in a somewhat more upscale package. Engine choices should be similar to the regular Clubman although I wouldn't expect a John Cooper Works version (how about a diesel now?). Graphics packages should be available just like Ford and others have offered through outside "wrap" vendors. This is a good idea that shouldn't have cost Mini much to execute. Expect a September intro as a 2013 model. Now, for the LA Auto Show in November, how about an Ice Blue or Reef Blue Clubvan with rear portholes, shag carpets, and surfboard racks on the roof. Maybe a wave graphic? Groovy.

Source: Mini - Press release and pics (3) after the jump.

Acura ILX pricing and due date announced

Okay. I've been a fan of Acuras for a while. I even sold them, but I've never warmed to the shield grille...especially the schnoz tacked onto the TL. Thank goodness Acura has seen the light and is backing away from that controversial styling feature. Witness the first newly designed Acura, the ILX. The Civic-based ILX becomes Acura's entry-level sedan with a starting price of  $25,900 plus taxes, license, fees, and options. The entry-level ILX will get a 2.0-liter four (150 hp, 140 lb-ft of torque, EPA-estimated 24 city/35 hgwy mpg) mated to a five-speed automatic. A Premium Package ($3,300 not on Hybrid) and a Technology Package ($2,200, $5,500 on Hybrid) will allow you to spec-out your car as desired. Next up is the ILX with the 2.4-liter (201 hp, 170 lb-ft of torque, EPA-estimated 22 city/31 hgwy mpg) that gets a six-speed manual transmission (only transmission with this engine) for $29,200 + (price includes Premium Package). The ILX Hybrid ($28,900 +, Acura's first) uses a 1.5-liter engine and an Integrated Motor Assist® electric motor with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), providing an EPA estimated 39 city/ 38 highway mpg. The Technology package is also available on the ILX Hybrid for $5,500 and includes all Premium Package features except the 17-inch aluminum wheels. For more info including package specifics, check out the two press releases after the jump. The ILX hits dealers on May 22nd.

Source: Acura - Press releases after the jump.