McLaren MP4-12C Spider drops top in new videos

Behold! New videos of the beautiful McLaren MP4-12C Spider going topless. Enjoy!

Source: McLaren - Press release and video after the jump.

All-new Opel Adam enters with urban city car style

GM's embattled Opel division (as well as sister division Vauxhall) are about to introduce a very important new car, the Adam. The Adam enters the style-competitive urban city car market with an entry that should cause buyers to give Opel a second look. The Adam will come in three "moods," Jam, Glam, and Slam with each level aimed at a specific buyer segment with features like the "starlight roof (right)." Another unique feature showcased in the video (after the jump) is a pull-out section of the rear bumper that converts into a bike rack. The Adam will be available with three engines mated to a five-speed manual transmission at intro with other engine/transmission options added next year. The Adam will debut officially at the Paris Auto Show in the Fall with the first deliveries expected in January 2013. Will it come to the US? Probably not, but high-style-focused cars like the various Minis have done well here so, who knows. It might make and interesting Buick or Cadillac don't you think? More to come.

Source: Opel - Press release and video after the jump.

Quick Look: 2013 Subaru BRZ

Subaru has created the ultimate sporty car (I don't say sports car, cuz sports cars are two-seat drop-tops) that has all the good stuff. A 200 hp, 2.0-liter four mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic (optional) transmission that puts the power through the rear wheels. Seating is a 2+2 affair due to the coupe body style and low roofline. The BRZ comes in two flavors, Premium and Limited. The entry-level Premium model is very well equipped (see press releases) and the Limited model adds heated leather seats with Alcantara inserts, 2-zone climate control, fog lights, body-colored rear spoiler, keyless access, and a security system. The BRZ is the best-looking Subaru...ever. The public seems to agree since each BRZ that arrives at the dealer is sold within a week. One reason the BRZ sells so well, besides the automotive beauty, is the price. The Premium BRZ starts at just $25,495 (+taxes, license, fees, delivery, and options) for the manual transmission and jumps to $26,595 (+) with the automatic. The Limited model prices are $27,495 (manual) and $28,595 (automatic). Just think, good looks, great handling, fuel efficiency (22 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 25 mpg combined with the 6-speed manual transmission, and 25 mpg city / 34 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined with the automatic), and a car that you'll want to drive for less than $30k. For lots of info, check out the releases and video after the jump.

Source: Subaru - Press releases (3) and video after the jump.

2013 Scion tC Release Series 8.0 pricing revealed

Scion issues special edition tC coupes annually and this is the latest, the 2013 tC Release Series 8.0. The tC RS 8.0 will set you back a modest $21,815 with a six-speed manual and $22,865 with a six-speed automatic (prices + taxes, license, fees, delivery, options). For your extra Scion bucks your tC SR 8.0 gets special Absolutely Red paint with contrasting black accents and black 18-inch alloys, a Five Axis body kit, and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) mods including a lowered sport suspension and special exhaust system. The interior features sport seats with a special textured black fabric with red stitching and a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with paddle-shifters on cars equipped with the automatic). Since the Scion tC RS 8.0 is a special edition, only 2,000 examples will be built and will include a dash-mounted numbered badge to reinforce exclusivity. All Scion models are good automotive values, and the tC Release Special 8.0 gets you a unique coupe with special features for fewer dollars than if you were to attempt (or order) the mods yourself. The front-wheel-drive tC coupe has been "lost in the shuffle" since its big brother FR-S has been released and that's a shame. View the brief release and detailed video after the jump. Expect the Scion tC Release Series 8.0 to hit dealers soon.

Source: Scion - Press release and video after the jump.

Chevrolet to add a little Spark to its 2013 line-up

When Chevrolet introduced the Sonic, many felt that the Spark was doomed. Guess what? Here are pics of the 2013 Chevy Spark that will hit US dealers later this year. Two Minicars for Chevy you ask? Why not. The Sonic is a little larger and comes in sedan and hatch body styles while the Spark is a five-door only affair. The Spark was updated for the US market with a more aggressive front fascia. 15-inch alloy wheels, and a suite of infotainment features like Pandora, Stitcher, BlueTooth and MyLink. Pricing, specs, features, and options will be announced closer to the Spark's intro closer to the LA Auto Show in November. Chevy's Sonic is flying off of dealer lots so a second mini "world" car (the Spark is sold in more than 100 markets around the globe) should help alleviate Sonic shortages and give consumers more choices. More to come...

Source: Chevrolet - Press release and video after the jump.

Is Ford's all-new B-Max the "right" size?

Ford is beginning production of the all-new B-Max utility vehicle in Europe with deliveries slated for September of this year. Ford sees the B-Max as it's opening salvo in the "right-sizing" of vehicles. Ford's B-Max is a small crossover but it has many "premium" features like Ford's Sync system and the B-Max's unique side doors that slide open for a large entry/exit opening (see pics after the jump) through the use of an integrated "B" pillar. The B-Max will be available with  numerous engine/transmission choices including Ford's award-winning EcoBoost three-cylinder. Is the B-Max too small for the US? Maybe. With the introduction of new sub-compacts, like Ford's own Fiesta, Chevy's Sonic, and the Fiat 500, the small car market in the US has grown. The B-Max might find quite a few homes with its blend of style and unique features. We shall see. If you think a B-Max would fit into your lifestyle, let Ford know. For more info, check out the release, spec sheet, and two videos after the jump.

Source: Ford - Press release, Euro spec sheet and videos after the jump.

BMW ActiveHybrid 3 charges forth

You knew that it was a matter of time until the ActiveHybrid 3 was introduced after the intros of the 5- and 7-Series versions and here it is. BMW's hybrids are seemingly developed for increased performance (zero to sixty mph in just over five seconds) with a side effect of improved fuel economy. The ActiveHybrid 3 creates 340 hp from both systems and is expected to post double-digit improvements in fuel economy over the regular 3.0-liter twin-turbo six (306 hp) in the 335i. The ActiveHybrid 3 is manufactured along side other 3-Series models, therefore the AH3 will have the same options, paints, and come in the same trim levels (standard, Sport, Luxury, Modern, and M Sport) as the 328i and 335i sedans. Exclusive AH3 standard features and options include the 18-inch aerodynamic wheels shown (optional), eight-speed automatic, 2-zone stationary  air conditioning, special badging and graphics, power electronics, stop/start system, and the navigation system Professional (optional). The AH3 can be driven in electric only mode for up to 2.5 miles at speeds up to 47 mph. In the ECO PRO mode, the combustion engine can be switched off and fully decoupled allowing for vehicle coasting that combines comfortable driving with optimum utilization of the kinetic energy already generated to further extend mileage. The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will be available later this year and is expected to have a base price of around $50,000 (+ taxes, license, fees, options).

Source: BMW - Press release and video after the jump.

Mazda updates Japanese-market MX-5 Miata roadster

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a modern interpretation of the classic two-seat convertible sports car (remember the MGB?). Classic sports cars may not be the fastest cars on the block, but few will out handle them, and they are an absolute blast to drive and those descriptors fit the MX-5 Miata. The Japan-market Roadster gives us a quick look at the new MX-5 Miata for the US. A more aggressive front end and new detailing are featured in both the soft top and Retractable-Hardtop (RHT) models as are a new tan and black leather interior. An all-new MX-5 Miata should be coming no later than 2015 (in conjunction with Fiat/Alfa Romeo), so these changes are designed to hold us over until the next roadster is ready. More info after the jump.

Source: Mazda - Press Release after the jump.

Coming soon: 2013 Ford Fusion

To say that the all-new 2013 Fusion is an important car for Ford is an understatement of gigantic proportions. Ford shouldn't worry. The new Fusion is a stunningly styled mid-size sedan that will grace the streets in three trim levels (S, SE, Titanium), with three engine choices (standard 2.5-liter with 170 hp, optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost with 179 hp, optional 2.0-liter Ecoboost with 237 hp), and three drivetrain options (gas [pic below], hybrid [pic above], and plug-in hybrid or Energi). All 2013 Fusion models are expected to offer class-leading fuel efficiency with the new 1.6-liter Ecoboost expecting 26 mpg/city and 37 mpg /highway numbers, the new Fusion Hybrid besting the Camry and Sonata Hybrids by large margins and the Fusion Energi (plug-in hybrid - 100 MPGe rating expected) beating the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid models. The Fusion with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine (paired with a paddle-shifted six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission), available 19-inch wheels and tires, and all-wheel drive will be the Fusion performance option. The new 2013 Fusions will be heading to your dealer very soon with Asian and European customers getting the new Mondeo (Euro Fusion) next year. Check with your dealer regarding availability. For scads of info, check out the three press releases (overview, intro concept, sustainability materials use), pics, and video after the jump.

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

Mercedes Benz CLS Shooting Brake shown

The Mercedes Benz CLS four-door coupe is one of my favorite cars. You can argue that no coupe has four-doors, by the old definition, but Mercedes started this craze with the original CLS and the body style has spread. What we have on display here is a natural progression of the four-door coupe design, a "Shooting Brake" or Estate, Sports Wagon, or simply Station wagon. Estates and shooting brake models are usually more about style and a little about function offering a bit more useable room for stuff and pets. Whether you like it or hate it, the CLS Shooting Brake has loads of style. Take the low roofline of the CLS and stretch it to the end of the vehicle and voila, you have the newest CLS. One interesting feature of the CLS Shooting Brake is the cherry wood rear load floor (pic after the jump). See, style. In Europe, where estates are big biz, the CLS will be available with numerous gas and diesel engines. Will we see it in the US? Dunno. The CLS Shooting Brake is an interesting vehicle. Look for it at an auto show near you where Mercedes may test public reaction in the US. For more info, check out the Euro press release after the jump.

Source: Mercedes Benz - Press release after the jump..

All-new BMW 3-Series Sports Wagon debuts

BMW's new 3-Series sedan has been very warmly received and now Bimmer-lovers that need a bit more functionality but don't want an X3 have an option, the new 328i Sports Wagon. Estate wagons (or station wagons in US speak) are very popular in Europe and seem to be re-gaining popularity in the US. BMW has offered an estate version of various 5- and 3-Series models for sometime and this one will grace US driveways in 328i guise. You may recall that the new 328i uses BMW's 2.0-liter direct-injected and twin-turbocharged four that puts out 240 hp and achieves class-leading fuel efficiency. The 328i Sports Wagon will be available with rear-wheel drive or with BMW's x-Drive all-wheel-drive system. All models will get BMW's 8-speed automatic. For lots of info, check out the detailed press release and styling video after the jump. Pricing, standard equipment, and features information will be released closer to the new 328i Sports Wagon's debut in the US in the Spring of next year. Expect to see the latest BMW estate at an auto show near you very soon. Looks good in red with Sport Line trim doesn't it?

Source: BMW- Press release and video after the jump.

VW shows new Polo Blue GT

Volkswagen has an interesting line up of cars in Europe. The sub-compact Polo, for example, can be had in numerous iterations, like the standard Polo, with gas and diesel engines, a Polo GTI, A BlueMotion Polo, various body types, and the model you see here, the Polo Blue GT. The Polo BGT is an interesting vehicle with it's 1.4-liter gas engine (138 hp, 185 lb-ft of torque) and available seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission that allows sporty driving with great fuel efficiency. The Polo BGT is the first VW offered with cylinder deactivation that can shut off two of the four cylinders for even better fuel economy. The Polo BGT has many of VW's other eco tech (BlueMotion in VW speak) features like stop/start, battery regeneration, and aerodynamic components. The Polo BGT will hit sixty in just over 7.5 seconds to a top speed of about 130 mph. Why do we care in the good ol' US? Cuz rumors have been circulating that the Polo will be introduced into the US market with the next generation car (since Americans are beginning to buy smaller vehicles) to further Volkswagen's planned world domination. Fiesta and Fiats take comes Volkswagen. Let's hope we get both the two-door and four-door hatchbacks

Source: Volkswagen - Press release after the jump.

Renault shows all-new Clio

The all-new Clio is an important vehicle for Renault since the previous generation was the French Automaker's biggest seller.and the B-segment (sub-compact, compact) is very competitive in Europe. Renualt has given the new Clio standout styling (I'm a sucker for the hidden rear door latches) and new features that are showing up more and more in smaller vehicles. Renualt's R-Link infotainment suite, TomTom Navigation, and more will be available to take on the competition as are new engines including a super-economical three-cylinder, a diesel, and a 1.2-liter direct-injected four (120 hp) that will be mated to a manual or a new Dual-Clutch auto-manual transmission. Three trim levels will be offered on the five-door hatchback. No word on additional body styles. Why do we care in the US? With all of the automaker tie-ups that have been announced of late, we may see the Clio (or a derivation) on our shores. Maybe Renault will take another stab at the US market in light of Fiat's recent positive experience. Lots of info in the Euro-centric press release.

Source: Renault - Press release after the jump.

McLaren MP4-12C goes topless with new Spider

Those lucky enough to own a McLaren MC4-12C supercar might be facing a little open-air envy when they cast their eyes on the new Spider version of McLaren's first product. The McLaren MP4-12C Spider keeps all the good stuff (check out the release for specifics) like the 616-hp twin-turbo V8, the 7 Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission (with steering-wheel-mounted rocker shift paddles), active aerodynamics, 0 to 60 mph in just over 3 seconds, (and more) and adds the RHT folding roof system that takes just 17 seconds to operate. The new McLaren Spider can be configured in over 1,000,000 ways according to the automaker and the new model's configurator is now online. Pricing will be announcer closer to the MP4-12C Spider's intro date in November. Pretty extensive release and two more pics after the jump.

Source: McLaren - Press Release after the jump.

Audi TT gets special edition

While the current TT sports car is reaching the end of its product cycle, Audi is giving the model a boost with a special edition that combines popular options at one (more) affordable price. The Audi TT Coupe S Line Competition Special Edition adds the S Line exterior features (badging, body kit, and special front and rear fascia); fixed rear wing; Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights; 19-inch wheels in “Rotor” design; S Line sport suspension; and the S Line interior (standard dash shown) including special door sill trims, the extended aluminum-look trim, the leather package (seats come standard with perforated Alcantara upholstery with contrasting silver stitching), sport seats, and the short shift travel for the manual transmissions. S Line competition special editions are available in Samoa Orange metallic, Glacier White metallic, Daytona Gray pearl effect, and Misano Red pearl effect (shown) at no extra charge on top of standard TT colors. The Audi TT Coupe (no convertible) S Line Competition Special Edition package adds about $5,400 (in today's dollars) to the price of your TT (which Audi claims is approximately 50 percent less than it would cost to add the features separately). Check with your dealer for final US pricing and availability. What do you get for the extra buckaroos? A little icing on one of Audi's prettier cakes...

Source: Audi - Press release after the jump.