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The 2013 Buick Enclave

2013 Buick Enclave

The Buick Enclave is making a comeback in 2013 with a revamped model of the previous 2008 version of it. The Enclave had first appeared in the market back in May 2008, and 2013 will witness a better and much more advanced version of the same Buick Enclave, just as the Traverse is going to debut in 2013 with a new model. The 2013 Enclave has a lot more to offer than the 2008 version. From the technical aspects to the appearance, this edition is surely going to have the critics working hard.

The mechanical and technical details are not very different from the earlier model. It is the appearance that has been hugely updated and is expected to set hearts soaring. The vehicle still features a 3.6 liters, 288hp and V-6 engine. There has been a slight modification with the six speed automatic transmission. The suspensions have also been modified with front and rear dampers. EPA fuel economy has been retained at 16/22 mpg and 17/24 mpg for all-wheel and front-wheel vehicles respectively. Hence, the overall mechanical aspects are similar to the outgoing version of the Buick Enclave 2008.

However, as far as looks are concerned, there have been a whole lot of additions and modifications to give it a fuller and better appearance. With the addition of HID headlamps and LED running lights, the car is a winner when it comes to illumination. The headlights are now accentuated with blue accent rings and available swivel action. Modifications have also been made to the grilles, hoods, fascia and wheels, but those are pretty minimal and not noteworthy by any chance. Under the hood, there have been a whole lot of modifications as well, with the restyled dashboard center stack and the greatest addition being the huge 7 inches full touch infotainment system. Supported by Buick’s Intellilink interface, the infotainment system is really striking, with smartphone integration, Pandora Stitcher apps control and a backup camera as well. The ambient blue lighting inside also adds to the appeal of the car in the dark. Addition of airbags has also increased the level of safety.

If you are looking for a great vehicle which can provide you with nothing but sheer luxury and grandeur, the Buick Enclave is not the perfect car for you. It is more about comfort and performance, beautification and style. Compared to the 2008 version of Enclave, this one is brilliant in terms of appearance only, while the performance is almost the same for both the versions.

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New Buick Enclave

2013 Buick Enclave design

2013 Buick Enclave images

Honda preparing a new Civic Type-R for 2013

honda civic type r 2013

The regular Civic hatch went on sale in 2011, and the company has built go-faster Type-R hot hatch versions for the past two generations.

This is the first evidence that a new one is in the pipeline. CAR’s sources suggest we’ll see the new Civic Type-R in 2013.

No, we wouldn’t expect to see a whopping great big rear spoiler on the back of the Type-R either. It’s likely that the engineers are playing with the aero package ahead of deciding on the roadgoing car’s design.

Although Honda has shied away from performance derivatives in recent years, company top brass has pledged to return Honda to its sporting roots.

Hence the NSX concept car shown at the 2012 Detroit auto show. And we hear more Type-R sports derivatives are coming to add some zing to a brand whose allure has become slightly dulled in recent years.

Honda is busy rolling out a new family of engines, one of which will likely power the 2013 Civic Type-R. Under the catch-all banner of Earth Dreams Technology (how Honda is that?), the company has pledged to lower CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020.

That’ll be achieved through a mix of engine tech, downsizing, hybrids and pure electric vehicles. We expect, however, that the new Civic Type-R will stick with a more conventional VTEC engine, rather than use an NSX-alike hybrid solution.

What with the new Focus ST, VW Golf GTI and Vauxhall Astra VXR looming, it seems that we may be about to repeat the 1980s all over again – with a batch of fun hot hatches to add interest to humdrum mainstream cars.

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new honda civic type r

honda civic type r 2013 design

2014 Cadillac ATS-V First Look

2014 Cadillac ATS-V images

Big power, little package. That’s what the industry is touting for the 2014 Cadillac ATS-V compact luxury performance sedan. Despite the success of the big brother CTS-V supercharged V8 sourced from the Corvette ZR1 program, industry rumors are spreading of a new twin-turbocharged V6 pushing roughly 400 horses under the right foot of early adopters – although we think that number is conservative now that the 3.6L DI V6 option was confirmed at 318hp for the standard ATS.

Based on the GM ‘Alpha’ platform, the ATS will be a familiar front-engine/rear-drive design, with an AWD option. Manual and automatic transmissions are offered in the plain-jane ATS, and we’re guessing the ATS-V will follow the CTS-V with a proper driver’s gearbox. It is unlikely that Cadillac will have an AWD system capable of handling the V’s power in time, but don’t count it out entirely. After all, GM has shipped plenty of vehicles with tire-melting power and marshmallow rear ends through the years.

The clear target is the BMW M3 which weighs about the same and outputs 420hp from its high-revving V8. The ATS-V has the opportunity to utilize its rumored turbochargers for more torque at a lower peak RPM and carry it longer than the Bavarian competition. The result would be a substantial seat-of-the-pants improvement and should put the 0-60 acceleration in the mid-4s.

According to online sources, Cadillac considered adding a station wagon and convertible to the ATS range. However, for the time being, those plans appear to have been put on ice. Luckily, the ATS Coupe is still on track, and we expect the production version to appear later this year at the L.A. Auto Show, or early next year in Detroit. An ATS-V Coupe powered by a turbocharged V-6, delivering somewhere in the region of 400 to 450 bhp (latest rumor puts it 470hp), is also likely and could be revealed at the same time. But let’s not rule out a small-displacement V8 with forced induction just yet.

If the new ATS-V can combine good power with a proven suspension, like the magneto-rheological system found on the CTS-V, all for around $55,000, it could be a huge success. For comparison (USD): the M3 starts at $60,000; the C63 at $58,930; IS F $61,300.

No word yet on a release schedule, but expect the 2014 ATS-V to hit showrooms late 2013 or early 2014.

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2014 Cadillac ATS-V

2014 Cadillac ATS-V design

New Cadillac ATS-V

2012 Ford Focus 1.6 Ecoboost Zetac S

2012 Ford Focus 1.6 Ecoboost Zetac S

I do like a Ford Focus. And I do spend a deal of time in the boozer explaining to those who get enough practice to hit the bullseye of a soap-on-mirror target with a freshly squeezed blackhead every single time that they really should spare themselves the price of a knackered old BMW with a sewing machine under the bonnet and consider the Blue Oval alternative.

Which made my recent drive in the new Ford Focus 1.6 Ecoboost Zetec S all the more pertinent.
Why the Ford Focus is the perfect first car

Specifically, I tend to punt an original Mk1 Ford Focus at younger motorists; the car Ford spent so much money developing it nearly knackered the company.

Never works, of course… The only downside to this job is that the man who sidles up to discuss his choice of next motorcar has already made his mind up. He doesn’t want an argument, he simply wants affirmation. Well, he won’t get it from me. Not if the object of his desire is a BMW with an exhaust pipe the diameter of a MacDonald’s milk shake straw he won’t.

A recent hoon in a Zetec S spec third-generation Ford Focus has done much to reaffirm my position… With, however, one or two reservations…
Ford Focus (2012): is it a looker?

Ever since his Audi days, I’ve always been a big Martin Smith (or, given the maw of the impending Mondeo, should that be Aston Martin Smith?) fan. But I can’t help feeling that every successive generation of Focus is just a whisker less easy on the eye than that first, svelte masterpiece.

There’s a whiff of Eastern market-appeasing bling creeping into both exterior and interior styling of 2012′s Focus, and I’m slightly at a loss to explain a radiator grille which appears to blank off a disconcertingly large percentage of its surface area; I don’t see why what works for the VW Up can’t work for a Focus…
Inside the 2012 Ford Focus

Moreover, though I enjoy the deep-frozen kingfisher bill dial needles of the instrument binnacle, I’m not crazy about the cheap imitation of a Vuvuzela Spice (plastic and annoying) Vertu telephone that is the centre console styling, nor the fact that the instrument binnacle and centre console multi-information/infotainment screens don’t actually match. A bizarre oddity, since they do, perfectly, in the new C-Max…

This also constitutes the first Focus in which I’ve felt the need to reach for the instruction manual… Over and above the gently counter-intuitive switchgear appendant to the centre console screen itself, there are two identical steering wheel-mounted switches – both sport a central ‘OK’ button surrounded by a quadrant of arrows – for the purposes of navigating your way through the endless menus in this car… Then there’s another raft altogether for controlling the stereo.
Do we want all these gadgets?

I know hatchback buyers all want rafts of premium toys these days (well, I actually only know that because that’s what the manufacturers tell me the thoroughly clinic’ed punters want, and I can just hear the key question now: ‘Would you like, a) loads of trick driver assistance and safety systems, b) nothing, c) a smack in the face with a week-old mackerel?’), but must the cost of operating them be a swift punt up the luggage for the car in front?

Granted, buyers will learn to live with, if not exactly love, these control systems, but I wonder how they’ll fare with a couple of other elements which smack of the increasing bent towards design dictatorship…

From an ergonomic perspective, the centre console box/armrest is little short of infuriating. It’s an increasingly prevalent detail in many cars of this ilk and, in a manual, just plain crazy; car dictating gearchange style to driver rather than vice versa, simply because you can’t drop your elbow to the height you’d prefer. I know we need boxes to house our mobile connectivity devices, but really…

This is a continuation of the ergonomic bullying that spawned steering wheels covered in divots, making it possible to hold it comfortably only at quarter to three. Those of us taught to drive with hands at ten to two continue to be unamused…

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New Ford Focus 1.6 Ecoboost Zetac S

2012 Ford Focus 1.6 Ecoboost Zetac S design

2012 Ford Focus 1.6 Ecoboost Zetac S images

2013 Audi SQ5

2013 Audi SQ5 images

America’s relationship with diesel-powered vehicles began with pick-up trucks, then we had a brief affair with passenger vehicles, but that was doomed to failure. Diesel passenger cars became somewhat of a cult favorite for some wealthy Americans from Germany. They may be disappointed though because Audi officials have yet to announce whether the new SQ5 Diesel will come to the US. The SQ5 is the first S Model in Audi history to have a diesel-powered motor. Concurrent with the 24 Hour Le Mans, Audi presented the newest model in their newly revised Q5 series, the SQ5. With its two turbochargers and a 313 horsepower engine with 479 lb.-ft. of torque, it may be shipped to Canada, but speculation says it may not arrive in the US. It will surely be missed if it never makes its way to the United States.

The Audi Q5 has enjoyed popularity among urban dwellers and those seeking to lower their carbon footprint. However its cousin, the new SQ5 is poised to take away the market share from the traditional leader of the mid-sized luxury SUV sector, the Lexus RX350, at least in other parts of the world.

The new Audi 2013 SQ5, takes an impressively powered SUV and adds even more torque. The Lexus RX350 and Infiniti JX hardly compare with the 2013 Audi SQ5 diesel, either in fuel efficiency or with its commanding 479 lb.-ft. of torque. Each with only 248 lb.-ft. of torque, both the Infiniti JX and the Lexus RX350 are officially beaten.

The new Audi SQ5 will easily pull large trailers and boats up steep grades that the owners of an RX350 or JX can only climb in their dreams. With nearly double the torque, the Audi SQ5 has the definite advantage and can now compete with the likes of Mercedes and BMW.

A high performance diesel that hits sixty in about five seconds, the 2013 Audi SQ5 is quite impressive, with a 313 horsepower motor mated to an 8-speed transmission. Since all diesels shift at low RPMs they have relatively flat torque curves. With a high number of gears, these motors will behave almost like they’re paired with a constantly variable transmission, just like the Infiniti JX. This gives Audi the best of both worlds.

The only other advantage of a luxury diesel sport utility vehicle other than torque, is fuel economy. The new Audi was tested on European tracks and averaged in the low 30 MPG range. This even challenges its rival, the Infiniti RX hybrid’s efficiency, and very well may beat any gas-powered vehicle in the same sector of the market. The increase in miles per gallon gives the SQ5 more range, always a plus in a sport utility vehicle, and makes it a great vehicle for vacation travel.

With better fuel economy than an Infiniti RX hybrid, and tremendous towing capacity for Americans on the move, the introduction of the 2013 Audi SQ5 mated to the Q5, would give those shopping for an SUV a good reason to look twice at these vehicles, if they ever make it to the US.

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2013 Audi SQ5

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2013 Audi SQ5 interior

Chrysler Pacifica Concept

Chrysler Pacifica

One of the original “crossover” vehicles is the Chrysler Pacifica, which when compared to other similar vehicle types, could be regarded as being more upmarket, with the provision of a wide variety of driver and passenger comforts. These would be besides the highly established Chrysler Electronic Control unit (ECU). The Pacifica combined car and utility features and benefits, with four doors hinged at the front and seating positions for five or six passengers. A buyer has the option of a front wheel, or all-wheels drive.

In the 2004 model, the Chrysler Pacifica was marketed in a base design, with limited levels of trim offered. Although it had less features, it was relatively well equipped and priced competitively. Initially, the model was powered by a 3.8 liter V 6, generating 210 horsepower and 240 pounds of torque. This combination did not receive positive reviews, particularly regarding the all-wheels drive models, when loaded to capacity. The 2005 Pacifica had a reliable ECU helping to provide added economy and a 3.5 liter V 6, with 250 horsepower, as standard. This was with the exception of the basic front wheel drive model.

As with any other motor manufacturer, Chrysler has continuously sought innovative improvements to their vehicles, which provide the edge in a highly competitive market. This has been shown by their recognized and highly regarded ECU, which forms an integral part of safe, economic driving. This form of control unit has the capability of removing some responsibility from the driver, regarding general vehicle performance in varied and especially adverse conditions. In all aspects of economy and vehicle maintenance, the control unit has proven to be a cost effective motoring asset.

In 2007, the 3.8 liter engine, which had been discarded for the 2006 model, returned to the Pacifica, but only in the basic front-wheel drive model. However, it now had a rating of 200 horsepower. A 4.0 liter, V 6, was fitted in the other models, instead of the 3.5 V 6. With the new six speed automatic transmission, the ECU ensured an efficient and economic driving performance. The basic engine retained the original four speed transmission.

Chrysler has helped transform the world and style of motoring with their electronic control systems. The continual rising costs of fuel and vehicle maintenance have encouraged motorists to review cost effective options when buying a car. The automatic controls provided for engine, transmission and many other aspects related to comfortable and safe driving, is far removed from days of the hands-on mechanic of the past.

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New Chrysler Pacifica

chrysler pacifica interior

Chrysler Pacifica images

2013 New Audi Allroad

2013 Audi A6 Allroad

The German Audi allroad returns to the United States for the first time since 2005 as a roomy car-like crossover vehicle. Or call it an oversized station wagon, if you like.

Despite its German engineering, I found during a media preview of the allroad near Denver that this vehicle has a very American feel. For instance, while precise, the electromechanical steering almost feels a little too light.

Some may like that feel, but those looking for a firmer “German feel” may look elsewhere-although the nicely built allroad is plenty solid, in the best German tradition.

The allroad may look much like an off-road vehicle, but isn’t. Still, it easily tackles rough roads with its supple, all-independent suspension and Audi’s superior and standard all-wheel-drive system.

Three trim levels start with the base $39,600 Premium version. A $42,900 Premium Plus version is in the middle and the $48,800 Prestige trim level is at the top.

All trims are well-equipped, but there are attractive options. They include keyless start, navigation system, upscale sound system and folding side mirrors. The power tailgate is handy. While 18-inch wheels are standard, 19-inch wheels are optional.

Available safety features include a rearview camera with an acoustic rear warning system and adaptive cruise control.

The allroad has a distinctive, exclusive “waterfall” grille that looks better than some Audi grilles and there are also stainless steel skid plates and side sills. The dual exhaust tips look sexy.

The 2013 allroad is nearly an inch wider, 2.3 inches taller and has 1.5 inches of greater ground clearance than the previous allroad, which wasn’t successful in America. It’s almost as easy to get in and out as with a sedan. Outside door handles are large, and the allroad has a fairly low floor.

There is plenty of room up front in the quiet interior’s large supportive seats-and also good room for two tall adults in the rear. Bright sunlight doesn’t wash out the gauges, and conveniently placed dashboard controls can be quickly used, although some are on the small side.

All doors have storage pockets and front/rear cupholders are nicely positioned. The rear pull-out plastic ones (from the center armrest) don’t feel flimsy, as they do on many vehicles.

The cargo compartment is spacious, with a low, wide opening. Split rear seatbacks easily flip forward and sit flat to expand the cargo area to 50.5 cubic feet.

The new allroad also has a longer (110.4-inch) wheelbase for ride comfort and is 185.9 inches long overall.

This Audi is no lightweight, at 3,891 pounds. But its turbocharged 2-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine generates 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Torque starts at only 1,500 rpm for good low-speed response.

Audi says the allroad’s 0-60 mph time is 6.5 seconds, although my test allroad didn’t feel quite that fast with two occupants and no cargo. Audi says it can hit 130 mph. I found the allroad is a “fooler” because it easily sneaks up to cruising speeds of 80-85 mph when you think you’re only doing 65-70 mph.

The smooth engine works with an effective eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission that can be manually shifted.

Estimated fuel economy is average for this type of vehicle. It’s rated at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on highways. Fuel capacity is 16.9 gallons, and premium fuel is recommended.

Handling proved stable on winding roads, helped by an electronic stability control system. Braking was sure, with all-disc anti-lock brakes featuring electronic brake force distribution and hydraulic brake assist to allow surer emergency stops. The brake pedal has a linear action for consistently smooth stops.

The hood easily swings open via a hydraulic strut, but a few fluid filler areas must be reached from the side of the engine compartment, which is largely filled with a large engine cover. However, the engine oil filler area is put squarely in front of the engine, and that’s the one most persons will use.

Once largely ignored in America, Audi is coming up fast here as a prestigious, high-tech rival of top-line European vehicles. The new allroad should draw considerably more Americans to this brand.

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2013 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro

2013 New Audi Allroad design

2013 New Audi Allroad

2014 Lexus IS F Convertible Spied

New Lexus IS-F Convertible

Lexus will be introducing a completely redesigned IS sedan next year, followed by a successor to the convertible IS C a year or two later.

In order to keep buyers interested in the IS C until the redesign arrives, Lexus will inject some fun into the lineup with a new IS F variant.

Though news of the car dates back several years, latest spy shots of a prototype testing in Germany confirm that the IS F Convertible is real and likely to be every bit as menacing as the sedan.

We can clearly see that the IS F Convertible will borrow most of the styling elements from its sedan counterpart, including the revised front-end, pumped fenders and stacked exhaust tips.

Under the hood should be the familiar 5.0-liter V-8 engine that has powered the IS F sedan since its launch back in 2007. This sledgehammer of a powerplant dishes out 416 horsepower and 371 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to rocket the five-seat sedan from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and see it reach a top speed of 168 mph. We expect similar performance figures for the new IS F Convertible.

Gear changes will be handled by a smooth eight-speed automatic, which in the sedan does a remarkably good job of getting all of the V-8’s power to the rear wheels. There isn’t the delay in shifts that some other high-performance autos suffer from.

Look out for the debut of the 2014 Lexus IS F Convertible in the first half of next year, with sales to commence just in time for summer.

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Lexus IS-F Convertible

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Lexus IS-F sport

2013 Dodge Dart Pricing Announced ‎

2013 Dodge Dart

The 2013 Dodge Dart, which will be available in five trims when it debuts in the summer of 2012, will be priced from $15,995 to $22,495, according to Chrysler.

The entry level price for the Dodge is lower than some of its main competition in the compact market, which accounts for about 15 percent of new car sales.

“The all-new Dodge Dart is a groundbreaking car, offering features and benefits never before found in a compact car,” said Reid Bigland, Dodge President and CEO. With class-leading style, customization, safety, technology, and interior levels of roominess, the all-new Dart perfectly blends Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge passion and style into one all-new car that customers will be proud to own and look forward to driving.”

The base Dart SE ($15,995) offers a 2.0-liter, 160 horsepower inline-4 engine mated to either manual or automatic transmission, both six-speeds. Also standard are 10 airbags, ABS on all four disc brakes, LED tail lamps, MP3 capability and a 5-year, 100,000-mile power train warranty.

The Dart SXT ($17,995) sports 17-inch aluminum wheels and interior features like security and a six-speaker sound system, while the Dart Rallye ($18,995) takes a sporty approach with an aggressive body kit, dual exhaust tips and the option of black wheels or the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine.

The Dart Limited ($19,995) standard features include a 8.4-inch touch screen and backup camera, 10-way power seats and premium accent stitching. Options include Nappa leather, Garmin navigation, rear cross path detection and polished aluminum wheels.

The Dart R/T ($22,495) boasts a 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 4-cylinder engine with 184 hp and 171 lb.-ft of torque, plus 18-inch aluminum wheels and sport suspension, and a more aggressive design. Options include black wheels, HID headlamps, a 506-watt sound system.

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New Dodge Dart

2013 Dodge Dart wallpapers

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2013 Dodge Dart photos

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2013 Dodge Dart design

Audi Q7 V12 TDI by Fostla

2012 Audi Q7 V12 TDI

The top of the range Q7 is before your eyes … and it is indeed a diesel! The V12 TDI sits proudly above all other engines and if the oil overpowered plot we must admit he impressed when installed behind the wheel! Aesthetically, it’s 100% Audi and therefore virtually no surprise there then the sacred Single Frame grille (chrome-highlighted!), The all-too-important daytime driving light-emitting diodes (12 in number block), but that’s not all.

The exhaust ends with two big releases ovaloid, receives the front air intakes while the specific routes have been expanded to harness the power of the beast (discussed). Also, the beast is based on five wheels imposing arms installed 21 inches. Finally, the black livery is particularly highlighted the rod and chrome mirror caps designed aluminum. The interior on the other hand is simple in its configuration but just like “bling-bling” of the machine. On closer inspection one will notice a mixture of carbon inserts, leather and Alcantara fully assembled.

The Q7 is one of the most impressive models Audi has ever offered, and the V12 TDI is the most powerful version offered. These two facts about this SUV is why German tuner, Fostla, decided this would be the car to receive one of their tuning kits. Their latest package jumps the Q7’s output to an amazing 600 HP, as well as tweaks its look to match.For 3500 euro ($4,500 at the current rates), Fostla will cover a customer’s Q7 in a cool PWF foil in diamond black matte, tint the front and back lights, and tone the discs to between 55% and 85%. For an extra 6000 euro ($7700 at the current rates), customers will get a new set of 11 23 inch matte powder coated side Mansory C5 wheels with 315/25R23 tires in combination with 15 mm front and 30 mm back track plates.To take care of the Audi Q7’s standard 500 HP, Fostla tricked out the 6.0-liter V12 engine with an ECU upgrade to allow it to push out 600 HP and 737 lb-ft of torque. The 0-60 mph sprint will now be made in 5.5 seconds. This added bonus will set customers back an additional $4,500.

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2012 Audi Q7 V12 TDI Images

New Audi Q7 V12 TDI

2012 Audi Q7 V12 TDI design