Sunday, May 20, 2012

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Hot News: The Future of Ford F-Series & Lincoln MKC


A new automotive industry analyst report makes two things clear: we’re getting a new Ford F-Series pickup in 2015, and Lincoln’s product portfolio may grow considerably over the next four years.
The information comes courtesy of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which released its yearly Car Wars report, which includes predictions on market share increases, the average age of major models (the time a nameplate spends between complete overhauls), and the inevitable prediction for share prices.

BoA/ML’s overall prediction is this: an increasing number of automakers will stop relying on high incentives and move toward more frequent updates and new models in the hopes of keeping profit margins high. Perhaps spurred by Chrysler’s success–the company updated or overhauled almost its entire lineup during its period of financial turmoil and has since seen big gains–automakers may replace models at a quicker pace.
But tucked away in this report are some individual model predictions. BoA/ML predicts that Ford will overhaul 46 percent of its lineup (by volume) in 2015 with the release of an all-new Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX midsize crossover, a new Ford F-Series pickup truck, and a new Ford Mustang sports car/convertible. It’ll follow that up with a 20-percent replacement number in 2016 with a new Ford Explorer, Lincoln MKS, Ford Taurus, and Ford Fiesta.
But BoA/ML also predicts that Lincoln will expand its lineup along the way. Research indicates the possibility of a Lincoln MKD small crossover and MKC sedan in 2014, and a new MKS and an Aviator large crossover in 2016.
We’ve heard murmurs about a Lincoln C-segment crossover before, but the MKC and Aviator are more surprising. Lincoln’s naming conventions would suggest that MKC stands for “compact,” and the MKC would be a Buick Verano/Acura ILX competitor in the burgeoning compact luxury segment. The Aviator, meanwhile, appears to again be based on the Ford Explorer, either as a replacement for the MKT large crossover or an entirely new Explorer-based vehicle.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

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Hot News: Aston Martin Lagonda is in the Way


Although the design shown at Geneva in 2009 didn’t meet with critical acclaim, the Lagonda project is very much alive and Aston boss Ulrich Bez has recently alluded to an updated Lagonda concept “in the coming year”. A second Lagonda model, a saloon, has already been mooted.
Bentley’s £150k-plus ‘Falcon’ concept will have also encouraged Aston; the Lagonda and Falcon are similarly brutal and statuesque.
Both British SUVs will go a long way to better exploiting demand in the Chinese market, where the appeal of super-GTs like the DBS is limited.
“The DBS sells in a global market segment that is struggling to rebound back 
to where it was, and that’s largely down to China,” 
said IHS Automotive analyst Colin Couchman.
“The traditional markets for supercars — the US and Europe — are still depressed,” he added. “Although the Chinese market remains buoyant, that won’t feed through to Aston because the Chinese don’t yet see the value of displaying their wealth through owning an expensive sports car.”
IHS figures show — based on models in the £160k to sub-£200k bracket — that the global super-GT coupĂ© market won’t recover to its pre-recession high of just over 9200 units in 2008 until 2014 at the earliest. That’s despite the launch of the successful Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in 2010, a car that has expanded global sales by about 2700 cars a year.
The global popularity of Merc’s second luxury coupĂ© — the AMG-tuned CL — shouldn’t be underestimated, either. It accounts for about a quarter of the market, vying with the £178k Ferrari 458 for the title of best-seller. A new CL AMG is due to arrive in 2015, potentially giving the segment a welcome nudge upwards.
Thanks to: Autocar

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New Concept Car: Volkswagen Polo R


The new model, created especially for the VW Group-organised tuning festival, will go on sale before the end of 2013 in the shape of the Polo R.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged TSI engine with a reported 225bhp – more than the 208bhp produced by the hot Polo’s larger Golf GTI sibling.
The Polo WRC Street is, as the name suggests, a production model inspired by VW’s entry into the World Rally Championship in 2013. VW insiders have confirmed the Polo R WRC rally car will also go on to inspire a full-blown R version of the Polo road car. The WRC Street is a forerunner to this car.
Setting the Polo WRC Street apart from its more humble siblings is a bodykit that includes a boot spoiler and rear diffuser, plus a more aggressive front-end and larger alloys. R-WRC badges also feature both inside and out.
Also on display on VW’s Worthersee show stand is a running prototype of the Polo R WRC car itself. Power for this comes from a 1.6 TSI engine with 296bhp; it can crack 0-62mph in just 4.1sec.
Other VW exhibits include two special Golf GTI models. The Golf GTI White Concept is finished in a distinctive ‘Orxywhite’ matte paint. The interior gets a contrasting red and black finish, with special leather seats.
The Golf GTI Black Dynamic gets a 2.0 TSI engine tuned to produce 335bhp, plus lowered suspension. Housed in the boot is a 1800-watt stereo system.
Thanks to: Autocar

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Recall Up Date: 2007-2008 Acura TL


The Problem: Acura says the power steering hose could deteriorate, causing fluid to leak. Drivers may notice a loss of power steering assistance, while the worst case scenario would be a fire due to fluid leaking onto the catalytic converter. The automaker says no fires or injuries have been reported.
The Fix: Acura will mail notices to customers next month. Once customers receive the notice, they should schedule a visit to an Acura dealer for the repair. Owners can get more information by visiting www.recalls.acura.com or calling (800) 382-2238.
Number of Vehicles Affected: Acura is recalling 52,615 model-year 2007-2008 TL sedans.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

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Hot News: 2014/2015 BMW X5



BMW’s E70 X5 is now getting towards the end of its lifespan, and this rendering from Carparazzi shows how its F15 successor could look when it hits the market next year.
Going on the accompanying image, it’s clear BMW isn’t deviating too far from the existing formula, and that’s hardly a surprise given the sales success of the current-gen X5.
Even though long in the tooth, it’s still the market leader in the premium SUV segment, with 798 Australian sales to its credit until the end of April this year. Trailing it are the Land Rover Discovery (700 sales), Range Rover Sport (578 sales) and Volkswagen Touareg (557 sales).
Based on information at hand, the new F15 X5 will be underpinned by a modified version of the chassis that forms the basis for the accomplished F10 5 Series, and it’s likely to achieve significant weight savings over the current E70 model.
As with the current model, the new X5 will be available with straight-six and V8 power, but some sources suggest the line-up may also include the impressive new four-cylinder turbo engines that have debuted in the new 3 Series.
As with the current range, the new X5 line-up will include diesels and an ActiveHybrid version for buyers seeking optimal fuel economy.
Visually, the next-gen model is an evolutionary design, but the smartened up nose with LED headlights brings it in line with the look of the F30 3 Series. Word has it the taillights will also be redesigned to feature the layering concept pioneered by the recent Vision design studies.
The new X5’s flanks are distinguished by the concave/convex surfaces that have been a feature of all recent BMWs, helping alleviate the slabsidedness that can otherwise mar the look of large SUVs.
Thanks to: Car Point

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New Car: 2012 Fiat Punto Sport


Fiat has launched a limited edition of the Punto 90HP called the Punto Sport.
The Punto Sport comes with Fiat's 1.3-litre 90bhp MultiJet diesel motor. The Sport version gets special decals on the sides and rear with colour-coded wing mirrors, chrome-door handles and a chrome exhaust tip.
Interior upgrades for the Sport version include red stitching on Seats, a leather gear knob & gear cover, aluminum pedals, additional chrome bits on the dash, and Punto branded door sills.
In addition to the above, the Punto 90hp comes with dual stage airbags, ABS with EBD, automatic climate control, an integrated CD/MP3 player with USB and Bluetooth.
The Punto Sport is priced at Rs 7.36 lakh ex-showroom, Delhi.
Thanks to: Autocar India