Entries Tagged as 'Asian Cars'

Hype: Subaru Bringing Limited Edition Color “Hyperblue” To BRZ And WRX STi.

Posted on 07.01.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The BRZ and the new WRX STi aren’t exactly long in the tooth but who says that something needs to be stale before it deserves a little shake up?  Subaru has decided that they want to throw a new super limited edition color at the BRZ and the STi dubbed “Hyper Blue”.  The hue is a much lighter shade than the “World Rally Blue Pearl” that we are used to seeing on Suby’s models.  Only 700 WRX STi cars and 500 BRZ cars will be sprayed with the new color for the US Market.  Both cars will feature color matched interior stitching and other accents to go with the new exterior color.

There is no mention on if a higher MSRP will accompany the new paint job but considering the limited numbers I think it would be safe to bet that these models will have a decent mark up on them when they hit dealerships this fall.  For more info check out the official press release below.  You can also click on the thumbnails for HD resolution pictures.   What do you think of the new color?  Love it?  Hate it?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.

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Press Release:

  • Limited to 700 WRX STI & 500 BRZ

  • BRZ receives upgraded SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia

  • Rear Vision Camera now standard on BRZ

  • Exclusive Hyper Blue exterior paint and interior trims

 

Cherry Hill, N.J. –   Subaru of America, Inc. has announced the 2016 Series.HyperBlue limited edition available exclusively on BRZ and WRX STI models. As a follow up to the 2015 Series.Blue BRZ, the 2016 Series.HyperBlue cars feature exterior paint in Subaru’s exclusive Hyper Blue with matching interior trim. Production will be limited to 700 WRX STI and 500 BRZ cars for the United States. Vehicles will go on sale this Fall.

Series.Hyper.Blue WRX STI
Powered by the legendary 305-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged/intercooled BOXER engine, the WRX STI helped to pioneer the sport compact segment with a rally-bred drivetrain and Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Standard handling technologies include Active Torque Vectoring, Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control and a Brembo® Performance Brake System with Super Sport ABS.

The Series.HyperBlue trim brings exclusive blue stitching to the standard Alcantara® seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, manual transmission shifter boot, console as well as carpeted floor mats with the traditional Cherry Red STI logo. Series.HyperBlue WRX STI wears 18-inch BBS® Black Alloy wheels and black badging with black painted exterior mirrors. SUBARU STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Navigation System comes standard on this trim with 9 Harman/Kardon® speakers and 440-watt amplifier.

The WRX STI is equipped exclusively with a specially reinforced 6-speed manual transmission. A flat-bottom, leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel integrates switches for audio and Bluetooth. The STI Design electroluminescent gauge panel integrates a 3.5-in. central LCD screen that displays various functions such as windshield washer fluid and the selected gear.

The Series.HyperBlue models come standard with Keyless Access with Push-Button Start and PIN Code Access. Standard Welcome Lighting automatically turns on interior illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the car.

Series.HyperBlue BRZ

The Subaru BRZ marked a return to the fundamentals of sports car design, emphasizing low vehicle weight, an ultra-low center of gravity and precision steering. A 200-horsepower 2.0-liter BOXER engine powers all BRZ models.

For 2016, the BRZ receives the STARLINK 6.2” Multimedia System with a 6.2-in. single-touch gesture display, AM/FM stereo with HD Radio®, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc CD player, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control, iTunes® Tagging, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack. Smartphone integration features Aha™ and Pandora®, along with STARLINK cloud applications iHeartRadio®, Stitcher, Calendar, Music Player, News and Weather. New for 2016, the BRZ receives standard rear vision camera.

The Series.HyperBlue BRZ cabin features an exclusive design scheme. The leather and Alcantara upholstery includes Hyper blue leather seat bolsters and head restraints. Blue stitching accents the seats and the blue and black leather-wrapped steering wheel, as well as the shift lever boot and leather-wrapped parking brake handle. The blue motif carries to the center console kneepads and door trim, accented by an embroidered silver BRZ logo on the front seatbacks. Carpeted floor mats also pick up the BRZ logo and blue stitching.

The exterior continues the Series.HyperBlue theme with 17-inch black alloy wheels, black glossy badging and painted black finish exterior mirrors. A frameless day/night rear-view mirror and simulated carbon fiber center dash panel add a high-tech look, and the finishing touch is an illuminated engine start / stop button.

Pricing on these models will be announced this Fall.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts, and accessories through a network of more than 620 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants, and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information, visit media.subaru.com.

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Motorsport Hype: Lexus Builds RC-F GT Concept To Tackle Pikes Peak

Posted on 06.22.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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What happens when you combine Lexus’ IS-F CCS-R Pikes Peak car with a RC-F GT3 car?  You get the RC-F GT concept.  An RC-F coupe built and bred specifically to take on the 156 perilous corners of Pike’s Peak.  Lexus has tapped automotive media darling and hot shoe Justin Bell to pilot their RC-F GT up the peak this year and Bell will have a full arsenal of weapons to use in his hill climb attack.  The RC-F GT has just shy of 470HP, weighs 800lbs less than the street going model thanks to a diet of carbon fiber, and will stick to the road thanks to some Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD tires.

I’m not sure what the team’s target time is for the hill climb or exactly what class the RC-F GT will enter but the one thing that is certain is that Justin Bell is likely to have buckets full of fun piloting this thing to the peak.  Hopefully, we’ll get some tasty video of this thing in action at which I will share with you all!  In the meantime click the thumbnail below for pictures and for official specs see the press release below as well.

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Press Release:

TORRANCE, Calif. (June 22, 2015) – On June 28th, Lexus will compete in the Time Attack class of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The luxury automaker will be campaigning the all-new RC F GT Concept, a vehicle that builds upon the legacy of the IS F CCS-R vehicles that last competed at Pikes Peak in 2013. This historic event, now in its 93rd running, is a race against the clock that tests man and machine with the changing elements, altitude, and a treacherous 12.42 mile, 156 turn course that winds up the peak from 9,390 feet up to the 14,115 foot summit.

The new Lexus will be piloted up the mountain by British driving ace, 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, and automotive media personality Justin Bell. “With very little time behind the wheel, the RC F GT Concept has already proven fast and easy to drive, very much like the production models, actually. We expect the race car will only pick up pace as we engage more testing, tuning, and data acquisition on the mountain”, said Bell. A seasoned driver in a wide range of vehicles, Bell will bring his vast experience and knowledge to bear on the development side of the RC F GT Concept.

Serving as much more than a mere competition vehicle, the new RC F GT Concept represents  a pivotal piece of the Lexus F brand motorsports effort along with the forthcoming global GT3 program. Much like the IS F CCS-R vehicles whose efforts in motorsports helped develop key components such as the engine and transmission for the 2015 RC F, the new GT Concept program will continue to elaborate on the F brand’s performance mission, allowing Lexus engineers to experiment with prototype components, tuning ideas, settings, and software development.

A focused race car involving a high level of composite materials, the RCF GT Concept weighs about 800 lbs. less (3130 lbs.) than the street version, while retaining the same engine and transmission as the production RC F, though states of tune are adjusted for the competition environment. With RC F GT Concept, engineers can test the engine, transmission and chassis components in various conditions, experimenting with different tuning ideas, settings and software.

“The continued evolution of the F brand remains a top priority for Lexus, and motorsports provide us an outstanding opportunity to develop more than concepts and components for F brand products. Our niche line of high performance products are geared toward enthusiast drivers, and also make a very strong statement about Lexus’ engineering capabilities. Competition efforts like Pikes Peak help nurture a performance engineering culture and ideology that will have the greatest influence of future F brand products”, said Jeff Bracken group Vice President and General Manager Lexus division.

RC F GT Concept 

Curb weight 3130 lbs. (1420 kgs.)
Engine displacement 5.0 Liter
Horsepower/torque 467+ Hp at 7100 rpm/ 390+ lbs.-ft at 4800 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase 107.4 inches (2730 mm)
Overall Length 189.2 inches (4805 mm)
Overall Width 77.8 inches (1915 mm)
Overall Height 53.4 (1357 mm)
Weight Reduction Carbon fiber construction of: hood, roof, trunk lid, door panels, front and rear over fenders, front canards, rear spoiler, interior trim and dashboard. Polycarbonate window.
Tires Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08R 265/40R18
Yokohama ADVAN A005 280/680R18

 

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Hype: GReddy Now Taking Pre-Orders On Rocket Bunny V2 “Boss” Conversion For Nissan S14

Posted on 05.27.15 | Andrew Beckford 1 Comment

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Love them or hate them, Rocket Bunny aero kits are what all the “cool children” are doing right now.  Just about every popular platform has a Rocket Bunny kit available and in some cases, several.  The latest Rocket Bunny kit to come out of TRA Kyoto is for the Nissan S14 (95-98 240SX).  Its actually the second kit for the S14.  The first (V1) kit was just about making things wider.  This new kit not only widens the S14’s stance but converts the front end into something completely different from what Nissan had in mind when they originally designed the car.

The Rocket Bunny V2 kit essentially converts the S14 into a very “muscle car” looking vehicle.  In fact the V2 kit’s nickname is the “Boss” conversion.  Perhaps that is a reference to the Boss 302 Mustang, yet this conversion actually resembles something closer to a Plymouth Barracuda.  To make things even more punk rock, the kit actually eliminates the rear bumper all together for a big rear diffuser.  The OEM bumper may still fit on the car but don’t quote us on that.

If this new Rocket Bunny aero kit stirs your lemonade, you can pre-order the V2 Boss conversion right now from GReddy.  The complete FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) kit which includes: a front lip, front bumper, hood, front fenders, grill, headlight mounts, headlights, side skirts, rear “duck tail” wing, rear fenders, and rear diffuser will set you back $4,380.  The conversion requires turn signals from an S13 and aren’t included in the package.

What do you think of the new Rocket Bunny V2 aero kit?  Do you like the muscle car conversion look?  Do you hate it?  Are you tired of Rocket Bunny kits or do you want to Rocket Bunny all the things?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.  For more pictures of the Boss conversion just click the thumbnails.

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[Source: GReddy.com]

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Hype Event: Scion Invites Industry Influencers And Media For A Casual Intro To The New Scion iM & iA

Posted on 05.19.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Usually, when a OEM introduces a new car to their line up the occasional is marked with pomp and circumstance in the form of a big event at some even bigger auto show with lights and cameras.  Scion tends to do things differently.  To celebrate their upcoming new models the iM and the iA Scion invited a group of industry influencers, car crews, and media out to the Toyota mothership campus for a private but casual car show.  Knowing that many influencers enjoy various types of cars Scion even encouraged owners of classic cars, low riders, and exotic cars to come out.  How cool is that?  Even cooler was the line up of food trucks serving up some pretty delicious fare.

A few aftermarket staple companies were on hand as well like GReddy and TEIN.  Formula Drift drivers Ken Gushi and Ryan Tuerck made an appearance and most importantly attendees had a chance to get up close and personal with the new Scion iA and iM.  I was lucky enough to get invited to the event thanks our friends at MotorMavens so of course I brought my trusty camera and whipped up a nice gallery for you!  Check it out below but make sure you are logged into your Facebook account to view it!

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Event Hype: Z Bash 2015 Drew Hundreds Of Loyal Z-ists Despite Wind And Rain (Gallery)

Posted on 04.27.15 | Andrew Beckford 2 Comments

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There are lots of cars that have a “following.”  Cars that certainly have fans who are enthusiastic to that particular make and model.  Cars like the Subaru WRX, Honda Civic, etc.  Then there are cars that have “cult followings”.  These cars have rabid, extremely devoted, perhaps even devout fans that will snarl and fight tooth and nail to defend the honor of their coveted vehicle and derive great joy from owning said vehicle.    There are really only a handful of true cult cars in the world and the Datsun/Nissan Z is definitely on that short list.

The Z was originally created by Nissan (Datsun in America back then) to compete with the current European sports cars of the time from Jaguar, Porsche, and BMW.  The President of Nissan Motors USA Yutaka Katayama, known affectionately by Z enthusiasts as “Mr. K” saw the potential impact that Nissan’s sports car could have in the states and was responsible for bringing the Z to America.  The rest as they say, is history.

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Several iterations and generations later the Z is still beloved by hundreds of thousands of fans today.  Be it a modern 370Z or a classic 240Z, each generation has its throngs of dedicated fans.  Serving those fans is famed Z shop, Motorsport Auto.  For 30 years Motorsport Auto has been the “go to” shop for anyone looking to modify or restore a Z from virtually any generation.  Once a year Z fans all gather together at Motorsport Auto in Orange, CA for the annual “Z Bash” meet, which is essentially the mecca of Z.  Despite the rain, hundreds of people came out from far and wide to check out beautifully restored classic Z cars, built modern Z cars, buy, sell, and trade Z parts, and just celebrate all things Z.  When I say “far and wide” I really mean it too.  Plenty of people came from out of state but some people even flew in from other countries.  In fact, there was a guy who came all the way from Amsterdam!  I went to the event and was completely overwhelmed with the amount of cars on hand so I instead focused on the cars that caught my eye the most.  Just click the thumbnails for larger pictures.  Also stay tuned to our Instagram at @MotorworldHype for more pictures that aren’t in the gallery.  FYI: all the pictures are in HD resolution!

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Hype: A Quick Look Inside Mazda USA’s Unofficial Museum

Posted on 04.27.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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A short while ago a group of journalists (including myself) were invited to Mazda USA’s R&D headquarters in sunny industrial Irvine California get a look into their Mazdaspeed motorsports ladder and preview their upcoming season.  We even got to meet a few of their young gun drivers but you’ll get more on that in a later post.  What this post is about is what happened after the presentation.  Once the presentation was over the group was taken into what the staff at Mazda R&D refers to as “The Basement”.  Technically, its more of an underground parking garage but semantics aside, “The Basement” is pretty special.  Why?  Because it is the area in which several historically significant Mazda race cars, production cars, and concept cars are kept.   Want to see a 4-Rotor Le Mans race car?  There are two of them in the basement.  How about a super rare Miata coupe? Not hard top but a true coupe.  Yes, Virginia, it does exist.  There were also vintage race cars, and other show room stock rare production cars like the short lived all wheel drive turbo-charged 323 GTX hatchback.

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This place is a candy store for any Mazda enthusiast and the best part is they let me take pictures!  Well, I couldn’t take pictures of everything I saw down there but I shot as much as they’d let me get away with.  Just click on any of the thumbnails in this post to see a few cool pieces of Mazda history.

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Hype: Subaru Teases The Future Of BRZ With STI Concept At New York Auto Show

Posted on 04.02.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Ever since the BRZ was released Subaru fans have been holding out for the possibility that an STI version would be on the horizon.  Just as the WRX has its ultimate version, the BRZ is begging for a bawls-out, track weapon variation.  For years Subaru has trolled and teased a BRZ STI but has yet to say anything official on the possibility of one in the future.  At New York this week Subaru may have finally given their fans some real hope of a BRZ STI by way of a concept that sits center stage at their booth.

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Dubbed the “STI Performance Concept” this wide body BRZ is meant as a showcase for everything that STI can do with existing Subaru platforms.  It looks like Subaru may be moving to position STI to produce aftermarket products as well as top end performance models, essentially replacing the Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) brand in America.  So perhaps Subaru may not release an STi version of the BRZ but release an “STI package” that any BRZ owner can bolt on and achieve STI-level performance.  I just wrote “STI” a lot…  Anyhow while it may not be what we imagined its still a step in the right direction.

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As for the concept itself, its essentially a slightly toned down version of the BRZ Super GT race car.  In fact this concept has the same engine as the Super GT version under the hood.  Some chassis components, the intake, and exhaust are “off the shelf” STI parts while the crazy wide body kit is likely a one-off.  Although it would be pretty awesome to make the kit available for production.

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What do you think about the STI Performance Concept”? Do you think this could really mean a future BRZ STI or do you think Subaru is just trolling us again?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.  For HD resolution pics of the STI Performance Concept just click the thumbnails and for more info see the press release below.

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Press Release:

SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. UNVEILS STI PERFORMANCE CONCEPT AT 2015 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

• Concept showcases Subaru Tecnica International (STI) vehicle performance capabilities
• Concept features enhancements for chassis, body, and air intake/exhaust systems
• Concept’s engine is based on the racing engine from the Subaru BRZ Super GT race car

New York, N.Y. –  Subaru of America, Inc. today unveiled the STI Performance Concept at the New York International Auto Show.

The STI Performance Concept signifies a plan for U.S.-expansion of Subaru Tecnica International (STI), the performance division of Subaru, in its three core business areas; aftermarket parts, STI-tuned cars and motorsports.

The expansion has already begun, with STI-engineered parts replacing Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) aftermarket parts in the U.S. market, and with STI’s increasing engineering presence in Subaru of America’s Global RallyCross team.

In the future, further models tuned by STI will be available in the US. These cars could feature more extensive modifications from the factory than previously offered, such as suspension, performance, braking, chassis and aerodynamic upgrades.

“At STI we know from our racing that to win, it is important not only to have high power, but also that all aspects of performance are balanced over the whole car,” said Yoshio Hirakawa, president of Subaru Tecnica International, Inc. “When we achieve this balance, the driver feels that the car is easy to handle and reliable, and he can use it fully to the limits of its performance. Our plan is to produce cars and accessories that drivers can really enjoy.”

The STI Performance Concept is a showcase for the engineering prowess and tuning capability of STI, featuring the racing engine developed by STI for the BRZ Super GT racecar, suspension and chassis components and aerodynamic upgrades.

Complete cars (extensive tuning by STI) and performance parts available now in Japan focus on the WRX STI, Forester and BRZ models. The Japanese domestic market uses the nomenclature “S model” as its naming for the WRX STI and uses “tS” on BRZ and Forester vehicles that have STI components, but a naming convention for any future US models has not yet been established.

STI was founded as Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries’ motor sports division in 1988. In 1989, a first-generation Subaru Legacy, tuned by STI, broke the FIA-certified world speed record over 100,000 kilometers. From there, STI moved on to the World Rally Championship, winning 3 constructors championships and 3 driver championships for Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg. It currently competes in the Nurburgring 24 Hour Challenge race winning its class two times in 2011 and 2012 and also in the Super GT series with its BRZ-based Super GT.

For more information on Subaru Tecnica International go to http://www.sti.jp/en/

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Hype: The Honda Civic Type R Is Officially Coming To North America! Lets Have A Look Shall We? (Video)

Posted on 04.01.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Civic Concept

Its officially official!  Honda just announced during their New York Auto Show press conference that the 10th generation Civic will have base, Si, and Type R variants sold in North America!  To give an idea of what the 10th generation Civic will look like, Honda brought out this crazy lime-green concept coupe.  Now, this isn’t necessarily to say that the American version of the Type R will be a coupe.  Honda stated that the 1oth gen Civic will come in sedan, coupe, and 5 door hatchback flavors.  So, America may get the same version of the Type R that the rest of the world is getting or perhaps Honda will try to differentiate the American Type R from the others by making it a coupe in this market.  It is not clear at the moment but will likely be revealed later on.  The other question is if the new Civic Si will feature the same turbo charged VTEC engine as the Type R, albeit detuned a bit or will the Type R be the only VTEC Turbo in the line up?  There are plenty of juicy questions to ponder on but we can all still revel in the fact that this isn’t an April Fool’s joke and the Type R is finally hitting American shores!  For my thoughts on the car and a video over view scroll below.  You can also click on any of the thumbnails for an HD resolution picture and get more info about the 10th gen Civic in the press release.  What do you think about this concept?  Are you excited about the Civic Type R coming to North America?  How much do you think it should cost?  Let us know in the comments or tweet to us @MotorworldHype.

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Press Release:

Apr 1, 2015 – NEW YORK

  • 10th-generation, 2016 model year Civic focuses on sporty, fun-to-drive dynamics
  • Civic lineup to include Sedan, Coupe, and 5-door Hatchback body types, as well as Si and Type-R versions
  • First Honda model to apply new VTEC® Turbo engines in North America
  • Civic, America’s most popular small car is designed, developed and produced in North America

Today Honda unveiled its ultra-sporty Civic Concept at the New York International Auto Show as the brand prepares to launch its completely reimagined 10th-Generation Civic models beginning this fall. With a sharper focus on spirited performance and class-leading versatility, the new Civic lineup will include Civic Sedan, Coupe and Si models along with the return of the Civic hatchback, followed by the launch of a new Civic Type-R as the performance flagship of the Civic lineup. The new Civic also will be the first U.S. model to apply new VTEC® Turbo engines from the company’s Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrain series.

“The new Civic will be, flat out, the most dynamic, the most technologically advanced and the most refined and stylish Civic we’ve ever made,” said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.  “In every way, this will be an epic Civic.”

The Civic Concept provides a tantalizing glimpse forward to the thrilling design direction for the all-new 10th-generation Civic lineup launching in the U.S. this fall. Featuring a longer wheelbase and lower, wider stance, the new Civic emphasizes its aggressive personality and the engaging experience it will provide behind the wheel. Proportionally it boasts a longer hood, a shorter front overhang, a more set-back greenhouse and a shorter rear deck, lending the Civic a more athletic and “in motion” appearance.

The low and wide proportions are underscored by its more aggressive wheel-to-body relationship and pronounced fender arches. Its sporty and expressive face is highlighted by bright new LED headlights flanking the “Flying H” Honda grille which is supported by deeply sculpted lower air intakes.

“Charismatic, connected and athletic, our goal was to create a design that is emotional and sporty yet with a sense of timelessness and simplicity,” said Guy Melville-Brown, Chief Exterior designer of the Civic concept, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “In this we set out to create a vehicle that goes beyond the superficial and embraces the very philosophy of what a true Civic should be; it’s a real game changer.”

The 10th-generation Civic is based on a compact platform that targets benchmark levels of efficiency, dynamic performance, safety and manufacturing productivity. Leveraging this new platform in conjunction with new Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrains – including a new 1.5-liter VTEC® Turbo engine with direct injection, a short-shifting 6-speed manual transmission, and a new, more sporty and efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) – the Civic will target class-leading fuel economy ratings and fun-to-drive performance with near-luxury levels of cabin quietness and ride refinement.

The new Civic will also target class-leading levels of safety performance and will offer the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control and Honda LaneWatch™, along with Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure.

The new Civic marks the first time that global development of both the sedan and coupe models is being led by a North American R&D team, with design led by a team from Honda’s Los Angeles design studio and development centered in the company’s Raymond, Ohio vehicle development center. The North American version of the Civic Sedan will be produced in Greensburg, Indiana, and in Alliston, Ontario. The Civic Coupe and Si models will also be manufactured in Alliston. The VTEC Turbo engine will be produced in Anna, Ohio with engines also produced in Alliston. The CVT will be produced in Russells Point, Ohio. Together, these four Honda plants have invested in new equipment, processes and training to prepare for new Civic production, which will use domestic and globally sourced parts. Production of the five-door hatchback will take place at the company’s Swindon, UK plant.

Honda is in the midst of a series of major product launches that began with the freshened CR-V – 2015 Motor Trend Sport Utility of the Year – and continues with the spring launch of the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V crossover and the summer launch of the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot SUV. This will be followed by the new Civic release beginning this fall.

About Civic
The current generation Civic has been the best-selling small car in America with individual retail car buyers every year since its launch as a 2012 model in calendar year 2011, with sales in excess of 300,000 units in each of the past three years. The first-generation Civic debuted in America in 1972, and Civic has played a leading role in advancing fuel efficiency, small-car safety performance, design, technology and fun-to-drive performance over nine generations of development. American car buyers have purchased more than 10 million Civics over the course of 43 years and Civic has been manufactured in North America since 1986, with cumulative production in North America approaching 9 million units.

About Honda
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive automobiles for American car buyers through approximately 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Accord, Crosstour, Civic, Fit, and CR-Z along with the Pilot, and CR-V sport-utility vehicles and the Odyssey minivan.

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Hype: The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Roadster Gets A Reasonable Price

Posted on 03.30.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The 2016 Mazda MX-5 roadster is easily one of the most anticipated cars in a good long while.  In fact I would argue that gearheads are just as excited for the MX-5 release as they were for the release of hypercars like the McLaren P1, LaFerrari, and Porsche 918.  The difference with the MX-5 is that it will be way more available and much more affordable.  Today Mazda has announced that the new MX-5 will have a starting MSRP of $24,995 for the “entry-level sport trim”.

This puts the ’16 MX-5 in Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ territory.  Obviously, that number will go up if buyers opt for other trims and options but for those who just one the pure MX-5 experience, the price for entry is very enticing.  The true test is if the new MX-5 will live up to the legendary reputation that precedes it.  If it does, then the other test will be if Mazda can keep up with demand.  If you don’t need a review to convince you, then I would highly recommend checking with your local Mazda dealer now to see if you can reserve an MX-5 before they sell out.

Press Release:

IRVINE, Calif., March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announced that the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will start at $24,9151 in entry-level Sport trim. Mazda has instilled the latest MX-5 with the pure driving experience that has won worldwide fanfare since the arrival of the first-generation MX-5 in 1989 as a 1990 model.

Yet, the fourth-generation MX-5 provides Mazda’s latest safety features and technologies and maintains an inflation-adjusted price close to that of the original roadster. The 2016 MX-5 launches this summer and will be available in Sport, Club and Grand Touring trim levels.

“As we get closer to the MX-5’s summer on-sale date, we’re seeing a surge in interest and excitement from enthusiasts and journalists,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO. “Already, early MX-5 reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, and we expect the momentum that MX-5 has garnered to continue to build as drivers get behind the wheel of our fourth-generation sports car.”

Infused with SKYACTIV®2 TECHNOLOGY and KODO—Soul of Motion design, the 2016 MX-5 is smaller, lighter and more aggressive than its predecessor, with the base MX-5 Sport expected to outperform the sportiest previous road-going variants. However, even with its focus on delivering maximum driving enjoyment, the 2016 MX-5 boasts more creature comforts and a more functional interior than the vehicle it replaces.

For the first time, a six-speed manual transmission will come standard as well as LED headlights, USB audio input, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a leather-wrapped shift knob and power door locks.

“The three trim levels available – Sport, Club and Grand Touring – are tailored for three very different types of customers, broadening the MX-5’s appeal,” said Rod McLaughlin, MX-5 vehicle line manager, MNAO. “The Sport model is for those desiring a pure, lightweight, unadulterated wind-in-the-hair driving experience. MX-5 Club is for those seeking a more aggressive appearance and driving experience and Grand Touring models are for loyal MX-5 owners who seek premium amenities and a driving experience that only MX-5 can deliver.”

A full list of pricing information, specifications, options, packages and other information will be available at a later date.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.

1 Starting price is manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).  MSRP does not include $820 destination charge (Alaska $865), title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
2 SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).

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Hype: Mazda Bringing “Club Edition” 2016 MX-5 To 2015 New York Auto Show

Posted on 03.25.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The base 2016 MX-5 isn’t even in show rooms yet and Mazda is already working on tantalizing variants!  Mazda has officially announced that there will be a “Club Edition” of the 2016 MX-5 and it will make its debut next month at the New York International Auto Show.  The concept of the club edition is relatively new and showed up a few years ago for the current generation MX-5.  The current club edition doesn’t offer much in the way of additional performance but does put together an exterior package that looks pretty sharp.

Mazda hasn’t announced if the Club Edition for the new MX-5 will also be purely aesthetic or add some function as well.  The current Club Edition was created as something of a send off for the current gen MX-5 which would explain why its strictly cosmetic.  However, with the new Club Edition coming at the beginning of the next-gen MX-5’s life cycle, I am hoping that they do more than make it look nicer.  At the very least perhaps Mazda may re-tune the suspension to make it even more nimble than the base MX-5 promises to be.

Either way, I am looking forward to see what they come up with!  Although, if I’m being honest with myself, what I really want to see is the new Mazdaspeed3 that we thought we were going to get at the end of last year.  If there was ever a time to debut the new Mazdaspeed3, it would be just before the summer kicks off.  Though, even if Mazda doesn’t reveal the new ‘speed3 at New York, there is still the possibility it could debut at the LA Auto Show this year, which would actually work out better on a personal level.  But hey, if Mazda is ready to pull the trigger I’d rather it be sooner than later.

Anyhow, I digress.  I am very curious as to how they will handle the new Club Edition.  As soon as I get more news about it I will share all the juicy details.  So stay tuned!

Press Release:

IRVINE, Calif., March 25, 2015 : Ready to join the Club? The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club edition, that is.

Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) will be introducing the North American-spec MX-5 Club next week at the New York International Auto Show. The MX-5 Club represents the most aggressive road-going iteration of Mazda’s fourth-generation flagship roadster.

The 2016 MX-5 sheds approximately 150 lbs. from its predecessor through use of lightweight, efficient SKYACTIV®1 TECHNOLOGY, now weighing 2,332 lbs. when equipped with the standard SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission (2,381 lbs. with the six-speed automatic). Powering all North American models will be a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV engine, rated at 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque.

Shorter than the first-generation MX-5 that initially graced U.S. shores in 1989, yet wider than the outgoing model and with its engine lower and farther back in its chassis, the 2016 MX-5 is designed to deliver maximum driving enjoyment. The MX-5 Club aims to amplify that experience, harking back to the early lightweight sports cars that inspired it, but serving as a beacon for the future as a thoroughly modern, sophisticated package.

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