Motor Shows Subaru

LA 2013: Subaru WRX revealed

MY15 Subaru WRX

When the Subaru Impreza WRX was first launched in the early 1990s it caught the world off guard. The hot hatch market had cooled somewhat and along came this fairly basic, but very quick (for its time) all-wheel drive weapon that could, if not embarrass, take the fight up to supercars.

The WRX went on to carve out an enviable niche, especially here in Australia. It was popular and, with good reason, it was the default choice for anyone with $40K to spend who didn’t want an Aussie “muscle car”.

Then everyone else caught up, if not in outright speed, in general appeal and desirability. The WRX has always been a good car through its generations, but it’s lost something along the way. Subaru’s recent trend to design horrible looking cars hasn’t helped. Truth be known the Rex has never been a pretty car, but that didn’t really matter because its abilities outweighed its visual flaws.

Twenty years is a long time to stay on top in the motoring world and the WRX couldn’t manage it. Now a fading light, the icon needs a rebirth. Something to breathe new life into the aura the WRX used to have.

And then along came the WRX Concept earlier this year. This was it! This was the moment the WRX would reignite the passion it had won two decades ago. All Subaru had to do was flick the switch from concept car to production car. It was a no brainer, we all thought. The WRX Concept looked so good, just perfect, surely even Subaru couldn’t stuff this up?

Ah yes.

To be fair it’s not that bad. It’s just that it could have been so much better.

MY15 Subaru WRX
Engine: 2.0-litre Horizontally-Opposed Direct Injection turbo Boxer engine
Transmission: 6-speed manual or Sport Lineartronic CVT
Power: 199kW at 5600 rpm
Torque: 349Nm at 2000–5200 rpm
0–100km/h: 5.4s (5.9s with CVT)

Jaguar Motor Shows

LA 2013: Jaguar F-Type Coupé revealed

Jaguar F-Type Coupe

The Jaguar F-Type Coupé has arrived and boy do we like it. Just wait until your ears feast on the sounds of the F-Type R Coupé after the break. Oh yes, yes and more yes!

Of course the coupé model sits nicely alongside the equally good looking F-Type roadster which has won admirers all over the world. Based on the 2011 C-X16 hybrid concept, not a lot has been lost in translation. The F-Type Coupé really is a remarkably good looking car.

Jag hasn’t gone half-hearted either, no, they’ve rocked up to LA with the very angry R version, which we haven’t seen in the convertible model yet. It’s been worth the wait too. Check out the specs below:

Jaguar F-Type R Coupé
Engine: 5.0 litre supercharged V8
Power: 404kW at 6500rpm
Torque: 680Nm at 2500–5500rpm
Weight (unladen): 1650kg
0–100km/h: 4.2s
80–120km/h: 2.4s
Fuel consumption: 11.1l/100km

Jaguar F-Type S Coupé
Engine: 3.0 litre supercharged V6
Power: 280kW at 6500rpm
Torque: 480Nm at 3500–5000rpm
Weight (unladen): 1594kg
0–100km/h: 4.9s
80–120km/h: 3.1s
Fuel consumption: 9.1l/100km

Jaguar F-Type Coupé
Engine: 3.0 litre V6
Power: 250kW at 5500rpm
Torque: 450Nm at 3500–5500rpm
Weight (unladen): 1577kg
0–100km/h: 5.3s
80–120km/h: 3.3s
Fuel consumption: 8.8l/100km

All models are fitted standard with a variation of the ZF 8-speed auto, also found in the BMW M135i. Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes can be optioned in the S and R versions. There’s also a hidden rear spolier which comes out of hibernation at 110km/h and goes back into hiding when the speed drops below 80km/h.

The F-Type Coupé goes on sale in Australia in the second hald of 2014. Pricing will be confirmed closer to its launch. An R version would be really nice thanks very much. Now, where have I put those Lotto numbers…

Motor Shows Porsche

LA 2013: Porsche Macan revealed

Porsche Macan

Porsche has revealed its new Macan SUV in separate launch events at motor shows in LA and Tokyo. Of course, Porsche ambassador Maria Sharapova could only be in one place at once and LA got the sweets on that front.

The Macan is destined to be Porsche’s best selling model and if you have a dislike of SUVs from Stuttgart we suggest you learn to get over it, and fast. As far as SUVs go the Macan looks very good and with relatively affordable pricing (for a Porsche anyway) you’ll be seeing a lot of these on the roads.

At launch Porsche has released information on three models, all boast Porsche Traction Managment—what you and I would call all-wheel drive—and 7-speed PDK transmissions:

Macan Turbo
Engine: 3.6 litre V6 biturbo
Power: 294kW at 6000rpm
Torque: 550Nm at 1350–4500rpm
Weight (unladen): 1925kg
0–100km/h: 4.8s (4.6s with optional Sport Chrono)
0–160km/h: 11.1s (10.9s with optional Sport Chrono)
0–1000m: 24.2s (23.9s with optional Sport Chrono)
Fuel consumption (NEDC): 9.2–8.9l/100km

Macan S
Engine: 3.0 litre V6 biturbo
Power: 250kW at 5500–6500rpm
Torque: 460Nm at 1450–5000rpm
Weight (unladen): 1865kg
0–100km/h: 5.4s (5.2s with optional Sport Chrono)
0–160km/h: 13.2s (13.0s with optional Sport Chrono)
0–1000m: 25.7s (25.4s with optional Sport Chrono)
Fuel consumption (NEDC): 9.0–8.7l/100km

Macan S Diesel
Engine: 3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel
Power: 190kW at 4000–4250rpm
Torque: 580Nm at 1750–2500rpm
Weight (unladen): 1880kg
0–100km/h: 6.3s (6.1s with optional Sport Chrono)
0–160km/h: 16.7s (16.5s with optional Sport Chrono)
0–1000m: 27.2s (26.8s with optional Sport Chrono)
Fuel consumption (NEDC): 6.3–6.1l/100km

Full details from Porsche are available after the break, including the 71 page press kit from the LA Auto Show.


Jaguar F-Type Coupé on show in LA and Tokyo

Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Jaguar brings word its F-Type Coupé will be revealed at a secret location in Los Angeles on 19 November. The following day the F-Type Coupé will make its show debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, before also being on show at the LA show after globe spins around a bit more.

Based on the very sexy 2011 C-X16 concept, the tintop F-Type will mostly be a cut and paste job from the convertible version. We can’t wait to see more!


You’ll get your official look at the F56 MINI in LA

MINI F56 prototype

Even thought we’ve already seen the new MINI, its official debut is now expected to take place in November at the 2013 LA Auto Show. At least that’s the word from Sue McCarthy, MINI Australia product planner, who confirmed as much with The Motor Report this morning.

McCarthy also indicated that Australian sales of the F56 MINI are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2014.

[Source: TMR | Pic: Autocar]

Green Machines Mercedes-Benz Motor Shows

LA 2010: Mercedes-Benz BIOME

Mercedes-Benz BIOME

Check out this crazy thing, it’s called the Mercedes-Benz BIOME. We’re half expecting it to be some sort of joke. Read the press guff after the break and you’ll see why.

Truth is, the BIOME was created as an entry into the LA Design Challenge and it is a stunning looking creation. But the explanation of how it works and how it draws its power, well—honestly, you just can’t make this stuff up—it’s extraordinary. Who knows, maybe one day the joke will be on us.

Oh, the winner of the LA Design Challenge was the Cadillac Aera, an equally hair-brained concept powered by fiction.


LA 2010: AMG forms alliance with Ducati

AMG & Ducati

Announced at the LA Auto Show is news of a formal cooperation agreement with Mercedes-Benz performance arm AMG with Italian superbike maker Ducati. In its early visible form this new partnership will be seen with AMG sponsoring the Ducati MotoGP team.

Other activities would see Ducati motor cycles available for test rides at AMG performance days and so on. It’s all about exploring new markets that suit each brand. Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH explains, “AMG and Ducati ideally complement each other, as both companies share the same values: racing as the driving passion, and high performance plus exclusivity as the central brand messages of both AMG and Ducati. This long-term cooperation will help us to jointly access new customer groups.”

You can read the full press release after the break.

UPDATE 22 November: According to Autocar AMG is keen to take its relationship with Ducati to the next level by buying the Italian superbike maker. Click HERE for more.

Motor Shows Subaru

LA 2010: Subaru Impreza Concept

Subaru Impreza Concept

What’s this – has Subaru got its mojo back? You’re looking at a new Impreza Concept, which was revealed by Subaru overnight at the LA Auto Show. As you can see it’s nowhere near as bad as you might think. Recent designs from Subaru have been, well, let’s be honest, pretty ugly, but this new direction could launch Subaru into new heights.

Okay, the details around the front grille are a little fussy. And it’s pretty clear Subaru just put a sheet of tracing paper over the Mazda 6 to create those chunky wheel arches. But, the general look is very successful. In side profile the car looks smart, sharp and very stylish. From the front three-quarter angle you see that strong shoulder line which gives the car a great presence.

Just don’t look at the back. No, really. Don’t.

Motor Shows Porsche

LA 2010: Porsche Cayman R

Porsche Cayman R

As promised Porsche has revealed a new lightweight Cayman model at the Los Angeles Auto Show. As expected the car is badged as the Cayman R.

Porsche didn’t really offer up any surprises either, which means the Cayman is a bit lighter, has a bit more power and will cost a few more beans, as well. Peak power from the mid-mounted 3.4 litre flat six is 243kW (330bhp). Weight has been reduced by 55kg to a new unladen total of 1295kg. The ride height, too, has been lowered by 20mm.

Buyers can pick from a 6-speed manual, or a 7-speed PDK. Porsche reckon you can reach 100km/h in 5.0 seconds with the manual, or 4.9 seconds with the PDK. The optional Sport Chrono Plus package reduces the 100km/h sprint time further to 4.7 seconds. Top speed is around 280km/h.

Now, onto the use of the R badge. Keen Porsche scholars will remember the 1967 911 R. Just 19 were made with 210bhp powering a super lightweight 830kg body. The R stood for Racing (or Rennen in German). Since then the R badge has been used very rarely by Porsche and when it has been used it’s mainly been for true race cars, such as the GT3 R. Purists might not be happy that a Cayman with a mere 10bhp more than a Cayman S and a respectable, but not spectacular, 55kg weight difference has been granted such special status. Quasi-celebrity motoring journalist Chris Harris is not pleased.

You’ve got video, pics and Porsche’s press release available after the break to help you decide if Porsche has used the R appropriately.

Motor Shows Porsche

Porsche confirms world premiere of mid-engine sports car at LA

Porsche Cayman CS

Porsche has confirmed it will be offering a world premiere at the LA Auto Show. Of course, not much is given away, other than saying, “A mid-engine sports car which will be unveiled during a press conference at 10:55am on November 17.”

Our news from June tells us this is likely to be a lightweight Cayman model. It’s now understood this new offering will be badged the Cayman R and not the CS as first thought.

Following a similar path the gorgeous Boxster Spyder, the Cayman R is expected to shed 80kg of weight and gain a few extra horses along the way.

We’ll have full details for you as soon as they come to hand. In the meantime check out the Porsche press release after the break.

[Thanks to James for the tip]


Next generation Mazda3 sedan

2009 Mazda3 sedan

The LA Auto Show may not have officially started just yet, but manufacturer’s are quick to get their information to market. Of particular note to Australian readers is the reveal of the new Mazda3. Over 28,000 of Mazda’s well regarded mid-size 3 models have been sold in Australia so far this year, making the car a major player in its segment. Mazda will be hoping the new model will find as much favour with local buyers.

All the expected improvements have been made over the previous generation, with a higher level of standard equipment, improved performance and considered environmental attributes. There’s quite a lengthy press release from Mazda’s United States marketing department below, and there’s a couple of nifty points to highlight.

The new exterior design has a slippery drag coefficient of 0.29 Cd, which Mazda claims is one of the lowest in class. A nice fundamental benefit to fuel economy, if nothing else. The new Mazda family face, as adopted to the Mazda3, has a bit of a quirky look, but overall the new look is a definite evolutionary step. For the most part, the car looks quite smart. However, the extroverted front guard does look a little out of place, especially when viewing the awkward juxtaposition of creases where the front quarter-panel meets the front doors.

Bringing a touch of Japanese gadgetry to the interior is the neat interactive interior ambient lighting. From the media release, “Upon entry, illumination rises in intensity in a programmed manner. Occupants are welcomed by foot-well and door-handle lamps. Next, instrument cluster, centre stack, audio and climate controls brighten. When a driver or front seat occupant touches an audio or A/C switch, a change in illumination acknowledges that the command has been received.” A bit of a gimmick, but also pretty cool.

More pics and words after the jump.