April 2012

Audi TT RS gets infusion of performance in the UK

(April 30, 2012) Audi has just loosened the leash on the already extreme TT RS to create the new TT RS plus, an even more focused version of the high performance sports car with a new, autobahn-devouring 174mph top speed, increases power and torque to 360 horsepower and 342 pound-feet of torque. The increase amounts to 20 horsepower and 11 pound-feet of torque.

Norway becomes hot market for Nissan Leaf electric

(April 30, 2012) Nissan in Norway has sold 1000 Nissan Leafs in just six months, taking almost 2 percent of the total car market in February demonstrating the impact of comprehensive incentives and developed charging infrastructure.

The government support and charging infrastructure have helped the Nissan Leaf become the second best selling Nissan in Norway and the ninth best selling passenger car overall in February. Norway has the highest level of support in Europe for electric vehicle purchases with zero VAT, no new car tax, free parking, exemption from some tolls and the use of bus lanes in Oslo.

Ford Shelby GT500 engine certified as world's most powerful production V-8

(April 30, 2012) DEARBORN, Mich. — The all-new supercharged 5.8-liter powerplant in the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 has been officially SAE-certified as the most powerful series production V8 in the world with peak output of 662 horsepower and 631 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s more power and torque than low volume sports cars costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

GM sees growth in diesel car sales; Chevy Cruze diesel readied for 2013

(April 29, 2012) DETROIT — The planned U.S. introduction of a 2.0-liter clean turbo diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze next year is expected to benefit from growing interest in diesel cars, sales of which could double by mid-decade, according to market research firm Baum and Associates.

Diesel car sales, which account for 3 percent of U.S. sales today, are trending up, having jumped 35 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. Diesel car sales grew more than 27 percent last year, according to the Diesel Technology Forum. Baum and Associates predicts diesel to account for 6 percent of car sales by 2015.

MG wins design award in Beijing for Icon concept car

(April 28, 2012) MG has scooped a major design award with its stunning MG Icon concept car. It has been awarded the prestigious "Best Concept" title at the Beijing Motor Show, one of the most sought-after awards on the international automotive show calendar.

The MG Icon beat the Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe and Honda Concept C.

With Alfa Romeo DNA, the new compact Dodge Dart hits ground running

(April 28, 2012) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The 2013 Dodge Dart seeks to redefine the compact sedan segment with Alfa Romeo DNA, fuel-efficient powertrains and Dodge’s passion for performance. The all-new Dodge Dart is a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s fuel-efficient, beautifully designed and crafted, agile and fun-to-drive.

Toyota offers Tacoma with TIX Baja Series off-road package

(April 27, 2012) TORRANCE, Calif. — If you want to trick up your new Toyota Tacoma, Toyota has made it affordable with a TRD TIX Baja Series off-road package that is priced under $5,000.

The TRD T|X Baja Series Package, inspired by Toyota’s Baja racing heritage, reveals bold graphics with the name “Baja Series” and enhanced suspension, elevating the capability of Tacoma’s TRD Off-Road pickup to a new level of fun and function. The special limited edition package will be available on select Tacoma 4x4 pickup trucks.

Ford's North American operating profit increases, but earnings fall overseas

(April 27, 2012) Ford's pre-tax profits in the U.S. increased in the first quarter to $2.1 billion from $1.8 billion last year. But trouble in Europe and Asia has left Ford with an overall operating profit of just $2.3 billion, down $544 million from the first quarter in 2011. Ford has posted a pre-tax operating profit for 11 consecutive quarters.

2013 Ford Escape with 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine certified at 33 mpg

(April 27, 2012) DEARBORN, Mich. — The new Ford Escape is certified by the U.S. EPA as the most fuel efficient small SUV with an automatic. The Escape’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine is certified at 33 mpg — 2 mpg better than the Honda CR-V and 5 mpg better than Toyota RAV4.

Goodyear reports record sales in 2012

(April 27, 2012) AKRON, Ohio — The resurgent auto market has also meant new business for tire manufacturers. This was pointed out today when Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company reported record sales for the first quarter of 2012.