Tag Archives: Audi A4

Pre-Launch Pricing Announced for 2014 Infiniti Q50 Sedan—Get One for $37,355 Before the Price Goes Up

By Kirk Seaman

2014 Infinti Q50

Infiniti has—sort of—announced pricing for the all-new 2014 Q50 (the Sports Sedan Formerly Known as G37). From now until the car actually goes on sale later this summer, the entry-level Q50 sedan can be preordered starting at $37,355. To sweeten the pot, buyers who preorder a Q50 and take delivery by October 31 will receive a complimentary iPad mini. (Woo?) Infiniti declined to provide the final, post-launch pricing for the various models.

While the car’s name has changed, the Q50 still uses the previous G37’s 328-hp 3.7-liter V-6, matched to a seven-speed automatic. (A new hybrid version also is on offer, although we won’t get the diesel model headed for Europe or a manual transmission.) Many other components also carry over, but the handsome new sheetmetal, upscale interior features, and advanced safety systems are new.

The Q50 will be offered with rear-wheel drive as standard, while all-wheel drive is an $1800 option across all models. Infiniti has not yet announced what the standard features will be for each trim or the complete options list, but the special base pricing is as follows:

Q50: $37,355

• Q50 Premium: $40,205

• Q50 Sport: $43,855

• Q50 Premium hybrid: $44,605

• Q50 Sport hybrid: $47,005 

2014 Infiniti Q50 interior

One option we know will be available is a bundle that pairs Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering technology with Active Lane Control. Direct Adaptive Steering is the world’s first “steer-by-wire” system, and it turns the wheels based on driver inputs to the steering wheel via an electrical system. (There is a mechanical backup system in case of electric failure.) Active Lane Control uses a camera-based lane-detection system and works with the adaptive steering to keep the car on the proper path.

The previous G37 had at times given the BMW 3-series a run for its money, losing its most recent comparison test against the Bavarian sports sedan by a mere two points back in 2009, the last year the G appeared on our 10Best Cars roster. Since then, a new 3-series has been launched, and, while it’s still the benchmark in the segment, it seems to have lost a little of its sporting edge: The Cadillac ATS proved to have the superior chassis in a recent head-to-head comparo.

Can the Q50 catch the Bimmer, or even the ATS? We’ll let you know as soon as we can get them together, but if you’re already prepared to part with your cash, Infiniti has reworked the Q50’s microsite to allow users to configure and reserve one of their very own. Better get crackin’ if you want a deal.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Audi Rips the Sheets from the 2015 A3 and S3 Sedans! [2013 New York Auto Show]

By Justin Berkowitz

2014 Audi S3 sedan

Help Wanted: American buyers for new compact sedan from German luxury brand. No, not the one with the three-pointed star. No, not the company with the non-kidney-shaped kidney grille, either. Must like dual-clutch transmissions, four-cylinder engines, and the looks of the Audi A4. Roughly 30,000 positions available. READ MORE ››

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Spy Shots: Jaguar XS mule prepping to battle BMW 3 Series in 2015

By Seyth Miersma

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Just a few weeks ago we caught our first glimpse of the small Jaguar sedan that is currently undergoing development. There’s some information to support that this future rival of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Audi A4, etc, will be coming to market around 2015 with the name XS on the back.

Our spy photographer tells us that the car seen here – a well cut-up Jaguar XF – is a platform mule that is testing suspension set ups, in this case with a diesel engine. (We don’t expect to get Jag’s diesel offerings anytime soon, at least not based on our latest sampling of the crushingly forbidden XF Sportbrake.) In our case, the gasoline-fed four-cylinder turbo engine at the bottom end of the XS range, and the supercharged V6 at the top, are much more likely to end up in our American showrooms.

Jaguar XS mule prepping to battle BMW 3 Series in 2015 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Mar 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

BMW to Debut Diesel 328d, Estimates 40-Plus-mpg [2013 New York Auto Show]

By Alexander Stoklosa

This BMW 335i soon will have an oil-burning little brother in the 328d.

The breadth of BMW’s U.S.-market 3-series lineup continues to grow—the newest coupe and high-performance variants still have yet to arrive—and the automaker has announced the latest addition the 3er family: a diesel model. BMW is calling the new diesel 3-series the 328d, and it joins the new de-powered, low-cost, gas-powered 320i; the 3-series Sports Wagon; the ActiveHybrid 3; and the standard 328i and 335i models based on BMW’s latest F30 architecture. The oil-burning sports sedan will debut at the 2013 New York auto show.

A diesel 3er coming to the U.S. is hardly a surprise—the company previously announced it was bringing a 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder engine here, and it wasn’t much of a stretch to assume it would end up under the hood of the 3-series. The 328d will arrive with 180 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, which should make it reasonably quick, if not as speedy as the turbocharged, four-cylinder 328i. (The 328i packs 60 more ponies but 25 fewer lb-ft of torque, and we’ve spurred it to 60 mph in as little as 5.6 seconds in our testing.) For sure, the new 328d won’t be the rocket that the 335d—the last-generation diesel-powered 3-series sold in the U.S.—was; that car packed a 265-hp inline-six that, while returning decent fuel economy, seemed geared more toward the fun-to-drive end of the spectrum.

The 328d, on the other hand, will be a more efficiency-oriented piece, if BMW’s estimates are anything to go by. The company hasn’t offered specifics yet, but claims the 328d will see fuel economy that “could well exceed 40 mpg.” We’ll have to wait for final EPA figures to become available, but given diesels’ efficiency and the fact that the regular 328i is rated for up to 34-mpg highway, BMW’s claim seems plausible.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Turbodiesel Audi A4 Coming In 2014

By Kurt Ernst

2013 Audi A4 - image: Audi

2013 Audi A4 – image: Audi

A few years back, Audi boasted that it would soon offer diesel versions of every model line it sold in the United States (excluding the R, S and RS vehicles). To date, however, that list includes just the A3 TDI and the Q7 TDI, meaning that there’s still room for a lot of oil-burning Audis in U.S. dealer showrooms.

Perhaps the most eagerly-anticipated Audi diesel is the A4 TDI, a car we expected to be on sale by 2013. In a Tuesday morning conference call, Audi of America president Scott Keogh updated the German luxury brand’s position on diesels in the United States, and it really comes down to timing.

The current Audi A4, built on the B8 platform, is due for replacement in 2014. The new B9 Audi A4 will use a completely different platform (Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo), so absorbing the cost of building a U.S.-market diesel A4 on the old end-of-life platform made no financial sense.

We’re hoping that means development of the U.S.-spec B9 A4 TDI is well under way, and that the car will launch in the U.S. at the same time as other new A4 models. That’s expected to be sometime in 2014, though to be honest we’d expect it to be late in the year.

Look for the A4 TDI to come to market with Audi’s 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, and not the more expensive 3.0-liter V-6. Though specs are still a long way from being finalized, you can expect the A4 TDI to deliver at least 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, which is the rating for the same engine in the A3 TDI.

There are plenty of other diesel models in Audi’s short-term future, too. The A8 TDI will likely arrive first, in the second quarter of 2014, followed by the Q5 TDI, the A6 TDI and the A7 TDI.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Automotive Addicts

Spy Shots: Next Mercedes-Benz C-Class spotted in the snow

By Steven J. Ewing

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan spy shots

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The entry-level Mercedes-Benz C-Class has long felt like nothing more than, well, just that. Aside from the potent and delicious C63 AMG models, there hasn’t been much to set the C-Class apart in the entry-level luxury/sport segment, leading to the model being regarded by many as “The Cheap Mercedes.” No, it’s certainly not a bad car, but for our money, it hasn’t stood up particularly well to competitors like the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4.

So with the handsome new CLA-Class coming to round off the entry-level end for Mercedes-Benz, big plans are in store for the C-Class. We can see some evidence of that in this latest set of spy shots from our friends at CarPix. According to earlier reports, the new C-Class will be “far more dramatic” in the visuals department, and while the sedan’s sculpting is still covered by camo, the much sleeker headlamp design we see here is, at the very least, a good start. The car’s overall size is expected to grow a bit to further distance itself from the CLA, though thanks to lightweight materials, curb weight isn’t expected to increase.

Just like the current model, the new C-Class is expected to use four- and six-cylinder engines, both gas- and diesel-fed, and overall power output for the global engine range should span from 120-ish on the low end to as much as 330. These new engines are expected to be mounted lower and farther rearward than before, offering better balance for both rear- and 4Matic all-wheel drive configurations. And as for that AMG? Rumors suggest a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 will fall underhood.

Expect the next C-Class to debut either later this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, or more likely, at next March’s Geneva Motor Show.

Next Mercedes-Benz C-Class spotted in the snow originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Mar 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Volvo Shows Off Touch-Screen Retrofit for XC60, S60 [2013 CES]

By Alexander Stoklosa

Volvo Parrot system

Compared to other major automakers, Volvo had a relatively small booth at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show—the company actually shared floor space with Ericsson—but the Swedish brand made a compelling infotainment-specific announcement. Volvo is working with both Ericsson and Parrot to roll out an unusual update to its latest in-car infotainment setup. The collaborative effort will result in (at first) a dealer-installed retrofit kit that partially transforms the automaker’s central display screen to essentially an Android touch-screen unit with an all-new, app-based interface optimized for touch control.

Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of the new system is that it lends the seven-inch screen found in the XC60 crossover and S60 sedan (plus the V60 wagon not available here) an intriguing dual nature. That’s because the stock display interface—controlled by steering-wheel and dash-mounted buttons and knobs—is maintained for all of the car’s key functions like navigation, climate-control, and settings. The retrofitted touch-screen system is accessed from the main menu by clicking on a new “Connected” entry; this switches the central display to a slightly different-looking interface stuffed with apps like Spotify, TuneIn, and Parrot Maps and that is operable via touch inputs.

This secondary sub-menu gains touch control via infrared emitters fitted around the screen; break the infrared beam with your finger, a stick, or pretty much any pointy object, and the system can place the location of your “touch” and translate that into a button push—hence the stock seven-inch display doesn’t need to be replaced with a capacitive-touch screen. The touch-operated “Connected” sub-menu is based on Parrot’s Android-based Asteroid car infotainment system software; it runs off a fist-sized, glove-box-mounted hardware box. Apps can be downloaded directly to the box from Parrot’s Asteroid app market via a mobile-phone hotspot (phones are connected via wi-fi or a USB connection) or a USB 3G data card. The hardware in the glove box is wired directly into Volvo’s stock infotainment system. Ericsson’s contribution to the system will be cloud support for the various compatible apps and functions, though at present, specifics on the cloud functionality are scarce.

Volvo representatives on hand at CES shied away from describing the retrofit setup outright as a stopgap measure designed to fill the gap between now and when the company’s next-generation, modular Scalable Platform Architecture come online (with modular engines, structures, and infotainment). That said, we’re told elements of the retrofit kit are being looked at for Volvo’s next-gen infotainment system. For now, it looks like the dealer-installed retrofit interface will show up in Europe early this year, followed by a factory-installed version closer to the end of 2013. Although details on the system were thin at CES, we expect more finalized info will arrive before the new system hits the U.S., though timing, pricing, and availability have not yet been finalized. Because the touch-screen doodads and secondary computer are designed to work with Volvo’s semi-standardized seven-inch display, it can be fitted to any post-2010 Volvo XC60, S60, or V60 wagon.

2013 Consumer Electronics Show full coverage

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: <i>Autocar</i> reveals 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class details

By Jonathon Ramsey

Filed under: , , , , ,

The clouds around the 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class are still as thick as those on a morning in Borneo, but Autocar has worked up a passel of details on the Mercedes that will no longer be an entry-level offering when it arrives. With the CLA sliding into the Mercedes starter-kit slot, the C-Class will, according to insiders, “discard the idea that the C-class is a car bought by your grandfather” and “meet the expectations of a younger generation of buyers, both visually and technically.”

That means throwing out almost everything that we’re used to with the current car. Looks-wise the 2014 sedan is expected to be “far more dramatic” and more sporty. It will also be larger; the CLA is predicted to be a couple of inches longer than the current C-Class, so the coming C-Class will grow by nearly four inches on its MRA platform, with three inches of that growth between the wheels. If accurate, the new length would make it longer than the BMW 3 Series and about the same as the Audi A4. Track and overall width likewise expand, the result being the cabin will provide more room in every direction. Still, the new architecture should make it lighter than the current car.

Standard engines will come in the familiar mix of four-cylinders and V6s in gas and diesel forms, spanning the chart from 120 to 330 horsepower to and all equipped with stop/start tech and brake energy recuperation. Top of the line will be the AMG version with the new twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8, expected to be available in every iteration of the C-Class: sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible. They will be mounted lower and further rearward than at present, and there are rumors of a plug-in hybrid with an 18-mile all-electric range. Those powerplants will be worked through a six-speed manual or updated seven-speed automatic.

The hard-edged side is predicted to get a boost from a switch to a double-wishbone suspension in front and an “extensively redesigned” multi-link setup in back, with all models getting adaptive damping. Outside of spy shots, we don’t think we’ll see it until the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

Autocar reveals 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class details originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 Jan 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Infiniti Shows Off Upcoming Q50′s Headlight (That’s the New G to the Rest of Us) [2013 Detroit Auto Show]

By Alexander Stoklosa

2014 Infiniti Q50 headlight

Hey, so, remember how Infiniti decided to change all of its car names to Q followed by two numbers and its SUVs to QX followed by two numbers? Of course you do, because it was a highly unconventional—one might say “crazysauce”—move. Well, allow us to present the first physical piece attached to one of those names: the Q50′s headlight, which debuted via a video released today. The Q50 is the G37′s replacement for those not yet versed in Infiniti’s new naming scheme, and it will make its debut at the 2013 Detroit auto show.

The Q50 sedan will go on sale later next year as a 2014 model. Coupe and convertible variants (called Q60, duh!) will follow later. As the video below illustrates, the Q50 will adopt Infiniti’s latest styling language; the headlight design looks almost identical to that seen on the JX—sorry, QX60—crossover. We’ll bring you more on the new G Q50 when the sheet is pulled off in Motown.

2013 Detroit Auto Show full coverage

Source: Car & Driver

Volvo’s “Little Red” Commercial: Good Example of the Tail Wagging the Wolf [The Ad Section]

By Don Klein

Volvo’s “Little Red” Commercial Is a Good Example of the Tail Wagging the Wolf [The Ad Section]

Award-winning ad man-cum-auto journalist Don Klein knows a good (or bad) car commercial when he sees one; the Ad Section is his space to tell you what he thinks of the latest spots. The ad’s rating is depicted via the shift pattern at the bottom, but everyone has an opinion when it comes to advertising, so hit Backfires below and tell us what you think, too.

Upon casual viewing, Volvo’s S60 commercial appears simply to be a modern take on an old fairy tale wherein good triumphs over evil. The commercial opens in a dark, spooky forest. Cut to distant headlights piercing the misty fog. A series of beauty shots reveals they’re coming from a blood red S60 being driven by a handsome young father. While all this is taking place, we hear Sam the Sham and the Pharaoh’s iconic ’60s hit “Li’l Red Riding Hood,” freshly (and excellently) covered by Laura Gibson.

Suddenly the Volvo screeches to a halt as it encounters a wolf roadblock. Well, it consists of just one wolf, but this particular critter (a professional stunt animal whose name in real life is Kane) is pretty big and has a nasty, toothy snarl, so he gets the job done on his own. He holds the Volvo at bay by baying until the S60 revs up and lets loose a snarl of its own, at which point Kane turns into a sniveling puddle of wolf pudding and sulks off.

Triumphant, Volvo Dad drives on, turning as he does to ask his adorable little daughter (who is art directed to the teeth in a red hooded jacket), “What does the wolf say?” Safely ensconced in her Volvo OEM child seat, she leans back, closes her eyes, and reels off her best Sam the Sham “Ahooooo!” (Although, based on what she just witnessed, shouldn’t she have made little whimpering noises?)

Thanks to top-notch cinematography and directing, the spot is eye-catching and fun to watch. And its implied message that Volvos are safe havens in an unsafe world is totally in keeping with the brand’s DNA. But the commercial commits the ultimate sin of hanging its hat on something that’s not specific to the product: Any car will trump a wolf. It doesn’t need to be a Volvo, it doesn’t need to have a turbocharged engine, and it certainly doesn’t need to be red. Even wolf pups know that sheetmetal of any make or model wreaks havoc on the fangs, not to mention the digestive system. Besides, people don’t need much “protecting from” wolves anyway: The number of fatal attacks by wolves in the past 100 years is minuscule. So even if you’re wearing Lady Gaga’s meat dress and driving a Miata with the top down, you’re probably going to live to tell the tale.

Comparison Test: 2012 BMW 328i vs. Audi A4, Infiniti G25, Mercedes C250, Volvo S60
Comparison Test: Buick Regal GS vs. Volvo S60 R-Design
Instrumented Test: Volvo S60 T6 AWD

But of course, this commercial isn’t really about Little Red Riding Hood. It’s about Volvo’s massive product placement investment in the Twilight movie franchise. That handsome Volvo Dad? He’s supposed to evoke Edward, Twilight’s leading vampire, who’s really a decent and nurturing chap despite the fact that he wants to suck your blood. Apparently, women find him irresistible. Or at least the kind of women who buy Volvos.

3rd GearIf you’re not a “Twifan,” this might not make a whole lot of sense. But millions of people—often young, often female—have paid big cash to see the Twilight films. In its first two weeks alone, Breaking Dawn: Part 2 grossed $237 million in total domestic ticket sales. And guess what Edward drives in the flick? (Hint: it’s Swedish and begins with V).

So in fact, this commercial is designed more to reinforce the product-placement deal and its extensive social-media effort than meets your big eyes. And given the franchise’s phenomenal success with a big chunk of Volvo’s target audience, that’s not a dumb thing. Yes, the spot sort of stands on its own, but in the absence of a Twilight deal, do you really think this is the way Volvo would pitch the ostensibly male-oriented S60 sports sedan? Neither do I.

Source: Car & Driver

Lexus IS

As compact six-cylinder sport sedans, the Lexus IS sedans offer sportier, more flamboyant styling to go with their performance emphasis. In the Lexus sedan model line, the IS models have kept more in line with the GS in emphasizing sportiness—taking on the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and Infiniti G35—while the ES and LS have put more of a…
Source: The Car Connection

Cadillac CTS

The Cadillac CTS is a mid-size, rear- or all-wheel-drive vehicle, measuring up quite closely with the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Audi A6 but priced more closely, in its more affordable trims, with the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Audi A4. The CTS succeeded the Catera, a blandly styled sedan about the same size that, while…
Source: The Car Connection