Tag Archives: RWD

Report: Alfa Romeo dumping FWD Mito, Giulietta hatches in favor of RWD sedans

By Brandon Turkus

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Europeans should be dancing in their nearest piazza, as Alfa Romeo is ditching its front-drive MiTo and Giulietta to return to its rear-drive roots, according to a report from the UK’s Car. The switch is expected to happen in 2015, and is meant to bring Alfa Romeo closer to Maserati.

Car is claiming that a 3 Series-fighting Alfa will hit the streets first, followed by a larger model to contend with the 5 Series. After that, Alfa will field a pair of SUVs, its first models of that body style. We sincerely hope all of these cars come with sweet-sounding, high-revving six-cylinder engines.

While we’re quite happy for European gearheads, the shift in logic has us wondering, once again, what this means for Alfa Romeo’s long-promised return to the US of A. Both the MiTo and Giulietta were slated for the US market at some point in 2013, according our most recent report. We’re half way through the year now, and there hasn’t been so much as a whimper indicating that timetable would work.

Based on remarks Sergio Marchionne made at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, bringing Alfa back properly is more important than bringing it back quickly. That logic could explain this latest possible delay. Getting American Alfa Romeo’s right for Americans could also explain things, which is perhaps a lesson learned from the Dart’s rushed launch.

In any case, with this news that two of the core models of Alfa’s US return are being ditched within the next 30 or so months, we’re left wondering (again) when the legendary Italian brand will return to our shores.

Alfa Romeo dumping FWD Mito, Giulietta hatches in favor of RWD sedans originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Jul 2013 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

2013 Lexus GS350 – Higher Levels of Styling, Performance and Luxury

By Harvey Schwartz

2013 Lexus GS350 Sedan Beauty Side HA Done Small

‘NEW HIGHER LEVELS OF STYLING, PERFORMANCE AND LUXURY’

I just finished testing the all-new 2013 Lexus GS 350 and have to say that it is a giant leap forward for the model with its redesigned chassis, wider and stronger stance, a more spacious interior that is richly endowed with world-class features and premium details.  The new advanced performance enhancing technology makes it more than just a luxury car.  The all-new GS 350 is available in RWD, AWD and can be equipped with the available premium, luxury or F Sport packages for greater personalization.  I tested the GS 350 with the luxury package.

The new GS 3.5 liter engine has been enhanced to provide better fuel economy and more responsive performance.  The four-cam, four-valves per cylinder, all-alloy V6 engine also comes with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence.  At 306 hp, it is one of the most powerful base engines in the segment, as well as the only one with both port and direct injection.  It propels the GS 350 from 0-60 mph in just 5.7 sec. and at the same time, boosts it fuel economy to EPA-estimated 19mpg/city and 28mpg/highway.  Acceleration from 30-50- mph can take just 3 sec. and improved intake and exhaust sound characteristics via an intake sound generator and optimized muffler chamber complement the bolder, more energetic dynamics of the new GS 350.  The RWD six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission comes with paddle shifters and sport driving functions for enhanced driving pleasure.  The transmission incorporates many features adopted from the Lexus IS F high-performance sedan-including faster shifts, earlier torque converter lockup and downshift blips-to support four driving modes that can be operated by toggling the new Lexus Drive Mode selector located on the center console.  In addition to Normal mode, the following settings let you customized your driving experience: ECO mod-revises throttle mapping, seat heating, and climate control settings for better fuel economy.  In ECO mode, meter lighting changes to blue; SPORT S model-revises throttle mapping and transmission shifting priorities to fully exploit the capabilities of the powertrain.  In SPORT S mode, meter lighting changes to red; SPORT S+-is available with the F-SPORT package and Luxury Package-engages handling enhancements via a sport setting of the adaptive variable suspension, steering system, and Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) together with the powertrain enhancements of SPORT S mode.  I really felt the changing dynamics of the suspension when I pushed the Sport S and Sport S+ modes.  Damping forces were increased and the steering became even more responsive to my inputs.  You can now change the setting to suit how you want the GS 350 to drive when you are in a spirited mind or conventional easy going mind set.

Designing the new GS to be both strong and agile was a key focus of the engineering team.  They looked to the Lexus LFA supercar for design and dynamic inspiration.  The new platform is more rigid.  Engineers conducted extensive testing, ultimately increasing the number …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Automotive Addicts

Motorsports: Hyundai and Rhys Millen reunite, will return to Pikes Peak with new RWD racer, Genesis Coupe

By Jonathon Ramsey

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Last September, Hyundai confirmed that it was exiting all of its motorsports programs in North America. That left Rhys Millen Racing without a title sponsor for its Formula Drift and Global RallyCross Championship series challengers. It also looked to have meant the end of a partnership that last year resulted in a record-setting run at Pikes Peak when Rhys Millen established the new benchmark for a run up the Colorado mountain in a production-based race car.

Hyundai clarified that September report by saying it was “reconsidering our continued involvement in Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, having achieved the world record in a Hyundai Genesis Coupe this year.” The return is official, with Hyundai saying it is going back to the peak with Millen and two cars, one of them a “purpose-built unlimited class rear-drive,” the other being the Hyundai Genesis Coupe-based racer that set last year’s record in the time attack two-wheel-drive class.

Hyundai wants to show off the strength of its engineering, so the unlimited car will have something like 900 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque while using the production block, cylinder heads, bearings and accessories of its Lambda V6 engine. You can read more about the effort in the press release below, and click the image above for an enlarged view of what’s coming.

Continue reading Hyundai and Rhys Millen reunite, will return to Pikes Peak with new RWD racer, Genesis Coupe

Hyundai and Rhys Millen reunite, will return to Pikes Peak with new RWD racer, Genesis Coupe originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Jan 2013 16:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Photo Drops Ahead of Motown Debut [2013 Detroit Auto Show]

By Erik Johnson

2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Sedan

Who’s up for a little pre-partying? The entire revamped-for-2014 Mercedes-Benz E-class lineup will debut next week at the 2013 Detroit auto show, but the company has gone ahead and released a group photo of the brood.

Mercedes has already disseminated official photos and info covering the new sedan and wagon, as well as the coupe and convertible, so the car that interests us the most is the 2014 E63 AMG, which has heretofore only been seen sporting camouflage. We have, however, already experienced a prototype and received a full rundown on what’s to come, including a bump to 550 hp and the fitment of standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive. You can also watch our own Csaba Csere detail the prototype E63 on our YouTube channel.

The E63′s gaping front intakes and blacked-out details are befitting of a performance variant, but the make over keeps the model looking as restrained as ever, especially when you consider the wicked-looking Black Series sleds coming from Affalterbach. Don’t expect performance to hold much in reserve, however, as we predict the all-wheel-drive version (RWD models still will be available in Europe) will hit 60 mph in a scant 3.3 seconds.

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-class Lineup



With this photo’s release, just one E-class variant remains under wraps, the E63 AMG wagon. (We have a pretty good handle on what to expect from that one, though: pure, undiluted awesomesauce.) The E will share the Motown stage with the production version of the new compact CLA-class sedan. Look for full details on that one—as well as more on the E63—in the coming days.

2013 Detroit Auto Show full coverage

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver