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Mercedes spotted testing updated A45 AMG

Writer : Ndar zone Alap on Thursday, May 28, 2015 | 3:05 AM

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Now on the market (or some markets at any rate) for a couple of years already in its current form, Mercedes is preparing a slight refresh for the A-Class. And that means a new A45 AMG performance version, as well.

Pictured undergoing testing in Germany, this prototype is hiding some enhancements for the littlest Benz. We're expecting the updates to be rather subtle, but they ought to help the Silver Star hatch keep up with the likes of the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 in the increasingly competitive premium hatchback market.

Best of all, Mercedes is tipped to be preparing an even more powerful A45 AMG S with over 400 horsepower to keep pace with the upcoming Volkswagen Golf R400. Unfortunately the A-Class isn't offered in North America, but we can hope that some of the enhancements (especially in the performance department) are ported over to the CLA-Class sedan and GLA crossover as well.
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5,600 Fiat 500e EVs Recalled for Buggy Software

Writer : Ndar zone Alap on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Fiat will be recalling some 5,600 of its all-electric 500e hatchbacks, all of which hail from model years 2013, 2014 and 2015. Weirdly, this recall is being caused by a March 2015 software update.

According to The Detroit News, last month's update addressed the software in the Electric Vehicle Control Unit and Battery Pack Control Module "to implement improvements in charging system robustness, diagnostic capability and range estimation over life. In addition to the primary reasons for the software update, Limp Home Mode was included as part of battery pack software continuous improvement," FCA explained. "It was because of this software update that the software incompatibility occurred where the EVCU did not recognize the Limp Home Mode."

Should your car go into limp mode, "incompatible software between Electric Vehicle Control Unit (EVCU) and Battery Pack Control Module (BPCM) may cause the electric propulsion system to fully shut down," according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration bulletin.
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Peugeot showcases chic Bistro du Lion food truck

Writer : Ndar zone Alap on Monday, April 6, 2015 | 7:46 AM

Monday, April 6, 2015

Say what you will about their cars, but the French are renowned around the world for the culinary expertise. And now the two fields have come together with the launch of the Peugeot food truck.

Dubbed "Le Bistro du Lion," the truck is a project of the Peugeot Design Lab. It's built around a custom van with matching trailer that rolls onto site and deploys into a pop-up restaurant, complete with mobile kitchen, standing tables for 30 patrons and even a DJ booth. (You know, because French.)

The van appears completely unique from any Peugeot commercial vehicle we've seen to date, but if we had to guess, we'd venture it was probably built around the Fiat Scudo-based Expert van. Regardless, it looks pretty slick, with metallic copy paintjob and custom graphics.
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Weekly Recap: Lincoln Continental serves up the style, Cadillac CT6 delivers the substance in New York

Writer : Ndar zone Alap on Sunday, April 5, 2015 | 8:33 AM

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lincoln and Cadillac grabbed the spotlight this week at the New York Auto Show in a dramatic fashion that evoked the brands' glory days. America's two luxury carmakers went toe-to-toe with their glittering reveals and plans for ambitious expansion. Both were selling their technology, style and the promise of a better future. Cadillac vs. Lincoln. At the Javits Center, 2015 seemed a lot like 1956.

Neither company was interested in drawing comparisons with the other, which is fair, and accurate. They're in vastly different places in terms of sales and the pace of their turnarounds, but they hope to reach the same eventual destination at the pinnacle of the luxury-car world.

Lincoln used the element of surprise to great effect with the Continental concept. A production version is still at least a year away, and the company was vague on details. Officially, we don't even know if it is front- or rear-wheel drive, though speculation abounds. Who cares? The seats can be adjusted 30 ways! The Continental also showed off a bold chrome grille that will be the new face of Lincoln. The blue bomber also rolled on blinged-out 21-inch polished aluminum wheels, used a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine and had huge LED head lights with "laser-assisted" high beams.
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McLaren 570S priced at $184,900

Writer : Ndar zone Alap on Saturday, April 4, 2015 | 7:37 AM

Saturday, April 4, 2015

McLaren broke new ground when it launched the new 570S at the New York Auto Show this week, moving in into lower-priced but higher-volume territory for the first time. But that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg: there will be an entire Sports Series to follow, with additional body styles and more affordable (a relative term in this case) levels of specification. The second model, dubbed 540C, is set to debut at the Shanghai Motor Show.

US dealers will exchange $184,900 for keys to a 570S, which is $2,200 more than Porsche's base price for the 911 Turbo S. Based on 540C pricing already announced in the United Kingdom, we estimate that model will cost about $160,000 if it comes stateside

The 540C is to the 570S as the Asian-market 625C is to the 650S. The smaller number designates a lower level of equipment and a little less power, but also a lower price tag. In the case of the 540C, that's 533 horsepower instead of 562 hp. The carbon-ceramic brakes on the 570S will most certainly disappear from the standard features list for the 540C, among other features.
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BMW will make plug-in hybrid versions of all models

Writer : Ndar zone Alap on Friday, April 3, 2015 | 8:02 AM

Friday, April 3, 2015

Late last year, BMW made it clear that it would be making plug-in hybrid versions of all of its "core models." The first of those will be the X5 xDrive40e. At the New York Auto Show this week, BMW North America CEO Ludwig Willisch told AutoblogGreen that this enhanced PHEV plan is going to be applied to "every new model."

We were asking Willisch if he views Tesla as a competitor to the Bavarian automaker. "I wouldn't say I don't see any competition," Willisch said, "but I still see that a BMW 5 Series and a Tesla are totally different animals." What about the rumored i5 or an i7, we started to ask – "which we don't have" Willisch interrupted – that could happen, couldn't it? "Not any time soon," Willisch said. "What we will have are plug-in hybrids. With the introduction of every new model there will be a plug-in hybrid version of that, too." There are people who are asking if the i brand will expand to a truck or a larger sedan, "but this is all the future," Willisch said. "It's not now and it's not the next couple years."
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2016 Chevrolet Spark lights up New York

Writer : Ndar zone Alap on Thursday, April 2, 2015 | 8:04 AM

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The little Spark has been somewhat of a surprising entry in the modern Chevy lineup in the US. Given its diminutive stature, you might have expected the slightly larger Sonic to cannibalize the tiny sibling's sales, but that hasn't happened. The Bowtie moved 39,159 Sparks in the US in 2014, a 14.7 percent boost from the previous year. Now at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the latest generation is being unveiled with a new engine and much improved styling.

Replacing the current 1.2-liter four-cylinder is an all-aluminum 1.4-liter unit making 98 horsepower. That still doesn't sound like much, but it's 16 percent more than the 2015 Spark. The new mill can be connected to either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission with which Chevy estimates 40 miles per gallon highway fuel economy.

The 2016 Spark also gets a longer wheelbase and 1.6-inch lower overall height. Combined with more elliptical headlights at the front, the changes make for a somewhat more sleek appearance than the current, boxy model. The platform underneath is more rigid as well, and Chevy claims the latest underpinnings mean better handling and lower NHV levels inside. The little hatch isn't growing up too much, though, and gets a trio of new colors that sound like jellybean flavors: Toasted Marshmallow, Kalamata and Splash.
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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club and Launch Edition unveiled

Writer : Ndar zone Alap on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 | 8:05 AM

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

If you haven't been tempted enough already to place your order for a new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Japanese automaker is sweetening the deal even further at the New York Auto Show this week with the debut of two new editions.

Most enticing is the arrival of the new Club edition (pictured above), which brings with it a number of upgrades to Mazda's latest roadster. The MX-5 Miata Club comes with 17-inch gunmetal alloys, a limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, tower brace and a new spoilers front and rear. That is, when equipped with the six-speed manual. (The automatic is still available as well, but does without the diff, shocks and brace.)

Buyers will even be able to upgrade to BBS alloys of the same size, Brembo front brakes and the aero kit previewed by the MX-5 Global Cup racer in Chicago. The Mazda Connect infotainment system comes standard, with seven-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, nine-speaker Bose audio... the works.

The Club edition isn't the only new Miata being launched in Manhattan this week, though: so is the Launch Edition. Offered to the first 1,000 customers who place their orders for a new Miata in the US, the MX-5 Launch Edition is based on the Grand Touring trim level and comes in an exclusive combination of Soul Red paint with a tan leather interior. It even comes with a few do-dads to go along with it. Mazda is taking deposits of $500 for those first 1,000 units at, and details of both these upgraded Miatas can be found in the press releases below.
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