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  1. It seems some changes are coming to BMW's M division based on recent comments from the head of the division, Frank van Meel. First up is transmissions. van Meel tells Autocar that DCT dual-clutch and automatic transmissions have a bright future for M cars. Not so much for the manual transmission as sales are declining. “From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes. The DCT and auto ’boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption. It’s difficult to say we’ll stick to the manual, but we still have a big fan community for manuals and we are not going to take away something the customer wants to have,” said van Meel. van Meel also brought up maximum power, saying that M cars will only go up to 600 horsepower. “For now, 600bhp is the most you can get in an M car. We’re at the limit. If you go on adding more horsepower and torque, it’d probably be over the limits.” Source: Autocar
  2. With Hyundai and Kia working on their own performance lineups, it should come as a no surprise that Genesis is planning a line of high-performance vehicles. But Car and Driver reports that Genesis isn't sure what model should get the treatment first. “On the Genesis lineup, the whole thing is still in discussion. Before [the lineup is] fixed, we’re not making any decisions on performance cars—the lineup needs to be clear, and it’s still moving and fluid,” said Albert Biermann, Hyundai-Kia’s head of performance development. One type of vehicle that has been thrown out are SUVs. Biermann explained that stricter fuel economy and emission standards have put the question as to whether these high-performance vehicles will stick around in the coming years. Also, he doesn't see a market for these vehicles. Not helping matters is trying to figure out what would power these high-performance models: a internal combustion engine or hybrid powertrain. “The road map for the next three or four years is clear, but at some point you have to make sure that, with future mobility and all the emissions targets, that you have the technology out there. A lot of discussion is going on about the timing of switching away from pure internal combustion to hybrid or plug-in hybrid. That’s the same for the high-performance applications,” said Biermann. Car and Driver doesn't have a guess as to what could be the first Genesis vehicle to get amped up, but we bet the upcoming G70 is a safe possibility. Source: Car and Driver
  3. Kia is planning to follow Hyundai with offering a range of performance models around the world. However, Kia isn't planning to make them as hardcore as Hyundai's upcoming N models. Hyundai and Kia’s performance development boss Albert Biermann tells Autocar that Kia's GT models will differ Hyundai's N models as they aren't designed to be taken on a racetrack. This means GT models will likely not see such tech as an electronically controlled limited slip differential that will be coming on the European-market i30 N Plus. What they will see is improvements in terms of performance, handling, and looks. Biermann admits that “GT is not right for all Kia models," but most of Kia's mainstream lineup will likely see a GT variant. Some of the models likely to get a GT variant include the next-generation Rio, Optima, and the next-generation ProCeed (unrelated to the Forte compact). "The Ceed GT is a very balanced car, but we are a few years further down the road, and if we were to engineer it now it would have some more spice to it.” Biermann also revealed that standard Kia models will get different chassis settings from their Hyundai brethren as a way to differentiate them. “Kia is meant to be more emotional than Hyundai and we have to make cars that reflect that when you drive them,” said Biermann. Source: Autocar
  4. The balance act of performance and emissions is difficult to say in the least, but Ferrari thinks they have figured it out. According to Vittorio Dini, Ferrari's Powertrain Director, the company plans on increasing performance while reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2021. "Our average CO2 emissions are currently about 270 grams of CO2 per kilometer. We want to use all the available technologies to reduce emissions by 3 percent each year, which means approximately a 20 percent decrease by 2021," Dini said to Automotive News Europe. How does the company plan on pulling this feat off? By using turbocharging and hybrid systems. Ferrari is turning to downsized V8 engines paired with turbochargers. Case in point is the 2015 California T which traded in a 4.3L V8 making 484 horsepower to a 3.9L turbocharged V8 producing 552 horsepower. As for CO2 emissions, the change in engines saw emissions drop from 299g/km to 250g/km. As for V12 engines, Dini said the company looked at turbocharging. The idea was nixed after it was decided that it would take four turbos to provide the same punch, which causes packaging and heat dissipation problems. Instead, the company will utilize hybrid technology for their V12s. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. With Holden's operations in Australia coming to a close in 2017, questions have arisen of what will happen to Holden Special Vehicles. Motoring.com.au reports that HSV's future might lie with Chevrolet. Motoring.com.au had the chance to speak with Ryan Walkinshaw, Chairman of the Walkinshaw Group which runs HSV. He explained that the group is considering working their magic on Chevrolet vehicles. But he goes onto say that General Motors has the final say on this. “We think something like that (CSV) could work. It depends on what products are available. It’s going to depend on the discussions with GM going forward. There’s a lot of factors we have to take into account. But I think we are pretty confident in what we do," said Walkinshaw. “We know we could deliver some pretty good products outside what we do with Commodore in Australia and we have proven that plenty of times before with our history and with what we are doing currently for other manufacturers.” Now if this comes to fruition, the question of where these vehicles will be built arises. Walkinshaw says the company would like to stay with its manufacturing base in Clayton, but is willing to move to where the vehicles are being built. “Ideally, it would be a nice simple transition to just get the cars off the ship part-finished and us to finish them off here. It would also keep us as a company that genuinely makes Australian cars and makes them in Australia, which would be great,"said Walkinshaw. “But if the opportunity arises and we have no other option then we are happy to look at manufacturing abroad and importing them as well.” Source: Motoring.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 12, 2013 The past couple of years has seen the return of performance to Toyota with the introduction of the GT86 (Scion FR-S), introduction of the F-Sport to Lexus, and rumors of the return of the Supra. But there could be more changes at Toyota to bring more performance into the fold. Auto Express talked with Karl Schlicht, executive vice president at Toyota Europe who said the company is "Currently discussing sport lines for Toyota models”. Schlicht goes onto say there is “an appetite for Toyota to do credible performance cars”. Source: Auto Express William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  7. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 26, 2013 The slow drip of information from McLaren on the new P1 Supercar rolls on with the company releasing the performance figures and price tag. The P1's performance figures put it in a very special class where the likes of Bugatti and Koenigsegg live. The figures are as followed: 0 - 100 KPH (62 MPH): less than three seconds 0 - 200 KPH (124 MPH): less than seven seconds 0 - 300 KPH (186 MPH): around seventeen seconds. Top speed of 218 MPH To help bring the P1 to a stop, McLaren fitted a new type of carbon ceramic disc that dissipates heat more effectively to give the vehicle better cooling and braking performance. McLaren says the P1 will come fully equipped for track and road-going uses. The pricetag for the new P1 will be $1.15 million. McLaren says there will only be 375 P1s built for the world. Source: McLaren Album: McLaren P1 6 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 McLaren Automotive announces performance figures for the McLaren P1™ Instant Power Assist System (IPAS) provides astonishing acceleration: 0 to 300 km/h (186 mph) in less than 17 seconds, more than 35% faster than the legendary McLaren F1 Top speed electronically limited to 350 km/h (218 mph) The production number has been limited to 375 units Base price in the US is $1,150,000 Fully equipped as standard for road and track use Production model is almost unchanged from the original design study McLaren Automotive has announced the final numbers, images and information relating to the McLaren P1™ ahead of a global reveal in just a few days at the 83rd International Geneva Motor Show. The race-inspired Instant Power Assist System (IPAS) gives the McLaren P1™ astonishing performance. Zero to 100km/h (62 mph) will take less than 3 seconds, zero to 200 km/h (124 mph) in under 7 seconds, and zero to 300 km/h (186 mph) will be achieved in no more than 17 seconds. This is 11 seconds faster than the legendary McLaren F1 road car. Top speed is electronically limited to 350 km/h (218 mph). The McLaren P1™ has translated to production form with very little changed from the prototype shown at the Paris Auto Show. In fact just one change-the addition of LTR ducts ahead of each of the front wheels to further aid cooling and optimise downforce. McLaren has announced a global production number of just 375 units – a figure that will ensure the McLaren P1™ will remain a rarity. McLaren has also announced that the car will have a base price of $1,150,000 in the US and have a specification that fully equips the car for both road and track use. The company prides itself on designing performance cars that their owners can use regularly so the McLaren P1™ comes standard with a comprehensive specification list. The options list is limited to only bespoke content that a customer might wish to add through McLaren Special Operations, and fitted luggage. As already announced, the McLaren P1™ will have the combined force of two highly-efficient powerplants, offering the optimum mix of superb throttle response, day-to-day drivability and top speed. A mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine is substantially enhanced featuring, for example, larger turbochargers and a highly effective electric motor, to give a combined output of 916PS (903 bhp) and a maximum torque figure of 900Nm. This ensures instantaneous throttle response through the rev range, more akin to a naturally aspirated engine. Emissions of less than 200g/km on the EU combined cycle are reduced to zero in full electric drive mode, while the Formula 1-derived DRS and IPAS technologies offer an increase in straight-line speed and an instant boost of power. The tires fitted to the McLaren P1™ are specially developed P Zero Corsas, which have been developed with McLaren's technology partner, Pirelli. The team at Pirelli has been involved throughout the entire development program, and this has seen the tire testing phase integrated into the schedule, as a key performance component. The final compound and construction has been developed and optimised during testing, and the end result is a tire that is finely tuned specifically to the performance and handling characteristics. To rein in the power produced by the twin powerplants, the McLaren P1™ is designed to offer braking performance more associated with a GT3 or sports racing car. Developed by McLaren's Formula 1 partner Akebono, the system features a new type of carbon ceramic disc, which has previously seen service in space, but never before used on a road car. Stronger than conventional carbon ceramic, the material dissipates heat more effectively, giving the highly efficient braking system exceptional stopping and cooling capability. The system also boasts significantly reduced weight, and a bespoke ceramic layer coats both friction surfaces to give an attractive mirrored finish. The car can also be driven solely in electric mode. In city driving, with an average speed of 30 mph, this could mean up to a 20km range. More than enough for an owner to enter, for example, a city center Zero Emissions Zone, have dinner and return home.
  8. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 5, 2013 The trend of automakers downsizing engines and adding turbochargers to add performance and increase fuel economy has drawn the ire of Consumer Reports. The publication recently tested eleven different vehicles and found that with rare exception, “the turbocharged cars have slower acceleration and no better fuel economy than the models with bigger, conventional engines.” Consumer Reports highlights the Ford Fusion which can come equipped with either an optional 1.6L or 2.0L EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder. In CR's testing, the 1.6L EcoBoost Fusion posted the slowest 0-60 MPH of 8.9 seconds among competitors with naturally aspirated engines: Kia Optima (8.6), Hyundai Sonata (8.4), Honda Accord (8.2), Nissan Altima (8.2) and Toyota Camry (7.7). The 1.6L EcoBoost didn't fare any better when it came time for fuel economy as it scored the lowest as-tested combined number of 25 MPG. The Nissan Altima delivered the best with 31 MPG, followed by the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with 30. Similarly, the 2.0L EcoBoost Fusion posted the lowest combined fuel economy number of 22 MPG when compared to rivals with V6s: Toyota Camry and Honda Accord (26) and Nissan Altima (24). As for 0-60 run, the 2.0L posted the slowest time of 7.4 seconds. The Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Honda Accord were about a second faster. CR also highlights the Chevrolet Cruze when equipped with the 1.4L turbo-four. While the 1.4 turbo is quicker than the 1.8L by about 0.8 to 60 MPH, the two got the same 26 MPG combined average during testing. Source: Consumer Reports, Los Angeles Times William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. Before the Detroit Auto Show, Ford has made some big announcements concering their performance cars. First was the announcement of a new performance division named Ford Performance. The division will unify Ford SVT, Team RS, and Ford Racing to create performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers. Leading this new group will be Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak. "Ford remains committed to innovation through performance. Our new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles and parts. It will allow us to more quickly introduce products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on-road and on the track,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. The new group will be in charge of twelve new performance vehicles through 2020. The first of those vehicles will be the new Focus RS, which will be sold worldwide for the first time. Ford didn't announce any details about the RS, but rumors have it packing a 2.3L EcoBoost four with over 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Source: Ford Press Release is on Page 2 DEC 11, 2014 | DEARBORN, MICH. FORD DRIVING PERFORMANCE INNOVATION TO NEW LEVELS; MORE THAN 12 VEHICLES COMING FROM NEW GLOBAL TEAM Ford bringing more global performance vehicles to customers worldwide; more than 12 new performance vehicles through 2020 – including Focus RS – to be available globally Ford uniting regional performance engineering and racing teams as one global team under Ford Performance, delivering more new vehicles and parts, more quickly Ford will deliver more than 12 new performance vehicles for global enthusiasts through 2020, as the company announced today its new global Ford Performance team. The vehicles include an all-new Focus RS that will be available to customers in major markets around the world for the first time. It is part of Ford’s plan to deliver even more performance vehicles, parts and accessories for customers around the world more quickly. “Ford remains committed to innovation through performance,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Our new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles and parts. It will allow us to more quickly introduce products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on-road and on the track.” Focus RS, which builds on a pedigree of driving excellence dating to the first Ford RS in 1968, was last introduced in 2009. “To earn the RS badge, the vehicle has to be a no-compromise driver’s car that can deliver exceptional performance on the track when required while providing excellent every day driving,” said Nair. Focus RS will join Ford’s existing performance lineup, including Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Shelby GT350 Mustang and F-150 Raptor. In addition to pleasing enthusiasts, these vehicles help deliver the company’s One Ford plan for profitable growth, product excellence and innovation in every part of its business. Performance vehicle sales are growing around the world – with sales up 70 percent in the United States and 14 percent in Europe since 2009. Ford’s ST lineup, for example, is attracting younger buyers who love to drive. In the United States, more than 65 percent of ST customers come from outside the Ford brand, and more than 50 percent of Ford performance vehicle owners’ next vehicle purchase is a Ford. Millennials are purchasing ST vehicles at a rate twice that of other Ford-branded vehicles. Powering performance vehicles, such as Fiesta ST and Focus ST, is Ford’s award-winning EcoBoost® engine range. Since the introduction of the EcoBoost engine in 2009, Ford has produced more than 2 million EcoBoost engines globally. “EcoBoost is a strong example of how we are migrating technology and engineering across our lineup, ensuring our vehicles are fun to drive – not just our Ford Performance lineup,” said Nair. “From our most nimble Fiesta to our hard-working full-size pickups and racing vehicles, our lineup benefits from the innovations we deliver at the track and at the limit.” For instance, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in the IMSA TUDOR Championship series powers a record-setting Daytona racing prototype sports car, as well as Ford cars, trucks and utility vehicles. Another example of this technology transfer can be found in the recently revealed Shelby GT350 Mustang, which goes on sale next year in the United States and Canada. Aerodynamic innovations developed through Ford’s investment in racing were applied to the front end of the new Shelby GT350 Mustang, helping improve downforce in the car as well as cooling. Ford considers racing an important proving ground for cultivating passionate engineers – allowing them to innovate in top-level competition as they face challenges that require successful solutions in very compressed time frames. New global teamThe new Ford Performance organization unifies Ford SVT, Team RS and Ford Racing globally, serving as an innovation laboratory and test bed to create unique performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers. This includes developing innovations and technologies in aerodynamics, light-weighting, electronics, powertrain performance and fuel efficiency that can be applied more broadly to Ford’s product portfolio. In addition to using racetracks around the world, the team will develop new vehicles and technologies at Ford’s engineering centers globally and at the new technical center in Charlotte, North Carolina. This state-of-the-art facility will help the team deliver racing innovations, as well as advance tools for use in performance vehicles and daily drivers alike. The Ford Performance organization is led by Dave Pericak, who has been appointed director, Global Ford Performance. Heritage of performance innovation Performance and racing are deeply embedded in Ford’s DNA, dating back 113 years when Henry Ford won the Sweepstakes Race against Alexander Winton, then America’s greatest racer. Following Henry Ford’s remarkable upset victory in front of Detroit’s elite businessmen, some immediately came forward to back whatever automotive venture he had in mind. Ford Motor Company opened 18 months later. “Ford still races for the same reasons Henry Ford did in 1901 – to prove out our products and technologies against the very best in the world,” said Nair. “The Ford Performance team will continue to pursue performance innovation, ensuring we can deliver even more coveted performance cars, utilities and trucks to customers around the world.”
  10. Nissan is working hard into changing its performance and racing arm, NISMO, into a real player. This is being shown by how many hatchbacks and sport cars are coming out with the NISMO name. But NISMO is considering expanding their reach to other Nissan models. CarAdvice.com.au recently spoke with Nissan marketing chief Darren Cox and Nismo boss Shoichi Miyatani, and both said a Nismo-tuned SUV or pickup are on the table. That could include the Navara and Qashqai crossover. But there's no telling what other vehicles could go under the NISMO transformation. “Nismo has to be a credible production car from Nissan that’s sporty and therefore we study the implications of that, a pickup could be an interesting product because of its global nature when we go into other markets.” said Cox. Source: CarAdvice.com.au
  11. Many luxury manufacturers are going downmarket to bring in more younger buyers and increase sales. But Lexus isn't one of them. Jeff Bracken, general manager for Lexus told the Automotive Press Association on Monday that the luxury automaker will not venture below the $30,000 mark. "You won't see Lexus go down below $30,000. We are fortunate to have Toyota to help us with CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) regulations so you won't see us going downstream. For Lexus to be truly luxury, the division needs to keep ourselves above $30,000," said Bracken. What Lexus will be doing instead is focusing on performance and high-end vehicles to bring in younger buyers and grow the brand. "We believe young customers have a different definition of luxury," Bracken said, and it includes driving dynamics. Lexus has been offering F-Sport versions of many of its vehicles, along with full blown F models such as the previous-generation IS-F and new RC-F. Bracken told the group that Lexus will be unveiling a new performance vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show in January, but wouldn't go any further than that ( Production LF-LC or GS-F?). Source: Detroit Free Press
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 31, 2012 There are some big rumors coming out at this week’s Moscow Auto Show dealing with the new Mazda6. The first rumor comes to us from Autocar. They had the chance to sit down with Mazda’s chief designer, Akira Tamatani. Tamatani revealed that he would like to do a Mazda6 coupe. "There is no decision, but I would love to make one. The first job is to make the saloon and estate, but from this position a coupe is not so far away." If there is a coupe in the pipeline, we could get our first look sometime next year. Rumor two also comes from Autocar which says Mazda could be adding an AWD system for the new 6. “There are no set plans, but we are studying the possibility of introducing all-wheel drive – it would be a good weapon with which to establish the brand. It is my belief that there is a very strong opportunity for us if we bring it to market,” said Hiroshi Kajiyama, program manager for the 6. The final rumor comes from AutoExpress. Speaking with Hiroshi Kajiyama, it was revealed that the company is looking at a performance version of the 6. “There is a high potential for this, and it would be helpful to the brand,” Kajiyama said. The performance oriented 6 would likely weigh less than the regular model, come with AWD, and use a turbocharged diesel engine. Source: Autocar, AutoExpress William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 20, 2012 During the press launch of the new Hyundai Elantra Coupe and GT, Hyundai North America CEO John Krafcik revealed that the company is considering performance versions of the Coupe and GT. Krafcik didn’t elaborate on details, but if given the green light, the Elantra Coupe and GT would get turbocharged engines (possibly from the Veloster), stiffer suspension, upgraded exhaust, and a tweaked interior. Source: Auto Guide William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  14. With Hyundai and Kia working on their own performance lineups, it should come as a no surprise that Genesis is planning a line of high-performance vehicles. But Car and Driver reports that Genesis isn't sure what model should get the treatment first. “On the Genesis lineup, the whole thing is still in discussion. Before [the lineup is] fixed, we’re not making any decisions on performance cars—the lineup needs to be clear, and it’s still moving and fluid,” said Albert Biermann, Hyundai-Kia’s head of performance development. One type of vehicle that has been thrown out are SUVs. Biermann explained that stricter fuel economy and emission standards have put the question as to whether these high-performance vehicles will stick around in the coming years. Also, he doesn't see a market for these vehicles. Not helping matters is trying to figure out what would power these high-performance models: a internal combustion engine or hybrid powertrain. “The road map for the next three or four years is clear, but at some point you have to make sure that, with future mobility and all the emissions targets, that you have the technology out there. A lot of discussion is going on about the timing of switching away from pure internal combustion to hybrid or plug-in hybrid. That’s the same for the high-performance applications,” said Biermann. Car and Driver doesn't have a guess as to what could be the first Genesis vehicle to get amped up, but we bet the upcoming G70 is a safe possibility. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  15. Kia is planning to follow Hyundai with offering a range of performance models around the world. However, Kia isn't planning to make them as hardcore as Hyundai's upcoming N models. Hyundai and Kia’s performance development boss Albert Biermann tells Autocar that Kia's GT models will differ Hyundai's N models as they aren't designed to be taken on a racetrack. This means GT models will likely not see such tech as an electronically controlled limited slip differential that will be coming on the European-market i30 N Plus. What they will see is improvements in terms of performance, handling, and looks. Biermann admits that “GT is not right for all Kia models," but most of Kia's mainstream lineup will likely see a GT variant. Some of the models likely to get a GT variant include the next-generation Rio, Optima, and the next-generation ProCeed (unrelated to the Forte compact). "The Ceed GT is a very balanced car, but we are a few years further down the road, and if we were to engineer it now it would have some more spice to it.” Biermann also revealed that standard Kia models will get different chassis settings from their Hyundai brethren as a way to differentiate them. “Kia is meant to be more emotional than Hyundai and we have to make cars that reflect that when you drive them,” said Biermann. Source: Autocar View full article
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 12, 2013 The past couple of years has seen the return of performance to Toyota with the introduction of the GT86 (Scion FR-S), introduction of the F-Sport to Lexus, and rumors of the return of the Supra. But there could be more changes at Toyota to bring more performance into the fold. Auto Express talked with Karl Schlicht, executive vice president at Toyota Europe who said the company is "Currently discussing sport lines for Toyota models”. Schlicht goes onto say there is “an appetite for Toyota to do credible performance cars”. Source: Auto Express William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  17. Before the Detroit Auto Show, Ford has made some big announcements concering their performance cars. First was the announcement of a new performance division named Ford Performance. The division will unify Ford SVT, Team RS, and Ford Racing to create performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers. Leading this new group will be Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak. "Ford remains committed to innovation through performance. Our new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles and parts. It will allow us to more quickly introduce products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on-road and on the track,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. The new group will be in charge of twelve new performance vehicles through 2020. The first of those vehicles will be the new Focus RS, which will be sold worldwide for the first time. Ford didn't announce any details about the RS, but rumors have it packing a 2.3L EcoBoost four with over 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Source: Ford Press Release is on Page 2 DEC 11, 2014 | DEARBORN, MICH. FORD DRIVING PERFORMANCE INNOVATION TO NEW LEVELS; MORE THAN 12 VEHICLES COMING FROM NEW GLOBAL TEAM Ford bringing more global performance vehicles to customers worldwide; more than 12 new performance vehicles through 2020 – including Focus RS – to be available globally Ford uniting regional performance engineering and racing teams as one global team under Ford Performance, delivering more new vehicles and parts, more quickly Ford will deliver more than 12 new performance vehicles for global enthusiasts through 2020, as the company announced today its new global Ford Performance team. The vehicles include an all-new Focus RS that will be available to customers in major markets around the world for the first time. It is part of Ford’s plan to deliver even more performance vehicles, parts and accessories for customers around the world more quickly. “Ford remains committed to innovation through performance,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Our new global Ford Performance team ties together racing, performance vehicles and parts. It will allow us to more quickly introduce products and accessories that meet the needs of customers around the world on-road and on the track.” Focus RS, which builds on a pedigree of driving excellence dating to the first Ford RS in 1968, was last introduced in 2009. “To earn the RS badge, the vehicle has to be a no-compromise driver’s car that can deliver exceptional performance on the track when required while providing excellent every day driving,” said Nair. Focus RS will join Ford’s existing performance lineup, including Fiesta ST, Focus ST, Shelby GT350 Mustang and F-150 Raptor. In addition to pleasing enthusiasts, these vehicles help deliver the company’s One Ford plan for profitable growth, product excellence and innovation in every part of its business. Performance vehicle sales are growing around the world – with sales up 70 percent in the United States and 14 percent in Europe since 2009. Ford’s ST lineup, for example, is attracting younger buyers who love to drive. In the United States, more than 65 percent of ST customers come from outside the Ford brand, and more than 50 percent of Ford performance vehicle owners’ next vehicle purchase is a Ford. Millennials are purchasing ST vehicles at a rate twice that of other Ford-branded vehicles. Powering performance vehicles, such as Fiesta ST and Focus ST, is Ford’s award-winning EcoBoost® engine range. Since the introduction of the EcoBoost engine in 2009, Ford has produced more than 2 million EcoBoost engines globally. “EcoBoost is a strong example of how we are migrating technology and engineering across our lineup, ensuring our vehicles are fun to drive – not just our Ford Performance lineup,” said Nair. “From our most nimble Fiesta to our hard-working full-size pickups and racing vehicles, our lineup benefits from the innovations we deliver at the track and at the limit.” For instance, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in the IMSA TUDOR Championship series powers a record-setting Daytona racing prototype sports car, as well as Ford cars, trucks and utility vehicles. Another example of this technology transfer can be found in the recently revealed Shelby GT350 Mustang, which goes on sale next year in the United States and Canada. Aerodynamic innovations developed through Ford’s investment in racing were applied to the front end of the new Shelby GT350 Mustang, helping improve downforce in the car as well as cooling. Ford considers racing an important proving ground for cultivating passionate engineers – allowing them to innovate in top-level competition as they face challenges that require successful solutions in very compressed time frames. New global teamThe new Ford Performance organization unifies Ford SVT, Team RS and Ford Racing globally, serving as an innovation laboratory and test bed to create unique performance vehicles, parts, accessories and experiences for customers. This includes developing innovations and technologies in aerodynamics, light-weighting, electronics, powertrain performance and fuel efficiency that can be applied more broadly to Ford’s product portfolio. In addition to using racetracks around the world, the team will develop new vehicles and technologies at Ford’s engineering centers globally and at the new technical center in Charlotte, North Carolina. This state-of-the-art facility will help the team deliver racing innovations, as well as advance tools for use in performance vehicles and daily drivers alike. The Ford Performance organization is led by Dave Pericak, who has been appointed director, Global Ford Performance. Heritage of performance innovation Performance and racing are deeply embedded in Ford’s DNA, dating back 113 years when Henry Ford won the Sweepstakes Race against Alexander Winton, then America’s greatest racer. Following Henry Ford’s remarkable upset victory in front of Detroit’s elite businessmen, some immediately came forward to back whatever automotive venture he had in mind. Ford Motor Company opened 18 months later. “Ford still races for the same reasons Henry Ford did in 1901 – to prove out our products and technologies against the very best in the world,” said Nair. “The Ford Performance team will continue to pursue performance innovation, ensuring we can deliver even more coveted performance cars, utilities and trucks to customers around the world.” View full article
  18. Nissan is working hard into changing its performance and racing arm, NISMO, into a real player. This is being shown by how many hatchbacks and sport cars are coming out with the NISMO name. But NISMO is considering expanding their reach to other Nissan models. CarAdvice.com.au recently spoke with Nissan marketing chief Darren Cox and Nismo boss Shoichi Miyatani, and both said a Nismo-tuned SUV or pickup are on the table. That could include the Navara and Qashqai crossover. But there's no telling what other vehicles could go under the NISMO transformation. “Nismo has to be a credible production car from Nissan that’s sporty and therefore we study the implications of that, a pickup could be an interesting product because of its global nature when we go into other markets.” said Cox. Source: CarAdvice.com.au View full article
  19. Many luxury manufacturers are going downmarket to bring in more younger buyers and increase sales. But Lexus isn't one of them. Jeff Bracken, general manager for Lexus told the Automotive Press Association on Monday that the luxury automaker will not venture below the $30,000 mark. "You won't see Lexus go down below $30,000. We are fortunate to have Toyota to help us with CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) regulations so you won't see us going downstream. For Lexus to be truly luxury, the division needs to keep ourselves above $30,000," said Bracken. What Lexus will be doing instead is focusing on performance and high-end vehicles to bring in younger buyers and grow the brand. "We believe young customers have a different definition of luxury," Bracken said, and it includes driving dynamics. Lexus has been offering F-Sport versions of many of its vehicles, along with full blown F models such as the previous-generation IS-F and new RC-F. Bracken told the group that Lexus will be unveiling a new performance vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show in January, but wouldn't go any further than that ( Production LF-LC or GS-F?). Source: Detroit Free Press View full article
  20. The balance act of performance and emissions is difficult to say in the least, but Ferrari thinks they have figured it out. According to Vittorio Dini, Ferrari's Powertrain Director, the company plans on increasing performance while reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2021. "Our average CO2 emissions are currently about 270 grams of CO2 per kilometer. We want to use all the available technologies to reduce emissions by 3 percent each year, which means approximately a 20 percent decrease by 2021," Dini said to Automotive News Europe. How does the company plan on pulling this feat off? By using turbocharging and hybrid systems. Ferrari is turning to downsized V8 engines paired with turbochargers. Case in point is the 2015 California T which traded in a 4.3L V8 making 484 horsepower to a 3.9L turbocharged V8 producing 552 horsepower. As for CO2 emissions, the change in engines saw emissions drop from 299g/km to 250g/km. As for V12 engines, Dini said the company looked at turbocharging. The idea was nixed after it was decided that it would take four turbos to provide the same punch, which causes packaging and heat dissipation problems. Instead, the company will utilize hybrid technology for their V12s. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  21. With Holden's operations in Australia coming to a close in 2017, questions have arisen of what will happen to Holden Special Vehicles. Motoring.com.au reports that HSV's future might lie with Chevrolet. Motoring.com.au had the chance to speak with Ryan Walkinshaw, Chairman of the Walkinshaw Group which runs HSV. He explained that the group is considering working their magic on Chevrolet vehicles. But he goes onto say that General Motors has the final say on this. “We think something like that (CSV) could work. It depends on what products are available. It’s going to depend on the discussions with GM going forward. There’s a lot of factors we have to take into account. But I think we are pretty confident in what we do," said Walkinshaw. “We know we could deliver some pretty good products outside what we do with Commodore in Australia and we have proven that plenty of times before with our history and with what we are doing currently for other manufacturers.” Now if this comes to fruition, the question of where these vehicles will be built arises. Walkinshaw says the company would like to stay with its manufacturing base in Clayton, but is willing to move to where the vehicles are being built. “Ideally, it would be a nice simple transition to just get the cars off the ship part-finished and us to finish them off here. It would also keep us as a company that genuinely makes Australian cars and makes them in Australia, which would be great,"said Walkinshaw. “But if the opportunity arises and we have no other option then we are happy to look at manufacturing abroad and importing them as well.” Source: Motoring.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  22. It seems some changes are coming to BMW's M division based on recent comments from the head of the division, Frank van Meel. First up is transmissions. van Meel tells Autocar that DCT dual-clutch and automatic transmissions have a bright future for M cars. Not so much for the manual transmission as sales are declining. “From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes. The DCT and auto ’boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption. It’s difficult to say we’ll stick to the manual, but we still have a big fan community for manuals and we are not going to take away something the customer wants to have,” said van Meel. van Meel also brought up maximum power, saying that M cars will only go up to 600 horsepower. “For now, 600bhp is the most you can get in an M car. We’re at the limit. If you go on adding more horsepower and torque, it’d probably be over the limits.” Source: Autocar View full article
  23. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 20, 2012 During the press launch of the new Hyundai Elantra Coupe and GT, Hyundai North America CEO John Krafcik revealed that the company is considering performance versions of the Coupe and GT. Krafcik didn’t elaborate on details, but if given the green light, the Elantra Coupe and GT would get turbocharged engines (possibly from the Veloster), stiffer suspension, upgraded exhaust, and a tweaked interior. Source: Auto Guide William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  24. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 5, 2013 The trend of automakers downsizing engines and adding turbochargers to add performance and increase fuel economy has drawn the ire of Consumer Reports. The publication recently tested eleven different vehicles and found that with rare exception, “the turbocharged cars have slower acceleration and no better fuel economy than the models with bigger, conventional engines.” Consumer Reports highlights the Ford Fusion which can come equipped with either an optional 1.6L or 2.0L EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder. In CR's testing, the 1.6L EcoBoost Fusion posted the slowest 0-60 MPH of 8.9 seconds among competitors with naturally aspirated engines: Kia Optima (8.6), Hyundai Sonata (8.4), Honda Accord (8.2), Nissan Altima (8.2) and Toyota Camry (7.7). The 1.6L EcoBoost didn't fare any better when it came time for fuel economy as it scored the lowest as-tested combined number of 25 MPG. The Nissan Altima delivered the best with 31 MPG, followed by the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with 30. Similarly, the 2.0L EcoBoost Fusion posted the lowest combined fuel economy number of 22 MPG when compared to rivals with V6s: Toyota Camry and Honda Accord (26) and Nissan Altima (24). As for 0-60 run, the 2.0L posted the slowest time of 7.4 seconds. The Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Honda Accord were about a second faster. CR also highlights the Chevrolet Cruze when equipped with the 1.4L turbo-four. While the 1.4 turbo is quicker than the 1.8L by about 0.8 to 60 MPH, the two got the same 26 MPG combined average during testing. Source: Consumer Reports, Los Angeles Times William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  25. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 31, 2012 There are some big rumors coming out at this week’s Moscow Auto Show dealing with the new Mazda6. The first rumor comes to us from Autocar. They had the chance to sit down with Mazda’s chief designer, Akira Tamatani. Tamatani revealed that he would like to do a Mazda6 coupe. "There is no decision, but I would love to make one. The first job is to make the saloon and estate, but from this position a coupe is not so far away." If there is a coupe in the pipeline, we could get our first look sometime next year. Rumor two also comes from Autocar which says Mazda could be adding an AWD system for the new 6. “There are no set plans, but we are studying the possibility of introducing all-wheel drive – it would be a good weapon with which to establish the brand. It is my belief that there is a very strong opportunity for us if we bring it to market,” said Hiroshi Kajiyama, program manager for the 6. The final rumor comes from AutoExpress. Speaking with Hiroshi Kajiyama, it was revealed that the company is looking at a performance version of the 6. “There is a high potential for this, and it would be helpful to the brand,” Kajiyama said. The performance oriented 6 would likely weigh less than the regular model, come with AWD, and use a turbocharged diesel engine. Source: Autocar, AutoExpress William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article

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