18th April 2015

New Taurus for Us? Nope, It’s for China

2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)

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The Ford Taurus is due for a redesign for the 2016 model year, but before showing Americans their new version of the one-time bestseller, Ford unveiled the Chinese-market Taurus at the Shanghai auto show.

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In each of its previous redesigns, the Taurus debuted a radically different styling direction but that’s not the case here. This 2016 Taurus is an evolution of the current car, with a bit of Ford Fusion thrown in. Importantly for the Chinese market, the wheelbase has been stretched by some 4 inches, opening up rear-seat room. (Today’s Taurus has been criticized for offering rear-seat accommodations that are no better than the mid-size Fusion.) For China, the new Taurus offers power-reclining rear seats with available power lumbar and massage, and the fold-down center armrest features controls for the HVAC, seats, and audio system.

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2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)

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The car is powered by Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, an engine we know from its application in the F-150 pickup, where it makes 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft. That engine would be a likely candidate to replace today’s naturally aspirated, 288-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 in the Taurus. The 240-hp, 2.0-liter EcoBoost four is likely to continue, but we’ve found that engine to be overburdened by the car’s mass.

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This is the first Taurus to be sold in China, and Ford describes it as “designed specifically to meet the needs of the Chinese market,” so we don’t know how well it predicts the U.S. version. But a roomier cabin and the adoption of the 2.7-liter turbo V-6 would be welcome changes for our market as well.

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2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)

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18th April 2015

New Taurus for Us? Nope, It’s for China

-2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)-2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)-2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)-2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)-2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)-2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)-2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)-2016 Ford Taurus (Chinese spec)--

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18th April 2015

Weekly Recap: Ford GT inspires guitar, foosball table, sailboat

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We curate the week's events with a focus on Ford's latest design projects inspired by the GT supercar. Plus, we've got other news and notes from around the automotive world.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: Ford GT inspires guitar, foosball table, sailboat

Weekly Recap: Ford GT inspires guitar, foosball table, sailboat originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 18 Apr 2015 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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17th April 2015

2016 BMW 7-series Detailed, Driven: A Prototype Drive Shows It’s No Turkey

2016 BMW 7-series prototype
-Born in the teeth of the Great Recession, the fat but not so happy fifth generation of BMW’s 7-series flagship is finally relinquishing its post to a more fit successor. READ MORE ››

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17th April 2015

2016 BMW 7-series – Prototype Drive

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17th April 2015

2016 Fiat 500X Driven: Fiat Builds One for Adults

2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus
-Fiat is finally bringing a real adult car to the U.S. market. The 500X invites mature drivers to slip into something more comfortable than the tiny two-door Cinquecento—the toylike city car that relaunched the brand in America in 2010—and offers a driving experience far more engaging than the dowdy 500L ever imagined. The X is so much nicer than the L, in fact, that we’d suggest the latter’s days should be numbered, its only advantage being a little bit more interior room. READ MORE ››

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17th April 2015

2016 Fiat 500X – First Drive Review

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17th April 2015

Audi A6L e-tron Hybrid Unveiled, Is Ready to Plug Into China

2015 Audi A6 L e-tron

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Well, that wasn’t exactly quick. Three years after first showing the A6L e-tron plug-in-hybrid concept at the 2012 Beijing auto show, Audi has finally taken the wraps off of the production model ahead of the 2015 Shanghai show. This Chinese-market, long-wheelbase plug-in hybrid may be tardy, but it’s expected to be fuel-thrifty and techy enough to qualify as a “New Energy Vehicle” in China.

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Similar to the A3 e-tron, the A6L e-tron utilizes a turbocharged 2.o-liter four-cylinder engine, a disc-shaped electric motor, and an automatic transmission to power the front wheels. The engine makes 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the electric motor contributes another 122 horsepower and 162 lb-ft. Total system output is a strong 245 horsepower and 369 lb-ft, enough to move the roughly 4400-pound A6L e-tron to 60 mph in a claimed 8.4 seconds. A 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides up to 31 miles of electric-only driving, during which the A6L e-tron can cruise at up to 84 mph. Charging times range from two to eight hours, depending on the power of the charging source, and when topped off, the Audi can achieve up to 107 mpg—at least when converted from the optimistic Chinese fuel-economy test.

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Given its long-wheelbase body, the A6L e-tron is unlikely to ever be sold stateside, but you never know. BMW has boldly claimed it plans to offer plug-in-hybrid versions of every single one of its mainstream models, and transplanting the e-tron goods into a standard-wheelbase, U.S.-spec A6 wouldn’t be that difficult. (And besides, Audi soon will sell the A3 e-tron here.) For now, however, it’ll remain in China, where it goes on sale next year.

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17th April 2015

Stud Service: The Drawings and Designs that Gave Birth to the Latest Ford Mustang

-2015 Ford Mustang Design-6th Generation Mustang Ideation Sketches-6th Generation Mustang Ideation Sketches-6th Generation Mustang Ideation Sketches-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Ideation Sketches-6th Generation Mustang Ideation Sketches-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Theme Development-6th Generation Mustang Ideation Sketches-6th Generation Mustang Ideation Sketches-6th Generation Mustang Final Design-6th Generation Mustang Final Design-6th Generation Mustang Final Design-6th Generation Mustang Final Design-2015 Ford Mustang GT--

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17th April 2015

You Had Us at Gulf Blue: Porsche Creates Gorgeous 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Edition Exclusively for . . . the Netherlands?

2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Edition

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The Netherlands is a perfectly agreeable little northern European country, but let us tell you what: We want to invade it and call it our own right about now. CarandDriverLands has a nice ring to it, right? What has us seeing red mist over such a friendly little nation? Well, Porsche has just introduced an ultra-limited-edition 911 Targa 4S dubbed the Exclusive Edition to celebrate 50 years of Targas, and it’s excluding the U.S. market from this gem. Where are our tanks?!

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Anyway, so the 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Edition wears a stunning Gulf Blue paint job over gloss-black, Fuchs-style 20-inch wheels, and it gets ultra-sweet old-school “Porsche” rocker stripes. Porsche even blacks-out the standard full-LED headlights’ surrounds. Further setting our hearts aflutter is the Exclusive Edition’s adaptive sport seats, which feature the same houndstooth cloth inserts as the chairs in the 911 50th Anniversary Edition.

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2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Edition

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In fact, the coolest part about the Exclusive Edition is its utter lack of kitsch. There’s just the right amount of specialness, with none of the typically overbearing “special edition!” screamer features. Sure, there are illuminated doorsills with “Porsche 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Edition” lettering, but they’re not visible most of the time. The only other features of note that come standard are Porsche’s Sport Chrono package, a sport exhaust system, and the 911’s PDK seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Fret not, purists, a seven-speed manual is optional, as are carbon-ceramic brakes, a Burmester sound system, and a power kit good for an extra 30 horsepower over the stock 400.

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Before we tell you how much Netherlanders will need to shell out to grab one of these awesome special-edition Porsches, let us first note that just 15 will be built. Got that? Okay, with that in mind, the 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Edition with PDK is €223,230 ($241,330!), while the version with the manual transmission costs an additional €6270 ($6778). Here in the U.S., the 2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S starts at $117,905, although equipping it with features that mimic those on the Exclusive Edition (minus the special seats and paint) carries that price past the $166,000 mark. Still, we think the Netherlands is getting something we desperately want, price be damned. So, seriously, can we scrounge up some grainy pictures that could be WMDs or something? Let’s get some dirt on the Netherlands, people!

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2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Edition

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