New Car: 2013 Toyota Yaris Trend

Toyota has announced a special edition Yaris, which it says is targeted at a younger audience.

The Toyota Yaris Trend features black B- and C-pillars to create a floating roof effect, chrome foglamp surrounds, two-tone 16-inch alloy wheels and a roof spoiler with LED lamp clusters.

Inside, the Yaris Trend has a black and white colour scheme with ochre accents. The seats are upholstered in a “leather look” material. Toyota has changed the geometry of the centre console and the upper dashboard panels are finished in white.

The gear shift has a shorter throw and features a larger gear knob.

Deco line graphics are featured along the front wings, doors, dashboard and headrests.

The Toyota Yaris Trend will go on sale next year, with prices to be announced nearer launch.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2013 Citroen C3 Picasso

The facelifted 2013 Citroën C3 Picasso will premiere at the Paris motor show later this month.

The new model features a revised front bumper, a new chevron grille treatment and LED daytime running lights. New body colours and interior trim options are offered as part of the mid-life revisions.

Citroën's eMyWay navigation system will be offered, which incorporates additional audio inputs and Bluetooth connectivity. The system integrates with the car’s optional rear parking camera.

No powertrain details have been announced, but it is expected to carry over the existing range of engines, which includes two petrol and two diesel units. Petrol engines will be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, while diesels gain a sixth gear. Citroën's robotised manual EGS gearbox will be offered.

The new C3 Picasso is slated for a UK launch in early 2013.

Thanks to: Autocar

Recall Up Date: 2012 Ford Edge

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is issuing a recall on 2012 Ford Edge models equipped with the EcoBoost 2.0-liter engine for a defective fuel line pulse damper housing. The metal housing may crack as the result of a manufacturing defect, the faulty housing could cause fuel leakage under the hood, resulting in a telltale gasoline odor, and could result in an engine fire. This follows several recalls on the 2013 Ford Escape equipped with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. So far, no recalls have been issued for Escape models equipped with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is a $995 option on Edge SE, SEL and Limited models.

The Problem: The fuel line pulse damper housing could crack due to an improper manufacturing process. The cracked damper could result in fuel leakage, fuel odor, and could result in an engine compartment fire.

The Fix: Owners will be notified, and dealers will replace the defective part free of charge. The recall campaign will begin on September 24, 2012. 2012 Edge owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332, or NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotlline at 888-327-4236.

Number of Units Affected: 5499 2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost models manufactured from September 2, 2010 through October 31, 2011.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive

Don’t look for any cargo area deficiencies on the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive concept — the automaker says the car will have the same interior space as the regular B-Class cars. The electric Benz concept will debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month, wearing the company’s new model designation for all-electric vehicles: “Electric Drive.”

The Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive concept is powered by a 100 kW electric motor with 229 lb-ft of torque. Overall range is estimated to be about 124 miles and, at least in Europe, 230 and 400 V charging options will be available. Since Daimler owns a small stake in Tesla, reports have suggested the B-Class EV’s motor and battery packs will be provided by Tesla.

The concept has what Mercedes calls “Energy Space,” placing the lithium-ion battery in the floor in front of the rear axle, allowing the electric to have the same interior space as the regular B-Class cars. A production-car version of this electric B-Class is scheduled to go on sale before the end of 2014, and the U.S. market may actually be part of its international rollout. The compact B-Class Electric Drive isn’t the only EV Mercedes will be showing in Paris; the production-spec SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive and Smart Brabus Electric Drive cars will take a bow, as well.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Lexus LF-CC

Never mind the cryptograph name or the Dark Knight interior: This Lexus concept previews the company’s next IS. A compact, rear-wheel-drive sedan and coupe should be the perfect vehicle to demonstrate CEO Akio Toyoda’s promise to build more engaging, sporty products. That ethos is evident even in the big GS and Lexus’s glorified Camry, the ES, and applied to a proper sports sedan, Lexus finally could be cooking with gasoline—and batteries.

Lexus’s chief of design, Takeshi Tanabe, says that the LF-CC represents a “new era” of Lexus design and products. (The name stands for Lexus Future Coupe Concept.) The styling still is in the family of the L-Finesse design language that molded the GS, the ES, and the refreshed LS, but we’re seeing an evolution with this car. Tanabe-san told us that the LF-CC is meant to show major contrasts: The grille—in now-signature spindle shape—is enormous and bold, as are air intakes big enough to swallow seagulls. But the headlights are uncovered slivers of LEDs and integrated door handles look like delicate slices of chrome. Tanabe-san is especially proud of the rising line on the car’s sides, shaping rear-wheel air intakes and traveling up the rear fender to wispy red taillights.

There are loads of slick details, too. Many aren’t suitable for production cars, making them a sort of self-abuse for designers, to borrow a Victorian euphemism. The triangular side mirrors are gorgeous, while packing the CHMSL into the shark antenna on the roof is just plain cool. Crystal spheres amplify the LED headlights—these actually appear, under covers, on the refreshed LS—instead of parabolic mirrors. Like the cartoonist Al Hirschfeld, who hid his daughter’s initials in every sketch, Lexus’s designers scattered the L logo in the LF-CC’s taillights and nearly every curve and kink.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Spied: 2013 Renaultsport Clio

The 2013 Renault Clio Renaultsport has been spied testing on the streets around the Nürburgring.

Although no official announcement has been made, it is expected the Clio RS will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, producing more than 200bhp. This means an end to the high-revving 2.0-litre motor fitted to the current Clio Renaultsport 200.

The engine is expected to be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the option of a dual-clutch automatic.

Unlike the previous hot Clios, the new Renaultsport will be offered as a five-door model only, mirroring the single configuration of the standard car. Renault design boss, Laurens van den Acker promised the car will have the look of a three door. Our largely undisguised spy shots show the door handles hidden in the C-pillars.

Renault has remained tight-lipped on performance, revealing only that it will offer more power than the outgoing car.

The Clio Renaultsport will be joined by a warm variant, likely to be badged Clio GT. It is expected to be powered by the same 133bhp 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine as the Twingo Renaultsport. A 1.5 dCi diesel unit could also be offered. The styling is likely to closely mirror that of the Renaultsport.

Thanks to: Autocar

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