• Lamborghini Gallardo successor to be named Huracan?

    December 13, 2013

    The Lamborghini Gallardo’s lifespan is coming to an end, and its successor has yet to be endowed with an official name. It now seems that the baby Lambo’s 2014 replacement will be called the Huracán.

    The name was first circulated in April of this year, when Lamborghini filed for the trademark to the Huracán name. It was speculated that it may be used to christen a new SUV based on the Urus concept and that Gallardo’s heir would be called the Cabrera, but according to Auto Express Huracán will be applied to the new exotic instead.

    Some have said that the new moniker would end Lamborghini’s era of naming sports cars after Spanish fighting bulls, dating back to the 1966 Miura. However, fans of the bull badge will be pleased to know that the tradition will prevail. A web search reveals Huracán was indeed the name of a toro, tributes to whom abound on YouTube, in addition to being the Mayan god of storm, wind and fire, later absorbed into Spanish to mean “hurricane.”

    Whatever it’s called, the new V10-powered supercar is rumored to have at least 600 hp and make extensive use of lightweight composites. A video released yesterday showed that it will take design cues from the Aventador flagship. The production version is expected to be revealed later this month.

  • Porsche Macan to get V6 diesel as base engine in U.S.

    December 13, 2013

    Porsche has revealed its plans for the U.S.-market base model of its new Macan compact luxury crossover.

    Instead of the gasoline and diesel four-cylinder models that will be available in other countries, American buyers will be offered the Macan S Diesel, which utilizes a turbodiesel V6. Essentially the same 3.0-liter unit used in a variety of Volkswagen Group models like the Audi Q5 and Porsche’s own Cayenne diesel, the mill is expected to produce 240 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque from just 1,750 rpm.

    Fuel economy should be a strong point for the Macan S Diesel, with mileage likely to be rated at 24/31 city/highway mpg – or better.

    As with its gas-fed siblings, the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6-powered Macan S and Macan Turbo, the Macan S Diesel will be fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel-drive.

    The oil-burner will be the cheapest member of the Macan family, with a starting price that’s expected to be below the Macan S’ $51,095 MSRP.

    Why won’t the four-cylinder Macans make it to these shores? Porsche is silent on the subject, but a Car and Driver report speculates that the move is intended to limit sales cannibalization of the Audi Q5, which is most popular in four pot form.

  • Ford facing 2015 F-150 delays due to aluminum suppliers?

    December 13, 2013

    Ford may be facing serious issues with what might be its most important launch of the foreseeable future. A shortage of the aluminum alloy required for the body panels of the F-150 could be causing critical delays in the truck’s production.

    Two months it was reported that the 2015 F-150 would take the unprecedented step of using aluminum in its body panels to cut weight by 750 pounds. What seemed like a forward-thinking step may now be coming back to bite Ford in the tailgate.

    If what The Truth About Cars has learned proves accurate, Alcoa and other suppliers have not been able to provide aluminum of the proper elasticity quotient needed for stamping. The delays are currently estimated at 6 to 10 weeks at Ford’s truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

    As Ford’s (and America’s) best selling vehicle buy a wide margin, the F-150 is the company’s most important model and biggest moneymaker. Understandably, Ford is putting pressure on Alcoa and its other suppliers to quickly furnish the proper materials. TTAC goes on to say that the internal F-150 launch date was supposed to be Memorial Day, but that is already out of reach.

    It’s already been reported that Ford will build old and new F-150 models concurrently in order to maintain supply. The Kansas City plant is apparently rolling out current-gen trucks, using thinner-gauge steel on models without tow packages, to hold them over until the next-gen trucks are ready in late 2014.

  • Ford shows off autonomous Fusion Hybrid research vehicle

    December 13, 2013

    Ford has revealed its latest progress towards bringing self-driving cars to showrooms, which takes the form of a Fusion Hybrid outfitted with the Blue Oval’s most advanced autonomous technology.

    Co-developed with the University of Michigan and State farm, the automated sedan is equipped with a quartet of LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) infrared sensors that scan the road 2.5 million times each second. Similar to how bats and dolphins use sound waves to recognize their surroundings, the LiDAR setup bounces light off of everything within a 200 ft. radius in order to create a real-time, three-dimension map of the nearby area.

    The sensors are capable of recognizing stationary and moving objects such as vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists, and are sufficiently sensitive to tell the difference between a paper bag and a small animal from nearly a football field away, Ford says.

    “The Ford Fusion Hybrid automated vehicle represents a vital step toward our vision for the future of mobility,” Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement.

    “We see a future of connected cars that communicate with each other and the world around them to make driving safer, ease traffic congestion and sustain the environment. By doing this, Ford is set to have an even greater impact in our next 100 years than we did in our first 100.”

  • VIDEO: Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision GT, the Making of

    December 13, 2013

    Twenty-eight automakers designed one-off cars for Gran Turismo 6, but Mercedes-Benz has been the only one to render it in 1:1 scale. After making a splash at the LA Auto Show last week and inspiring at least one fan to vow a drivable version, the AMG Vision Gran Turismo has thusfar been the most impactful.

    In a recently released video, the automaker gives viewers a peek at the show car’s creation. With a blank slate unencumbered by safety standards or production realities, the designers molded the car they all secretly dream of when the beancounters are out of the picture. They even get to play video games as part of their “research.”

    M-B Designers say that the car embodies their design philosophy of “a sense of purity.” They even put an emphasis on rear design because that’s the view players will see most often. They also reveal that the design is shaping the brand, and are fully cognizant of the fact that players will have to be inspired to choose the Vision GT from a smorgasbord of over 1,000 virtual cars from a multitude of manufacturers. Apparently, halo cars no longer need to be production ready.