• Hennessey announces 1,000-hp Chevrolet Camaro SS

    February 26, 2016

    Hennessey Performance has introduced an upgrade kit that gives the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS a spectacular bump in power.

    The Texas-based tuner has turned the SS’ 455-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 engine into a supercharged 6.8-liter V8 that pumps out 1,000 horsepower and 811 lb-ft. of torque. The modifications include forged aluminum pistons attached to billet connecting rods, ported heads, heavy-duty valve springs, and an upgraded cooling system. Hennessey’s supercharger kit is compatible with both the six-speed manual transmission and the eight-speed automatic unit.

    There’s a small catch: the engine makes 1,000 horsepower, but that doesn’t mean the Camaro has 1,000 ponies at the rear wheels. While final specifications haven’t been published, but Hennessey warns the rear wheel horsepower and torque figures will be about 15- to 20-percent lower.

    The hot-rodded coupe doesn’t scream “1,000 horsepower!” The visual modifications are discreet and limited to small Hennessey emblems, a numbered plaque signed by John Hennessey on the dashboard, and specific floor mats. However, an new exhaust system makes the HPE1000 louder than a regular SS.

    Hennessey told Autoblog that the 1,000-horsepower kit costs about $65,000, a figure that doesn’t include the cost of a new Camaro SS. When all is said and done, enthusiasts who want to put a Camaro with 1,000 ponies under the hood in their garage need to shell out at least $102,000. Each car comes with a one-year, 12,000-mile warranty, and half a tank of Shell V-Power Nitro+ 93-octane gasoline.

  • Geneva: DS E-Tense concept

    February 26, 2016

    Peugeot-Citroën’s newly-independent DS brand will reveal a stunning new concept called E-Tense at next week’s Geneva Auto Show.

    The E-Tense takes the form of a low-slung, carbon fiber-bodied coupe that stretches 185 inches long, 81 inches wide, and just 50 inches tall. Its front end wears a muscular evolution of the design language found on current members of the DS lineup like the 3, the 4, and the 5. Beyond that, it features pronounced wheel arches, a rakish A-pillar, and a gently-sloping roofline accented by a chromed fin. Finally, the rear end gets 3D-looking LED tail lamps that emphasize its width and a wide air diffuser.

    DS points out the cabin took 800 hours to design, test, and build, but photos haven’t been published yet. We’re simply told it’s fitted with a tulip-shaped steering wheel, steel trim on the dashboard, a 640-watt sound system, and a watch manufactured by BRM Chronographes. The watch can be worn by the driver of placed on the dashboard.

    Power is provided by an all-electric drivetrain that uses electricity stored in a lithium-ion battery pack to generate 402 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque. The 4,000-pound E-Tense hits 62 mph from a stop in 4.5 seconds, and it goes on to a top speed that’s electronically limited to 155 mph. The battery pack is mounted below the passenger compartment to lower the center of gravity, and it stores enough electricity to power the coupe for about 200 miles.

    DS hasn’t revealed what the future holds for the E-Tense concept.

  • BMW: No plans for M2 convertible

    February 26, 2016

    BMW has rejected the idea of building an M2 convertible to complement the new M2 hardtop coupe.

    M2 chief engineer Frank Isenberg suggests the company already offers a sporty compact convertible — the 2-Series Convertible in M235i guise. It boasts a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six with 322 horsepower, on par with the 1-Series M.

    “We’ve got such a nice M235i Convertible,” Isenberg told CarAdvice. “And convertibles are not for racetracks, they’re for cruising.”

    The company wants the M2 to remain as ‘purist’ as the 1-Series M coupe, which now fetches more in the used market than it did in showrooms five years ago. The strategy contrasts with the larger end of the M lineup, which includes drop-top versions of the M4 and M6 despite a significant weight penalty.

    The M2 is approximately the same weight as the E46-generation M3, first introduced in 2000. Later generations were heavier, and even the latest carbon-clad F80 M3 is around 100 pounds heavier than the E46.

    Though a soft-top has been rejected, BMW has not ruled out M2 special editions to follow in the future.

  • Spied: 2017 Buick Encore

    February 26, 2016

    Buick’s revised 2017 Encore small SUV has been spotted completely undisguised at a photo shoot in Southern California. The updated Encore will made its official introduction at the New York auto show.

    As expected, the new Encore closely mirrors Opel’s latest Mokka X utility vehicle. For the Encore that means an updated grille, revised headlights with LED accents and a faux skid plate. The back of the Encore largely carries over, but new taillights and a tweaked lower bumper are included in the revision.

    The interior of the 2017 Encore will also be new with a more modern-looking center stack. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will also be included for the new model year.

    Powertrain offerings should continue on unchanged. Base versions of the Encore will ship standard with a 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder tuned to deliver 138 horsepower. An up-rated version of the turbo four with 153 horsepower will also be available.

    Look for the 2017 Buick Encore to go on-sale following its March unveiling in the Big Apple.

  • VW negotiations over diesel scandal are "progressing," lawyer says

    February 26, 2016

    Volkswagen’s ongoing negotiations with the U.S. Justice Department, the EPA and the state of California regarding its massive diesel scandal are “progressing,” the automaker’s lawyer told a federal judge on Thursday.

    Robert Giuffra, a lawyer representing VW, made the proclamation earlier today in federal court in front of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer. “The discussions are progressing,” he said, according to Automotive News.

    VW is scrambling to come to a settlement over its use of cheating devices in nearly 600,000 diesel-powered vehicles sold here in the United States. The embedded software allowed those diesels to pass EPA testing but spewed as much as 40 times the legal level of greenhouse gases during regular driving.

    Breyer urged VW to have a solution to the problem by March 24, when the German automaker is scheduled to meet with the EPA about a fix for the affected vehicles. “It seems to me six months is long enough to determine whether or not there is an engineering process that can be utilized by Volkswagen and will be acceptable to the U.S. government,” Breyer said.

    VW has already presented one possible fix to regulators, but that idea was shot down.

    The Justice Department sued VW over the emissions scandal last month. The automaker could be facing fines totaling as much as $46 billion. The company is also open to lawsuits from disgruntled owners and dealers.