The glorious return of the Civic Type R


This is it Honda fans, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. This is the new generation Civic Type R that will finally come to the US. Or at least it pretty much is. Technically this is still a prototype, and the production model will be shown early next year. However, based on Honda’s recent Civic “concepts,” you can rest easy knowing nothing major is going to change.

The biggest change you’ll probably see is in paint finish. The concept here has been given an interesting brushed aluminum-look vinyl wrap. If you’re really have to have it, there’s probably a decal shop nearby that could hook you up.

Moving past that, the Type R takes the standard hatchback and adds aggression rather than lightness. The front bumper is widened with extra slats, along with the fenders front and rear. It also gets a deeper chin spoiler in bare carbon fiber with a red accent stripe. Up on the hood is the intriguing addition of a scoop. We assume it’s functional, and we imagine it feeds a top-mounted intercooler like the scoops on the Subaru WRX and last Mazdaspeed3. According to rumors, the engine under the scooped hood could produce as much as 340 horsepower.

The sides of the car also get carbon fiber side skirts to go along with the front spoiler. The widened fenders accommodate fat wheels shod with 245 width tires. This leads to the back where the Type R once again receives an over-the-top rear wing, which we assume to be just as functional as the last one.

The rear of the Type R also gets one more cool feature. It has functional, triple tailpipes, just like the Ferrari 458 Italia and the F40. Honda also brought attention to the exhaust by painting the center pipe red. We don’t yet know the exact purpose of the third pipe, but we’re excited to find out.

As previously mentioned, this is just a “concept” and the production model will be shown early next year. After that, the Type R will be released in Europe first during the second half of 2017. US availability has not been announced yet.

[Source: Autoblog]

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor confirmed to have 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is coming, and we’re very excited. The last truck was fantastic, with off-road talent unmatched by any other production truck. We’ve seen images of the new truck, we know how much it will cost, and we’ve even been able to hoon it in video games. Until now, we could only guess at the all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6’s power. Looks like we were right. Watch video here.

The new twin-turbocharged engine will make 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. That’s a 39 hp and 76 lb-ft increase over the last Raptor’s 6.2-liter V8. In addition, Ford is touting a 23-percent increase in EPA fuel economy estimates. At 15 city, 18 highway, and 16 combined, it’s improved but still pretty dismal. Power doesn’t come cheap it seems.

In addition to a cylinder reduction, the new Raptor’s fuel economy gains can be attributed to the 500-lb diet and the all-new 10-speed automatic that was co-developed with GM. The new engine features both twin and port fuel injection, a lighter crankshaft and valvetrain, and a redesigned turbocharging system.

The 2018 Honda Accord will have the Civic’s sexy roofline


The current ninth generation Honda Accord started production in 2012, and although the midsize sedan got a facelift in 2016, it’s time to start looking ahead to the tenth generation. Honda is fresh off the successful launch of the latest Civic, so expect a strong follow up to what is already one of the best sedans on the market. Our spy photographer caught the latest heavily-camouflaged model out testing.

As with so many test vehicles, this latest Honda Accord is heavily covered with camouflage. The overall shape is very Civic-like, with a fastback roofline and short trunk lid. The headlights appear to be wide, narrow, and similar to the current design, but again it’s difficult to make out any specific details.

Our photographer also managed to get a couple pictures of the interior, but those don’t reveal much other than a number of buttons, which is an improvement over Honda’s current infotainment system. It’s difficult to see if the two-screen setup remains.

Other than that, these photos don’t reveal much. We can only speculate on things like interior improvements or engine and options, but turbocharging and CVTs are almost assuredly on the table. The future of the V6 seems especially uncertain as much of the Accord’s competition has moved to four-cylinder only power.

Look for a full reveal the 2018 Honda Accord sometime next year.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ram Rebel TRX concept is a Hellcat-powered Raptor-fighter


Ford has proven that fast off-road trucks are awesome. Dodge has proven that ridiculously powerful supercharged V8s are awesome. Combining the two would theoretically be even more awesome. The Ram Rebel TRX, which was unveiled at the Texas State Fair, proves that theory.

As you may have guessed from the intro, the Rebel TRX uses a supercharged V8. A version of the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 from the Hellcat twins (and, we suspect, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk). Because of some new calibrations to make the engine more suited for off-road driving, it doesn’t make the full 707 horsepower of the Charger and Challenger. But the TRX engine still cranks out 575 horsepower, which is a full 125 more than the new SVT Raptor. That’s enough to propel the mega-sized truck to 100 mph in its off road terrain mode.

Power is transferred through an 8-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. At the back, the Rebel TRX has an electronic locking differential. The TRX also gets an updated version of the Ram’s 4×4 Performance Control System featuring Normal, Wet/Snow, Off-road and – best of all – Baja modes. The latter mode is the one that will do triple digits through the desert.

Of course a sweet powertrain needs chassis and tire upgrades to round out the package, and the Rebel TRX has plenty of improvements. The standard Ram 1500 frame is unchanged, but bolted to it are custom front control arms, internal bypass shocks at each corner and new springs. The changes bring suspension travel to a full 13 inches all around. It also provides enough space to fit massive 37 x 13.5-inch tires. Ram also added six-piston calipers with 15-inch discs at the front and 14-inch discs at the back.

Finally, Ram gave all this heavy duty equipment a big, burly wrapper. The body is a full six-inches wider than the standard 1500 with large composite fenders to cover the aforementioned tires. The truck also has a vented and scooped hood based on the Ram HD. This was necessary to help cool the engine and provide vertical clearance for the supercharger. A large sport bar was added to the back and has provisions for carrying a pair of spare tires, plus an LED light bar on top. The truck also has a big steel skid plate up front, and a sweet integrated side-exit exhaust behind the doors.

Inside, the truck gets plenty of leather, suede and carbon fiber. The front seats also have racing harnesses attached to a harness bar that spans the B-pillars. And Rebel TRX takes a page out of the Porsche playbook with Nylon-door pulls instead of handles.

Now of course this isn’t a true Raptor rival yet because it’s just a one-off concept. But Ram did say that the company is looking at the market to see if a truck like this would be a good idea, as well as the intention to offer more off-road friendly vehicles. So Ram fans, if you really want this truck, you’d better make sure Chrysler hears you. We would certainly love to see it reach production, and we already like the swagger of the TRX name. You know T-Rex, as in bigger and badder than a Raptor.

Hyundai’s first N-performance car is hidden under the RN30 concept


Hyundai is moving ever closer to revealing their first high-performance N brand car, and the RN30 is the latest step in that direction. The concept is based on the new i30 hatchback, which was also revealed in Paris, and shares the engine that will power the i30N that comes out next year.

It’s obvious that the RN30 isn’t a stock car, although the engine is closer to reality than the wild bodywork. The basic block will power the i30’s fast sibling, but the rest of the four-cylinder has been given the racing treatment. A bigger turbo and forged internals combine to create 375 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels. It also comes with an electronic limited slip differential and a dual-clutch transmission. Don’t count on this powertrain coming to market, despite how cool it would be to see a South Korean Focus RS. However, it is a sign the i30N will have a potent foundation.

Draped around the powertrain is a race-ready body that is 30 mm wider and 84 mm shorter than the standard i30 and comes with all the requisite vents, wings, and diffusers. Bucking convention, this car not have carbon fiber body panels. For weight savings, Hyundai enlisted the help of BASF to craft some new lightweight plastics for the car. To save more weight, Hyundai gutted the interior down to the bare necessities. Whatever was left was then moved as low as possible, including the seats, to bring down the center of gravity.

Although almost everything about the RN30 is about going faster, not all of it is. Or at least not directly. In classic concept car fashion, the RN30 still gets at least one gimmicky feature. On the interior side of each A-pillar is a camera mounted in an image-stabilizing gimbal, and in the top fin, there is another forward facing camera. Hyundai says these record the car on track and the driver, with the idea being that the driver can cut together video of a track day to share with friends.

As previously mentioned, don’t expect to see the production i30N to pack this much power when it hits the road next year. However, if it comes even remotely close to the performance of this concept, it should be a very entertaining hot hatch. Odds are good that it will come to the US as well, since the i30 will arrive here next spring as the Elantra GT.

[Source: Autoblog]

Weird Honda patent shows robot arm to charge an EV while driving


Despite big leaps in electric car range and charging times, EVs still haven’t reached the point of being as convenient as gas-powered cars. A recently published patent from Honda seems to offer a possible, if questionable, solution to electric charging and range.

The patent shows and describes a strange system in which a car would be equipped with a deployable arm with an electrical contact on the end. When extended, the arm would ride in a grooved rail along the side of the road. This rail would be connected to the electrical grid, and would allow the car to charge as it drives along. The idea is similar to old electric trolleys and buses that connected to overhead power lines.

While novel, we’re not sure that this would be a better solution than wireless charging systems that have also been proposed. Honda’s idea would likely be easier and cheaper to build and maintain than a wireless system with electromagnetic coils embedded in the pavement. However, there are many potential issues. For one, that arm is just begging to be broken off. At some point, someone will forget it was deployed, or the retracting mechanism will break, and that driver will snap it off on a something like a street light. And while the charging rails would be easier to reach for maintenance, they might need more of it. In heavy snow, the rails may have to be cleared to be usable, and since the contacts will be rubbing against the rails all the time, people will have to inspect them to make sure they still work.

We still have to give Honda some credit though. This is an interesting idea for solving the issues of range and charging. We just think there are other technologies that would work better long term.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford Bronco officially coming back, will be made in Michigan


(Editor’s Note: The above pictures are not official. As we previously posted, they’re fan renderings from

You can credit (or blame) Donald Trump for this one. The presidential candidate has been relentless in attacking Ford for moving jobs to Mexico throughout his campaign. Ford has fired back, both with CEO Mark Fields on CNN, and on Twitter during the first debate, citing massive investment and job growth here in the United States. And now, because of this fight, we just got confirmation that the Bronco is coming back. Whether or not it looks at all like the rendering above remains to be seen.

Ford announced earlier this year that it will add four SUVs to the lineup, and it was widely assumed the Bronco would be one of those four. The theory stems from the latest contract between the UAW and Ford, and what happens to the Michigan Assembly Plant when the Focus and C-Max production move south of the border.

“We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does.”

Confirmation comes from Bill Johnson, chairman of UAW local 900, speaking to the Detroit Free Press last week. “We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does.”

Yes, he did just say that. The Bronco is coming to Michigan Assembly. Which means the Bronco is coming back. Whether you live in a Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich household, this is one thing America can come together on.

[Source: Autoblog]