Trumpchi car brand faces name change before reaching the US market

Guangzhou Automotive Group is considering renaming its Trumpchi brand before it starts to sell cars in America in 2019. The reason is obvious, as the brand name GAC Motor has chosen doesn’t necessarily sit well with all prospective customers.

The reasoning behind the Trumpchi name has to do with the romanization of a Chinese brand name GAC Motor had begun using, “Chuanqi”. That name, loosely translated, means “legendary” in Chinese, and it’s something the automaker wanted to convey in a more easily pronounced way, choosing “trump” for, well, trumping the competitors. They tacked on the “chi” ending to stand for China. Dissected, it makes sense, but as the Trump presidency has turned out to be far more topical than the Chinese brand would desire, the name has to go. Read more

Subaru has just revealed the pricing for the 2018 WRX and STI

Subaru has always staggered the release of new versions of the WRX and STI performance twins from that of the more pedestrian Imprezas. While the latter just received a ground-up redesign for 2017, the once and future kings of all-wheel-drive performance sedans make do with some new options and massaged over styling. Pricing for the new cars, which go on sale sometime in the next few months, has finally been announced.

Pricing for the pair is on the high-side of the competition. The 2018 Subaru WRX starts at $27,855. That nets you a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder making 268 hp, a six-speed manual, and Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. For comparison, the Ford Focus ST starts at $25,650 while the Volkswagen GTI starts at $26,415. Pricing for the new Honda Civic Si hasn’t been announced, but expect it to be somewhere in the mid $20,000 range. Read more

Just an ordinary Hyundai Santa Fe crossing the Antarctic

You might have heard of the Hyundai Santa Fe trip to Antarctica before, but even if you didn’t you might want to find out how did it go, right? This car is officially the first ever car to cross the Antarctica. The grandson of the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. The balloon-tyred Santa Fe made it from Glacier Camp on the inland South American side, to McMurdo on the coastal New Zealand side, and back again. The expedition lasted for 30 days and it took place in December. This trip was arranged to commemorate Shackleton’s try on being the first explorer to reach the South Pole.

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The car in the limelight was a 2.2 diesel model, with a standard interior, no roll cage or seats removed, and the standard DAB radio, which, let’s be honest, must have been about as much use on the trip as a poo-flavoured icicle. Apparently the only mods made to the car were to allow it to use the giant, low-pressure tyres. New subframes and suspension were added, and gears were added inside the wheel hubs that could better cope with all the forces involved, and that reduced the gearing effect formerly increased by the huge tyres. Other changes include cool af wheel arch extensions, a larger fuel tank and a switch to allow running on Jet A-1 fuel; the only kind available on the icy continent. A pre-heater helped keep the worst of the cold from damaging important components.

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Honda investing $124 million in US

Honda plans to invest in US, and we don’t whether it was an impact of Donald Trump’s threatens or something else, but the automaker says it wants to open an aeroacoustic wind tunnel test center in East Liberty, Ohio.

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It will include an interchangeable belt system with a five-belt rolling road system for production vehicles, including Honda and Acura cars and light trucks, and a single wide-belt system for high-performance vehicles and racecars. The wind tunnels “will be integral to our aerodynamic and aeroacoustic r&d activity, which spans from advanced research and computer simulation, through scale-model and full vehicle development, to production vehicle performance assurance,” Honda R&D Americas Inc. President Frank Paluch said.

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The 2018 Lexus NX Concept

Lexus has made a few changes on its NX crossover, we still think the previous model was really good, and had no ideas what else can be improved out there, but here it is. At any rate, the subtle changes on the outside of 2018 Lexus NX include a revised front-end with upper portion of the grille and the front bumpers redesigned to more fluidly blend into the hood and front doors. It may not be noticeable, of course, unless you view the new and the old models side by side.

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There is also satin and smoked chrome trim pieces on the famous grille. Around the back, the lower rear bumper cover now involves elements of the grille’s spindle motif, and has been broadened to give the car w wider stance. The new NX also features larger chrome-tipped exhaust tips that are integrated into the vehicle’s revised bumper cover design and new rear underbody spoiler.

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BMW sales rose up to 6% last month

BMW is a lucky car brand this time, its worldwide sales increased 6% for March. The automaker has delivered 254,862 cars this month, which is a big increase comparing to last year. The company’s three premium brands– BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce – also reported a 5.3 percent increase compared to the previous year, with a total 587,237 cars delivered.

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The carmaker has achieved a strong start to the year, with its X-family models and the BMW 7 Series being the main growth drivers. March was the first full sales month for the new BMW 5 Series Sedan and the customer feedback for this benchmark car is already very positive. BMW salesincreased 5.3 percent in March, with a total 212,093 vehicles delivered. MINI sales grew 8.7 percent, with 42,447 cars delivered. In March, deliveries of the BMW X5, produced in BMW’s Manufacturing Plant in Greer, were up 20.7 percent.

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