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10
Sep
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Subaru ups US sales projections to 500k units

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2015 Subaru Outback

Subaru is going absolutely gangbusters so far in 2014, with growing year-over-year sales every month this year adding to the streak of 33 consecutive months. The prognosis is so positive that the Japanese brand is revising its 2014 forecast to 500,000 vehicles or more, from a previous estimated 460,000. If it reaches the goal, it would be the first time that the automaker hit the half-million mark here.

Subaru has been growing steadily in the US for a while now. Annual sales have increased for the past five consecutive years with 2014 not indicating for that to change. For August alone, the company moved 50,246 vehicles, up 22.37 percent year-over-year, and the business proclaimed it as the best month in its history.

According to Subaru, it believes that the growth for the last two years has been fueled by the latest Forester and XV Crosstrek last year and the new Legacy and Outback this year. “The market is telling us that we are delivering products that consumers want at the right prices,” said Thomas J. Doll, president and chief operating officer at Subaru of America. Scroll down to read the company’s full announcement.

Continue reading Subaru ups US sales projections to 500k units

Subaru ups US sales projections to 500k units originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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6
Sep
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Subaru Legacy pitted against Roadkill project cars

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Roadkill Subaru

There’s an evergreen debate among auto enthusiasts about whether they would prefer to have the latest and greatest car of today or a certified classic from yesteryear. What if you had to further define that, though, and the choice was between a brand new 2015 Subaru Legacy or a turbocharged Datsun 240Z with a hatch that wouldn’t close? Roadkill aimed to find out that and more in one of its best videos to date.

According to the hosts, Subaru came to them, handed over some money and challenged Roadkill‘s project cars against its latest Legacy. The result is every bit as good (or better) than any automotive-themed show you could find on television.

Things start simple with a figure-eight race in a rodeo arena with the Subaru taking on Roadkill‘s 1968 Ford Ranchero, originally built for ice racing. From there the Legacy races a 1968 Dodge Charger with no windows around and off-road rally stage. Finally, the Subie goes head-to-head against the Rotsun, the aforementioned turbocharged 240Z, through an abandoned neighborhood. Plus, there’s a bonus drag race challenging them all.

Everyone involved in this seems to be having more fun at work than many people have all year, and that positive feeling is incredibly infectious. From the hosts all the way to the instructor at the rally school, everyone is smiling and laughing practically the whole time. Enjoy, this is a good one.

Continue reading Subaru Legacy pitted against Roadkill project cars

Subaru Legacy pitted against Roadkill project cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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3
Sep
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What you missed on 9.2.14

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Daily U-Turn

Infiniti Q70L2015 Infiniti Q70L tested

Is bigger really better? That’s the question we’re asking in our review of the long-wheelbase Infiniti Q70L. The luxury brand’s 5 Series-fighter gains some rear spaciousness among other tweaks for the 2015 model year, and we see if this added capaciousness adds to the sedan’s appeal. Read all about it in our quick spin.

Land Rover Discovery SportLand Rover Discovery Sport revealed

The Land Rover LR2 is dead! Long live the Land Rover LR2! With its new Discovery Sport, Land Rover finally has a truly competitive offering in the midsize luxury crossover set, ready to battle stalwarts like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. We’ve got the full smattering of details about the new compact LR. Check it all out, here.

Subaru WRXSubaru WRX hatchback spied

Despite the on-again, off-again rumors, it looks like Subaru might be building a five-door version of its new WRX after all. Our trusty spy photographers caught this ‘Rex-ified mule testing, leading us to believe there will be even more to love about our favorite little Subie in the not-too-distant future.

Top Stories

What you missed on 9.2.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25
Aug
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Subaru WRX S4 gets big power bump in Japan

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2015 Subaru WRX S4

Subaru WRX S4 rear three-quarter viewA month after originally teasing it, Subaru is finally unveiling its WRX S4 model for Japan. It’s a bit more than just a plush take on the sport sedan, because Subaru is fitting a more powerful version of the 2.0-liter, turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine than we get on these shores.

The company says that S4 stands for “‘Sports performance’, ‘Safety performance’, ‘Smart driving’ and ‘Sophisticated feel,” and it certainly looks like this Rex ticks all of those boxes. The most surprising feature is the Japanese model’s 2.0-liter turbo engine boasting 296 horsepower (221 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque in this application. That’s quite a healthy upgrade over the 268 hp and 258 lb-ft that Americans get in the standard WRX, and it’s even nipping at the heels of the 305 hp and 290 lb-ft from the STI with a 2.5-liter mill that we get over here.

While extra power is always welcome, enthusiasts might not be so thrilled that Subaru’s Sport Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission is the sedan’s only available gearbox. However, it offers a simulated eight-speed shifting mode when drivers notch the car into Sport# driving mode. Of course, the S4 also packs Subie’s trademark all-wheel drive with Vehicle Dynamics Control and Active Torque Vectoring as standard.

Additional noteworthy differences include firmer steering box mounts for better feel and an electronic parking brake, a move that will likely delight commuters as it offends handbrake turn artists. The chassis and body have likewise received attention, with additional high-tensile steel and strengthened joints. Subaru says the bodywork as has actually been lightened in the process, though it isn’t immediately clear how.

Looking at the S4, the appearance differences are fairly minor compared to its US counterpart. The grille and lower air dam get completely filled in with silver mesh, and it has a somewhat different 18-inch wheel design. Inside, drivers are nestled into sport seats and grip a flat-bottom steering wheel. Red stitching and piano black trim finish off the interior looks to lend a sporty look.

For improved safety, the company’s latest Eyesight system boasts color recognition and a wider viewing angle than before. Systems like Pre-Collision Braking Control, Active Lane Keep steering assistance system and Adaptive Cruise Control are also available. Scroll down to read Subaru’s full announcement of this tech-packed WRX for Japan.

Continue reading Subaru WRX S4 gets big power bump in Japan

Subaru WRX S4 gets big power bump in Japan originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20
Aug
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2015 Subaru Legacy, Outback crash their way to IIHS Top Safety Pick+ ratings [w/video]

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Subaru Legacy

Subaru OutbackThe Subaru Legacy and Outback are the latest vehicles to be awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s most prestigious safety title, Top Safety Pick+.

As we’ve explained many times before, this only applies vehicles that can score an “Acceptable” or “Good” rating on the five IIHS crash tests and earn at least a “Basic” rating for crash prevention systems.

In the Legacy’s case, it totally aced IIHS’s testing, earning “Good” scores on the small overlap, front moderate overlap, side impact, roof crush and rear impact tests, while also bringing home the top “Superior” rating for its optional EyeSight system.

According to IIHS, Subaru holds more Top Safety Pick titles than any other manufacturer, with seven vehicles earning the safety award. Of those, four of them are TSP+ vehicles.

Scroll down for video of the Legacy’s small-overlap test, as well as press releases from both IIHS and Subaru.

Continue reading 2015 Subaru Legacy, Outback crash their way to IIHS Top Safety Pick+ ratings [w/video]

2015 Subaru Legacy, Outback crash their way to IIHS Top Safety Pick+ ratings [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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14
Aug
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What you missed on 8.13.14

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Daily U-Turn

All hail the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Now they’ve gone and done it. By dropping the ludicrous supercharged Hemi V8 from the Challenger Hellcat into the chassis of the four-door Charger, Dodge has created what it is calling the The World’s Most Powerful Sedan. For those unaware, there are a total of 707 freaking horses stampeding under the long hood of the Charger you see to your right, all sent to the back wheels in what we imagine will result in the most glorious burnouts the world has ever seen.

2015 Subaru WRX long-term updateAutoblog long-term Subaru WRX

It’s been lovely having the 2015 Subaru WRX in our long-term fleet. Even with terrible weather recently making things miserable for our Detroit crew, our WR Blue Subie didn’t miss a beat, delivering our editorial staff to their desired destinations with plenty of turbocharged aplomb. But we’ve also been finding a few flaws with the darling ‘Rex. Read all about ‘em, here.

Mom surprised by new carSon surprises his mom with a 1973 Saab

Aww, shucks. While we start feverishly shoving pennies, nickels and dimes into a piggy bank in an effort to start saving up to buy our collective mothers their dream cars – my dear Mom would love to cruise her ‘hood in a classic Beetle convertible – join us in watching the surprised reaction of one such mother as she’s handed the keys to her own, a 1973 Saab 99 in a lovely shade of orange.

Top Stories

What you missed on 8.13.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Aug 2014 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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13
Aug
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2015 Subaru WRX: July/August 2014

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Subaru WRX

Literally minutes after snapping the photo you see above, I was soaked – hit by the third round of storms that brought absolutely insane rainfall to Detroit this week. Amateur mistake, right there; if it looks like rain’s a-comin’, it’s a-comin’. So if you’re going to take pictures of the car, do it before it’s too late.

But the thing is, I was having way too much fun driving around the suddenly empty streets of Detroit to worry about handling my photo shoot in a timely manner. Folks had been cautioned to stay off the roads ever since the rain first hit. Floods had shut down several of our major freeways, not to mention many surface streets. The threat of more severe weather had put caution in the air, forcing folks to batten down the hatches and settle in for even more horrendously wet weather.

The long-term 2015 Subaru WRX, however, eats this stuff up with a passion. Inclement weather? The turbocharged, all-wheel-drive, endlessly grippy Subaru just wants to play. And after getting to know our WR Blue WRX since its delivery in June and solidifying my belief that it’s a total riot, even around town, I was not about to ignore Rex’s desires to go play in the rain and make mischief on the deserted streets. Empty on-ramp antics were great fun, and tossing the car around corners in the wet showed no signs of slip. Ever. Wet hair and a damp t-shirt? Worth it.

Prior to this week’s flooding, summer in Detroit had been wonderful. Our Polar Vortex Winter had transformed into a mild, delightful warm season, with mostly dry conditions, and weekend after weekend of weather perfect for sitting outside with the barbecue and some friends. The WRX was enjoying every bit of it, offering gobs of fun on dry, sun-drenched roads, and quickly making friends with several members of the Autoblog staff during its honeymoon phase. But not without some hiccups along the way.

Continue reading 2015 Subaru WRX: July/August 2014

2015 Subaru WRX: July/August 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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9
Aug
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Subaru mulls motorsports return, nixes small CUV plans

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Subaru WRC STI Isle of Man

The Subaru WRX STI breaking the automotive lap record at the Isle of Man might be just the beginning of the headlines trumpeting a Subaru racecar. According to the latest rumors, the Japanese brand is looking at taking motorsports more seriously in the future. That could possibly even mean endurance racing at Le Mans.

According to Auto Express, the brand is mulling a greater participation in motorsport, but the big question is where. The World Rally Championship isn’t a certainty because it now favors smaller cars like the Volkswagen Polo. Subaru still competes in series like Rally America and Global Rallycross, but there are bigger stages to play on.

What’s interesting, is that this commitment to motorsports comes right as the automaker is denying plans to build a small CUV for its passenger car lineup. According to Auto Express, the company has no intention of developing a crossover smaller than the current XV Crosstrek. Even if the sales are there, it would just cost too much to develop. In the US, at least, the XV is doing great with sales up 42 percent in July.

Autoblog reached out to the company for more hints about its future racing endeavors and we’re awaiting their reply. Let us know in Comments where you’d like to see Subaru competing.

Subaru mulls motorsports return, nixes small CUV plans originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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31
Jul
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Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs

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We all have controversial opinions. Be it whether you think the Nissan Juke is actually pretty attractive, manual transmissions aren’t always better, or you honestly didn’t hate the Pontiac Aztek, we all harbor some persuasion, be it big or small, for which we catch copious flak upon expression.

In recognizing that all of us here at Autoblog harbor at least one viewpoint that stubbornly goes against the grain of popular opinion among auto enthusiasts, we’ve decided to come clean with them right here, proudly speaking our minds in a mature, structured manner – a striking contrast to how these things tend to come up while debated in the office.

We’d also like to invite you to share your unpopular and controversial opinions with us and the Autoblog faithful down in Comments. Don’t be ashamed – this is a safe place.

Continue reading Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs

Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25
Jul
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Subaru teasing new WRX S4 model ahead of Japanese debut

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Subaru WRX S4 teaser

The Subaru WRX range is growing just a little bit larger, at least in Japan, with the automaker’s teasing announcement of a new version called the S4. Unfortunately, the company is keeping details about its latest all-wheel drive sport sedan a closely guarded secret for the moment.

From what we can glean, it appears that the S4 might be a more luxurious take on the WRX. According to the release, the name stands for the four qualities that Subaru wants the sedan to have: “‘Sports performance’, ‘Safety performance’, ‘Smart driving’ and ‘Sophisticated feel.’” As part of this focus, the car comes with the company’s EyeSight camera system. Thankfully, we don’t have too long to wait to find out what all of the buzz words actually mean because Subaru is unveiling the S4 on August 25 in Japan.

The automaker also launched a teaser website for the S4 that you can cheek out, here, but at the moment it doesn’t provide any more details about the new sport sedan. The site just has countdown until the August reveal. There’s also no indication yet whether this potentially more premium WRX could make it US shores. Scroll down to read the Subaru’s rather concise teaser for the upcoming S4.

Continue reading Subaru teasing new WRX S4 model ahead of Japanese debut

Subaru teasing new WRX S4 model ahead of Japanese debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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