2016 Hyundai Tucson to Debut at 2015 New York Auto Show

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One of the oldest models in Hyundai’s lineup is getting a complete redesign. Fresh off its European debut earlier this week at the Geneva International Motor Show, Hyundai’s new Tucson will hit the U.S. at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. For 2016, it looks like the automaker’s smallest SUV gets much more aggressive front styling with a taller, more sculpted version of the brand’s hexagonal grille and a new, sweeping LED headlamp design.

Related: More 2015 New York Auto Show News

Inside, the automaker promises more soft-touch surfaces and higher-quality materials throughout the cabin. Hyundai says the new Tucson is built on an all-new platform, and it will offer more passenger room and cargo space.

The model that debuted in Geneva also boasts some new safety features, including an autonomous emergency braking system, lane keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot detection, a speed limit information function (monitors speed limit road signs) and an active hood system (hood rises during a crash with a pedestrian to reduce impact). No word yet on feature availability for the U.S. version, but we’ll know more when the compact SUV meets the U.S. press in early April.

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Written by: Jennifer Geiger

Used Luxury-Car Prices Fall Again in February

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Sellers dropped the average asking prices on luxury cars in February, and it’s led to prices that are now thousands of dollars lower than we saw at the beginning of the year.

Related: More Used-Car News

Buyers looking for a used BMW 5 Series midsize sedan are among those in luck. Through the first two months of the year, prices for the 528i and 535i have fallen to $36,866 and $42,430, respectively. That’s a price drop of 7.7 percent ($3,082) and 6.9 percent ($3,148). Audi A8 prices have also tumbled; the full-size sedan’s $57,688 asking price at the end of February is 6.4 percent ($3,966) less than it was on Jan. 1.

The charts below detail used cars from the 2012 to 2014 model years with the biggest price drops and increases. To be eligible for the lists, a model had to have at least 250 cars in Cars.com’s national search listings.

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Source: Cars.com used-car listings, 2012 to 2014 model years

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Written by: Mike Hanley

2017 Audi R8: First Look

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Competes with: Porsche 911 Turbo S, Nissan GT-R, Dodge Viper, Maserati GranTurismo

Looks like: A little too much like the current R8

Drivetrain: 5.2-liter V-10 making 540 horsepower (R8 V10) or 610 hp (R8 V10 Plus), seven-speed automatic transmission, permanent all-wheel drive, or 227-hp electric motor (R8 e-tron).

Hits dealerships: TBD

Related: More 2015 Geneva Auto Show News

The original Audi R8 was a stunner, essentially a German version of the Lamborghini Gallardo, toned down in both styling and equipment from its Italian cousin but every bit as capable. Well, the Gallardo is gone, replaced by the new Lamborghini Huracan, so the R8 must evolve as well into this new second-generation model unveiled by Audi at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show. Featuring a choice of two V-10 engines or an all-electric powertrain, the new R8 may look a lot like the old one, but underneath is an all-new chassis that’s more than 100 pounds lighter than the outgoing model; it makes extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber.

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The styling is definitely an evolution of the original R8. Some may lament that this is unfortunate; it should not be unexpected given the slow but evolutionary styling Audi is exhibiting across its lineup. Dimensions are similar, but the 2016 R8’s track is 1.6 inches wider, which should result in some even more stable handling (not that the old R8 needed any help in that department). Full LED headlights are available, but the new technology Audi is bringing to foreign markets are laser high-beam lights that double the range of the car’s high beams to nearly 2,000 feet. Sadly, those are not legal in the U.S. yet, so they won’t be showing up here anytime soon. The rest of the car looks remarkably similar to the old one, right down to the contrast color “side blades” that carry over as well.

Under the Hood

While more powertrains are expected to arrive, such as a V-8 engine for lesser trim models, at launch Audi has chosen to show the top-spec R8 V10 models. The standard V-10-equipped model features a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 engine mounted behind the passengers, making 540 horsepower and good for a 3.5-second zero-to-60-mph time, according to Audi. Step up to the R8 V10 Plus model and power gets bumped up to 610 hp while that zero-to-60 time drops to just 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 205 mph, making it the fastest production Audi ever made. Both cars deliver power through a permanent all-wheel-drive Quattro system, which is able to send 100 percent of available torque to either the front or rear axle as needed. A seven-speed S-tronic automatic transmission with selectable drive modes is standard. Using a combination of cylinder deactivation, a stop-start system and other powertrain technology tricks, Audi claims that the new R8 V10 model will achieve 19.9 mpg in mixed use.

If you want something even more exotic, Audi has released some specs for the next R8 e-tron, the all-electric version of the R8 supercar. Audi has developed the new battery in-house and claims that the new lithium-ion technology was designed specifically for electric-vehicle applications. It keeps the same dimensions as the old car, but the battery capacity climbs from 49 kilowatt-hours to a whopping 92 kWh. This reportedly gives the e-tron a range of 280 miles on a charge, which is more than double the old e-tron’s 134 miles. Using an onboard charger that combines both AC and DC charging current, the car can be fully charged in “significantly less than two hours,” according to Audi. The R8 e-tron will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and tops out at a restricted 130.5 mph.

Interior

Some much-needed attention was given to the new R8’s interior, and more than a few pages were taken out of the TT’s design book. Gone is the central display screen present in just about every other car on the road (except the TT); it’s relocated to a large gauge cluster screen behind the steering wheel. Infinitely reconfigurable, it is a driver-centric system Audi calls a virtual cockpit. The 12.3-inch display is controlled by the driver using steering-wheel buttons or duplicated controls on the center console. The Audi MMI monitor in the dashboard is no longer available, with climate control now controlled by three dedicated knobs. Given that oftentimes passengers are called upon to operate items like navigation or audio systems, we’re not entirely sure this new configuration is a step in the right direction.

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Written by: Aaron Bragman

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: February 2015

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It was a hard month, weather-wise, for big portions of the U.S., but that didn’t stop shoppers from snapping up cars and trucks at a breakneck pace. For the second month of 2015, the top seven automakers have reported that sales increased 4.9 percent versus February 2014. Of course weather was bad last year too, with wide swaths of the country buried under snow at this time last year, so drawing apples-to-apples comparisons isn’t so difficult.

Related: February’s Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars 

Ford continues to dominate sales with its redesigned F-Series model, but the model’s sales were down 1.2 percent from the same month last year; it’s not posting gains due to highly constrained inventory. Ford says it’s training personnel at a second assembly plant in Kansas City to build the F-150, but that’s not going to help the automaker in the short term.

Truck sales across the board were hot thanks to gas prices that didn’t increase too much and new home construction, which did. The Chevrolet Silverado jumped an impressive 24.1 percent in February, providing an early indication that the arrival of the midsize Chevrolet Colorado, which sold more than 6,000 units in February, hasn’t impacted sales of the automaker’s full-size truck at all. As popular as the new Colorado is proving to be, it still was outsold by the old Toyota Tacoma, which saw nearly twice as many trucks fly off dealer lots.

Small and midsize crossovers are still proving popular as well, with the Honda CR-V a big seller. Its sales were up 7.4 percent, narrowly edging out a surging Toyota RAV4 (up 33 percent) to keep the title of most popular SUV for February. The Nissan Rogue had its best-ever month, with sales up 24.6 percent, providing a challenge for the CR-V and RAV4, but Ford’s Escape saw sales take a tumble, down 9.6 percent for the month. Jeep’s small Cherokee is making big numbers as well, posting growth of 18.9 percent, but the incentives are flowing hot and heavy on the hood of every one Jeep sells. Of the bigger SUVs, the Ford Explorer is the top seller, posting a 31.8 percent sales gain for February.

The Toyota Camry remains the most popular passenger car, followed closely by the Nissan Altima. The Ford Fusion outsold the Honda Accord, which dropped off the best-sellers list this month; it posted a sales decline of more than 12 percent from February 2014. Toyota’s passenger cars did relatively well, with both the Camry and Corolla posting sales gains, while nearly every other automaker experienced a decline in passenger cars: The Chevrolet Cruze fell 16.2 percent, the Honda Civic dropped 2.5 percent, the Hyundai Elantra fell 4.2 percent and the Ford Focus dropped 12 percent.

See how the top 10 best-selling vehicles did for February in the table below.

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Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

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Written by: Aaron Bragman

Aston Martin DBX Concept, an Electric All-Wheel-Drive Exotic

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Tesla has made electric all-wheel-drive supercars fashionable with its P85D, and now it seems storied names in ultra-luxury sports cars are following suit. Aston Martin unveiled a jacked-up, two-door sports car at the Geneva International Motor Show that sure makes it seem like this could become a trend.

Related: 2015 Tesla Model S P85D: First Drive

The company says this concept isn’t ready for prime time yet, but that it will be building something in the DBX “space” sometime soon. What does that mean? You might be seeing an electric all-wheel-drive system in an elegant coupe … but maybe it won’t be raised up quite so high.

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Written by: David Thomas

Land Rover Confirms Range Rover Evoque Convertible

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Land Rover debuted an updated-for-2016 version of its popular Evoque compact SUV at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, but the news doesn’t stop there. Today, the automaker put some very old rumors to rest in confirming that it would produce a convertible version of the Evoque.

Related: 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque: First Look

Details are slim — even the teaser photo is wearing camo — but Land Rover said the droptop SUV will go on sale in 2016 and more details will be announced later this year. Aside from Jeep’s Wrangler, it will be the only convertible SUV on the market after Nissan canceled its unpopular, oddball Murano CrossCabriolet.

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Written by: Jennifer Geiger

Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE Photo Gallery (40 Photos)

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Volkswagen unveiled a new concept at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, but this “coupe” has four doors. Like the Cross Coupe GTE concept that debuted at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Sport Coupe Concept GTE is a plug-in hybrid that shows off the brand’s future design language and alternative-fuel technologies.

Related: More Photo Galleries

Outside, the sedan is sleek with a swooping roofline, a strong character line running the length of the body and low overall height. Its strong face is accented by LED headlights and daytime running lights along with a linear aluminium grille that dips up “like the winglets of a modern jet airplane,” VW said in a statement.

The plug-in hybrid gets power from a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 direct-injection engine that produces 295 horsepower paired with a lithium-ion battery and two electric motors for a total of 374 hp. VW estimates that the sedan can be driven in all-electric mode for approximately 32 miles and has a total driving range of 745 miles on one tank of gas.

Inside, high-tech features abound. Screens are everywhere in the cabin, including a 12.3-inch Active Info Display gauge screen with 3-D graphics, a10.1-inch touch-screen multimedia system, a 12.3-inch touch-screen nestled between the rear seats that allows passengers to operate media or navigation functions and a pair of 10.1-inch screens embedded in the front seatbacks. The car also can respond to the driver’s biometrics. It connects to a smartwatch or armband to measure the driver’s vital functions and then decides “whether to select a route that includes an exciting country road or a gentle route instead,” the automaker said in a statement.

Will VW build it? The automaker said that the midsize sedan is positioned above the CC in terms of premium features and hints that some parts of the concept will see production. “It shows how the highest-volume brand of our group is shaping the immediate future,” Walter de Silva, Volkswagen’s head of design, said in a statement.

Check out the gallery below; manufacturer images.

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Written by: Jennifer Geiger

February's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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Redesigned and all-new models made a big impact for automakers last month, selling quickly. Eleven of the 19 fastest-selling cars in February were significantly changed or completely new, which led to those select cars selling at an average of just 15 days while the average for all new cars was 47 days.

Related: Research New SUVs on Cars.com 

As has been the trend, most of the models on the list — 15 — were SUVs or pickup trucks. Redesigned pickups from Chevrolet and Ford had two versions each on the list, the Colorado and F-150 respectively. One oddity in the group was Nissan’s Rogue Select, which is the same vehicle as the 2013 Rogue before it was redesigned for 2014. Nissan sells it as a more-affordable option – its starting price is nearly $3,000 less than the Rogue — and is not just a vehicle for rental fleets.

Some of the slowest-selling cars in the land are some of the most expensive BMWs you can buy, including the M6 convertible and 650i Gran Coupe. However, this list also includes some of the most affordable cars you can buy, including the Nissan Versa Note.

We also picked a group of cars that may be overlooked for one reason or another and are selling slowly. This could lead to otherwise good-enough vehicles getting enough of a discount to make up a buyer’s mind. Acura’s large luxury sedan, the RLX, is one example. While we generally like the car, it is expensive when put against the competition. The same could be said for Cadillac’s smallest sedan, the ATS, which is selling poorly and is actually a terrific alternative to new entry vehicles like Audi’s A3 and Mercedes-Benz’s CLA-Class.

February’s Fastest-Sellers

  • 2015 Land Rover Range Rover: 11 days
  • 2015 Subaru Outback: 11 days
  • 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport: 12 days
  • 2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV: 13 days
  • 2015 Land Rover LR4: 13 days
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander: 13 days
  • 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek: 14 days
  • 2015 Chevrolet Colorado crew cab: 15 days
  • 2015 Lexus NX 200T: 16 days
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA250: 16 days
  • 2015 Nissan Rogue Select: 16 days
  • 2016 Kia Sorento: 17 days
  • 2015 Ford F-150 crew cab: 17 days
  • 2015 Ford Mustang convertible: 17 days
  • 2015 Nissan Murano: 17 days
  • 2015 Subaru Legacy: 17 days
  • 2015 Chevrolet Colorado extended cab: 18 days
  • 2015 Ford F-150 extended cab: 18 days
  • 2015 Ford Focus sedan: 18 days

February’s Slowest-Sellers

  • 2015 Kia K900: 159 days
  • 2015 BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe: 146 days
  • 2015 BMW M6 convertible: 142 days
  • 2015 BMW 535i Gran Turismo: 129 days
  • 2015 Volvo S80: 126 days
  • 2015 BMW 640i Gran Coupe: 126 days
  • 2015 Kia Forte hatchback: 119 days
  • 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD extended cab: 116 days
  • 2015 Nissan Versa Note: 114 days
  • 2015 Kia Forte Koup: 113 days

Cars.com Picks

  • 2015 Kia Rio 5-Door: 112 days
  • 2015 Volvo V60: 111 days
  • 2015 Nissan Versa sedan: 100 days
  • 2015 Cadillac ATS sedan: 92 days
  • 2015 Acura RLX: 87 days

About the Lists

The Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars list reports the average number of days it takes to sell models from the day they arrive on the lot until the final paperwork is signed by a buyer. This is not a days-of-inventory list like you may find on other websites. With lots mostly clear of 2014 models, we look exclusively at 2015s and 2016s.

For the fastest sellers, we only list vehicles that pass a certain threshold of sales in order to weed out limited editions, ultra-high-performance cars and others that might skew the numbers or otherwise inaccurately portray popularity. To highlight all slow sellers, slowest sellers have no such threshold.

Our Picks highlight cars that take a significant time before they’re sold and might be overlooked by shoppers. Dealers could be more motivated to sell these cars.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

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Written by: David Thomas

Low Gas Prices Send Prices for Used Plug-in Car Tumbling

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Despite its recent rise, a gallon of regular gas is still $1.06 cheaper today than it was a year ago, according to AAA. That’s led prices for used electric vehicles to plunge, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Related: How Would Chevy’s Bolt EV Stack Up Against the Nissan Leaf?

How much? Try more than $2,000. That’s the difference in average listing prices between a 3-year-old Nissan Leaf on Cars.com in January 2015 versus a 3-year-old Leaf in January 2014. Last month, the average 2012 Nissan Leaf listed for just $15,575 — a $2,226 drop compared to the average listing price for a 2011 Leaf in January 2014, which was $17,801.

The drop reflects a rough stretch for EV resale value, but it’s great news if you’re shopping for a used plug-in car.

Gas prices aren’t the only thing hurting resale values; The Wall Street Journal notes that battery concerns and federal tax credits (up to $7,500 for new cars but zero for used buyers) also play a part. Automakers have greased the skids with incentives, too: Nissan offered as much as $3,500 off on a new Leaf in January versus no cash rebates the year before. And that’s before the tax credit.

Such factors often hurt resale values, but so have significant improvements during the Leaf’s tenure. More standard features for 2012 and faster charging and a huge price drop for 2013 make early models seem outdated. Citing data from the National Automobile Dealers Association, The Wall Street Journal said average trade-in values for the Leaf and a few other plug-in cars plunged between 22 and 35 percent in 2014, nearly twice the rate of comparable gasoline cars. Leasing companies are taking the brunt of that: Some 85 percent of Leafs were leased in 2014, and according to the newspaper, residual values are thousands of dollars less than originally estimated. Absent heavy lease incentives by Nissan, that will all but certainly drive up lease rates down the road.

Nissan and other plug-in automakers seem ready to ladle on the deals. Per-vehicle incentives for the Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max have all increased between January 2014 and 2015, in some cases by large chunks. Not that the extra discounts have helped the sales malaise. In January 2015, sales for all four cars fell 4.9 percent combined, and that was as all new-car sales gained 13.7 percent.

There is one bright spot. Because of their limited EV range, cars like the Leaf should have lower mileage over the long run, given it’s unlikely that many were used for interstate travel. Nearly 90 percent of 3-year-old Nissan Leafs on Cars.com have less than 30,000 miles. By contrast, less than 40 percent of 3-year-old Honda Civics have that kind of mileage.

That should have a positive effect in the long run, but the biggest immediate factor is gas prices. This month’s uptick will have to turn into a full-on surge to propel EV resale values back up — and that’s something few drivers want to happen.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

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Written by: Kelsey Mays