Been away from your computer this week and missed all the automotive news? We’ve gathered a few of the top stories of the past week along with the weekend racing schedule for your viewing pleasure.
Said to be an accident, Chevrolet leaked an image of its all-new 2013 Malibu prior to its official Shanghai reveal. Based on what we’ve seen of the new sedan’s exterior and interior shots, the car is a vast improvement over the tired current generation.
The Lexus GS sedan is due for a makeover, and the automaker will use a new concept to preview what’s to come. The concept may not be approved for production as is, but many of its design characteristics are expected to translate into road-going models. The hybrid-powered sedan makes its debut next week at the New York auto show.
Sure, Scion has the tC, but the brand lacks a sports car that caters to true driving enthusiasts. That may soon change — a week prior to the New York show, Toyota’s youth oriented brand leaked a teaser video that gives a dimly-lit hint at its forthcoming concept debut. From what we can tell, it bears a close resemblance to Toyota’s rear-drive FT-86 concepts, especially the almost-production-ready FT-86 II concept that debuted in Geneva. If true, we’d welcome a rear-drive, turbocharged coupe to the Scion portfolio with open arms.
Fiat just reentered the United States in March with its 500 hatchback. Just one month later, the Italian automaker is ready to unveil its U.S.-spec 500C soft top. Unlike typical convertibles, the 500C’s door frames remain firmly in place, leaving it only with a retractable cloth top to expose the cabin to the open air.
In what appears to be just the tip of the iceberg, Japanese automakers reported a total production loss of some 500,000 units stemming from the earthquake and tsunami that struck the nation in March. As arguably the automaker that sustained the most damage, Toyota’s losses alone account for nearly half of that staggering figure, and continue to climb. With plant closures and limited production remaining in effect, a final tally has yet to be announced — a million-unit loss doesn’t seem all that unthinkable.
Fiat Increases Ownership of Chrysler Group to 30 Percent
This week, Fiat increased its stake in Chrysler another 5 percent, bringing its holdings to 30 percent. The largest stake however remains with the United Auto Workers, which holds a 59.2-percent interest in the automaker. The latest reports now suggest Fiat is aiming to take a 46-percent share in the company by June.
We’ve seen the next A3 in sedan form at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, but Audi has yet to display its next-generation compact as a hatchback. A handful of sketches previewed the A3 hatchback this week, which may debut at the Frankfurt show come September. A drop top version of the potent R8 GT supercar was also teased this week by means of a rendering. The GT Spyder will likely debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, and production is said to be limited to 333 cars.
-Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, Sunday April 17th 2:30 – 5 a.m. EST on Speed
-NASCAR Aaron’s 499, Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday April 17th 1 – 5 p.m. EST on FOX
-Indy Car Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Sunday April 17th 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. EST on Versus