Weekend Roundup: BMW M5 Previewed, April Auto Show Update
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.
We don't do Mondays, but BMW does -- in fact, official photos and information surrounding the new M5 concept car greeted us first thing this week. Although technically billed as a show car, we suspect the M5 concept will closely resemble the production car, which may debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
Positioned as its smallest SUV to date, Audi recently previewed its forthcoming Q3 this week with a few design sketches. Due for its official unveiling at the Shanghai motor show later this month, the Q3 will launch this fall and square off against BMW's X1. Although not officially slated for the United States market, we're fairly confident it'll be headed to our crossover-crazed shores before too long.
Instead of choosing between the New York or Shanghai auto shows, Mercedes-Benz is prepared to unwrap its new A-Class Concept -- which, predictably, previews the next-gen A-Class -- simultaneously at both venues. This week, the German automaker provided digital renderings of the concept before its debut -- from what we can see, the new model completely eschews the upright, stodgy hatchback form of its predecessors in favor of a sleek, stylish shape.
Earlier this week, Lexus teased head- and taillight photos of its upcoming LF-Gh hybrid concept, which is headed to New York later this month for its public debut. While we remain in the dark about the overall shape the car will take, the teaser images do suggest the Japanese automaker is stepping outside its comfort zone with new a modern, angular design theme for the next-generation GS model range.
Roughly two weeks prior to its official New York debut, Subaru dropped a single photo of its all-new Impreza sedan. More significant than its design however, may be the vastly improved fuel economy -- with a new 2.0-liter boxer-four underhood, Subie reps tell us the all-wheel-drive compact is able to return 36 mpg on the highway. We'll get a better look at the 2012 Impreza in just a few weeks upon our arrival in the Big Apple.
67-mpg Turbo Diesel Ford Focus Bound for UK
Lest you thought achieving 67 mpg from a non-hybrid vehicle was almost impossible, may we introduce you to the new Ford Focus EcoNetic diesel? The European model isn't all that pretty (dig those ungainly hubcaps) or powerful (the 1.6-liter diesel I-4 produces only 107 horsepower), but with its impressive fuel economy figure, who cares? We care, however, that the diesel-fueled Focus -- along with the chic wagon model -- isn't likely to make its way stateside.
For the second time in two weeks, parts shortages have caused Saab to halt production at its plant in Trollhättan, Sweden. The parts shortage is allegedly the result of the automaker's inability to pay suppliers for the parts it needs to build cars. The automaker insists the stoppage will be short lived and will not cause any supply issues here in the States.
First Drive: BMW 1 Series M Coupe
This week, we spent some with BMW's newest M car at the Ascari racetrack in Spain. Packed full of go-fast goodies, and unique styling, BMW should have no trouble selling all 3000 units it plans to build.