We just covered Japan's updated Subaru Impreza, which naturally has everyone wondering about a new WRX, the current fourth-generation on sale since 2014. According to a story in Japan's Best Car magazine, the fifth generation arrives late next year with a new platform and engine as part of the automaker's Japanese-market overhaul of the WRX STI, JDM-only WRX S4, and Levorg wagon. The STI is expected to switch from the current turbocharged EJ20 boxer-four to a direct-injection FA20 boxer-four engine with output of around 315 horsepower. Note, the Japanese-market WRX STI uses a 2.0-liter engine, the U.S version gets the 2.5-liter EJ257 with 310 hp. The U.S.-market WRX (sans STI) already uses the turbo FA20, but it makes 268 horsepower. The WRX STI will finally move to the Subaru Global Platform that the Impreza switched to in 2017, which will hopefully go a long way in improving ride comfort around town. The six-speed manual makes the switch as well. Best Car says the four-door's size won't change much, but the looks will crib from the Viziv concept - something everyone wants - with a design language called "Dynamic x Solid," U-shaped LEDs, and "greatly inflated front and rear fenders." Until then, the 2020 Subaru WRX STI will stick with its current architecture and another limited edition called the Series.White. A Torque News story says that as with the Series.Gray launched for the 2019 model year, the Series.White will be limited to 250 examples in WRX STI flavor, and 750 examples of the WRX. The Series.White gets a tonal neighbor on the palette for 2020, a new hue called Ceramic White that's exclusive to the WRX and WRX STI, which will omit any metallic or pearl effects in order to distinguish itself from the already-available Crystal White Pearl. The Series.White, as a special edition, will come with the requisite Crystal Black Silica badges, Recaro seats, Performance Package, suspension upgrades, folding side mirrors, and 19-inch black wheels. The WRX S4 and Levorg will benefit from two brand new, downsized, direct-injection turbocharged engines in Japan, one of 1.5 liters, the other of 1.8 liters. Built around smaller, lighter engine blocks and boasted improved combustion efficiency, the 1.5-liter will produce about 148 hp, the 1.8-liter about 266 hp. Our non-STI WRX gets a 2.0-liter FA20 with 268 hp. Considering the similar horsepower, we wouldn't be surprised if Subaru continues to use the FA20 in the U.S.-spec WRX in the next-generation car since it's already certified for the U.S. and aftermarket parts should be easy to adapt to the new car. It's possible Subaru will preview all three new models at this year's Tokyo Motor Show.
For fans of the GT-R, Nissan still continues to offer the 2007-introduced model, itself a development of a concept car displayed way back in 2001. It could reasonably be said the idea of the R35 generation GT-R is nearing two decades, and enhancements will see the car enter another model year. The 2020 GT-R is available in four specifications, as the earlier sub-$100,000 "Pure" model is long gone. The available 2020 cars are GT-R Premium, listed at $115,235 with delivery included; the $123,735 50th Anniversary Edition that's based on the Premium but adds special color and trim combinations (blue, white and silver exterior paints; grey interior; and edition-specific detailing), the $147,235 Track Edition and the $212,435 Nismo. While the hardcore, 600-horsepower 2020 GT-R Nismo is now nearly $100K dearer than the base Premium, you don't need to go for the range-topping model to get the properly Godzilla-spec horsepower figure. For 2020, the Track Edition benefits from the same engine. In earlier years, it was based off the 565-horsepower "regular" GT-R models, but now it gets a healthy bump in power. Considering the price difference between the Nismo and the Track Edition, the latter seems to be the pick of the bunch if it's power you're looking for. The 2020 Track Edition is said to be stiffer and lighter than the Premium, and it gets Nismo-tuned suspension and special wheels and Recaro seats. The turbocharger design of the Nismo, and therefore the Track Edition, is said to be picked from the GT-R GT3 racing car, offering improved response. The 2020 GT-R, undoubtedly in its twilight years, could do with some improved sales. Here's hoping the Track Edition's added Nismo-ness will serve to do that: 2019 sales have seen a slump compared to recent years, which were already significantly down from the model's heyday. While 2017 and 2018 saw some mediocre sales months for the GT-R, the 18 cars Nissan sold in May 2019 present a new low for the model – especially as 74 GT-Rs were sold the previous May.
Toyota Motor North America has announced two new feature updates for its lineup which include Automatic Engine Shut Off and Automatic Park. The company says that these features will be available with most model year 2020 vehicles. The former will ensure that if the vehicle is left running for a predetermined period of time, the engine will automatically be shut off. Auto-Park will ensure that if the driver leaves the car without putting it in car, the car will either automatically shift or apply the parking brake.
The automatic engine shut off feature will have an enhanced audible and visual warning. It will shut off the engine automatically after the car notices that the engine has been left running for a predetermined period of time.
Toyota intends to further enhance the safety of its 2020 models with two new customer protection features for the North American market: automatic engine shutoff and automatic park. For cars equipped with the carmaker's Smart Key System keyless entry, automatic engine shutoff does exactly what it says "after a pre-determined period of time in the event the vehicle is left running." Toyotas with keyless entry already sound a chime and provide a visual warning about a running engine; the new system enhances those two cautions as well.
Toyota didn't specify how long is "a pre-determined time." Nor did it explain if this will operate when the car is idling but there's a driver in the vehicle, or if it's only when the car detects the driver leaving. A New York Times story last year noted the deaths of some 28 drivers over 12 years, in which the drivers unintentionally left their cars running in their garages. The reason has been identified as "keyless" proximity fobs and push-button start, where owners, perhaps older drivers more accustomed to a keyed ignition, overlooked the fact they didn't turn off the engine, which flooded their homes with exhaust fumes.
Leaving your car idling is probably one of the worst things you could do as far as fuel consumption is concerned. Perhaps in a bid to help improve on energy efficiency, Toyota has announced that future Toyota vehicles are expected to come with an automatic engine shut off feature.
According to Toyota, “The Auto Shut Off feature will automatically shut off the engine after a pre-determined period of time in the event the vehicle is left running. Future enhancements will include smartphone App capabilities as an added reminder.” Toyota notes that they already offer a similar feature in its older cars, where they will notify the driver if they are idling for extended periods of time and reminds them to turn their engines off, but this will actually go ahead and do it on behalf of the driver.
We're still salty about not getting the wondrous Alpine A110 mid-engine sports car in America. Count us extra jealous today, though, because Alpine just revealed a hotted-up A110S variant with more performance and new styling.
The 1.8-liter four-cylinder gets a 40-horsepower boost to 288. Torque remains the same at 236 pound-feet. Acceleration to 62 mph happens in just 4.4 seconds, which is one tenth of a second quicker than before. The extra power comes from increased boost pressure, and peak power is reached 400 rpm higher in the rev range at 6,400 rpm. Power is still sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
If you recently bought a new or newer Honda CR-V or Civic, you're going to want to listen to this news. Honda is extending the powertrain warranty on more than 1 million cars in the U.S. Specifically, Honda is targeting 2017-2018 CR-Vs and 2016-2018 Civics with the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Consumer Reports uncovered a memo sent to Honda dealers concerning the news from Honda's manager of auto campaigns and recalls. That memo said that the oil in these engines could be diluted due to software settings or potential hardware failures. A previous report didn't name the Civic's version of the 1.5-liter turbo as a problem yet, but it looks like Honda's internal investigation has found it to suffer from a similar issue as the CR-V's "rising" oil levels.