Episode 974 – McLaren Unveils New Supercar, 2013 Aston Martin DB9, BMW Develops New Engines

September 19th, 2012 at 11:30am

Runtime: 7:32

McLaren is showing off a new supercar called the P1 before its formal debut in Paris next week. Aston Martin just revealed the new 2013 DB9, which will be available in November. BMW is developing a new lineup of engines that will come in three-, four- and six-cylinder sizes as well as gasoline and diesel configurations. All that and more, plus guest host Peter De Lorenzo shares his thoughts on why the 2013 Fusion defines the new Ford.

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It’s Wednesday, September 19th, 2012. Welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily. I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, bringing you the day’s latest news. Oh, and before I forget, make sure to mark your calendar because John McElroy will be comin’ at you LIVE from the Paris Motor Show next week. The special broadcast starts at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, September 27th. Again, that’s Thursday, September 27th at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Watch it all at Autoline.tv. McElroy’s coverage of the 2012 Paris Motor Show is made possible by the folks at LiveU. For more information about their products and services visit LiveU.tv.

McLaren continues to make big news. The company with the Can-Am and Formula 1 pedigree is showing off a new supercar called the P1 before its formal debut in Paris next week. We’ll have to wait for the technical details but the company says a production version will go on sale next year. They also say it will be positioned above the 12C and 12C Spider, in both price and performance. Given that their previous ultimate super car – the F1 – was probably the greatest supercar built, expectations are high.

2013 MAZDA CX-9
And speaking of cars making auto show debuts, Mazda took the wraps off the 2013 CX-9 before it’s unveiled at the Australian Motor Show next month. Like other recently released Mazdas, the CX-9 features the company’s KODO design language, which means “Soul of Motion.” Hmmm… maybe they should try that instead of “SkyActiv.” Anyway, it’s powered by a 3.7-liter V-6 that’s coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, the same as the current model. The 2013 CX-9 goes on sale in Australia later this year.

Aston Martin just revealed the new 2013 DB9. The car adopts some of the same styling cues as the outgoing Virage and is available as either a coupe or a convertible. The 2013 DB9 is powered by a new 6.0-liter V-12 that cranks out 510 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The DB9 goes on sale in November but it ain’t cheap. Starting price is $185,400.

BMW is developing a new lineup of engines. They’ll come in three-, four- and six-cylinder sizes as well as gasoline and diesel configurations. This modular approach is all in the name of efficiency – giving drivers more power and greater fuel economy. The engines can be mounted either transversely or longitudinally. They also fit in nearly every BMW model and can accommodate front- or all-wheel drive. Half a liter is the magic number. That’s the size of each individual cylinder and a number shared by all six powerplants. That gives an overall displacement of 1.5-, 2.0- and 3.0-liters for each engine in the family. Helping cut costs, parts commonality between the gasoline and diesel units is between 30 and 40 percent. Volume production of this new engine family begins next year.

Cadillac is offering an advanced safety feature on the 2013 ATS, XTS and SRX models. Automatic Front and Rear Braking is part of an optional Driver Assist package. The technology uses vision, radar and ultrasonic sensors to determine if a crash is about to occur. If one is unavoidable the system automatically applies the brakes to stop the vehicle. It’s designed to prevent low-speed accidents, like fender benders in stop-and-go traffic, but it can also reduce the impact of more severe collisions.

Pricing of the 2013 Ford Fusion has been announced. This rakish new sedan starts at $22,495. The base car comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Top-of-the-line Titanium models kick off at $30,995. A 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is available as well. The hybrid version starts at an Abe Lincoln less than 28 grand. All of these prices include $795 in destination and delivery charges.

Speaking of the new Fusion, after the break I’ll share a few of my thoughts on why this car defines the new Ford.

There are product launches in this business and then there are new product introductions that qualify as defining moments for a car company. And there’s no question that the introduction of the new Fusion definitely qualifies as one of those defining moments for Ford.

That the Fusion represents Ford’s focus on everything to do with the product is evident just by looking at it. As I’ve often said, the Ultimate Initial Product Differentiator going forward in this business will be design, and the Fusion makes a definitive statement and offers a real design point of view, something lacking from Ford and other car companies in the past, especially when it comes to the mainstream market.

Ford’s willingness to push the boundaries of predictability in the mid-size market may be the most telling aspect of the new Fusion. The car has “premium” written all over it; from the way it looks to the way it drives, and with an array of efficient powertrains that suit a wide range of needs and tastes the Fusion will be ultra competitive.

Some would say that Ford’s aggressive new product lineup is risky and walks the edge of acceptability in the market, but those are the same hand-wringers who wouldn’t hesitate to say that American car companies are staid, predictable and uncompetitive by default.

In order for a car company to be successful in today’s market it must be competitive, that means the company must have a vision of what it wants to be and where it wants to go. And then it not only has to adhere to that vision, it has to have a Plan and the courage to execute to that vision.

That’s where Ford is right now. It has the vision – “One Ford” as laid out by Alan Mulally – and the company is executing to its Plan with an unwavering commitment and focus.

The result? The new Fusion is simply the most electrifying mainstream American car to come along in decades.

That’s the High-Octane Truth for this week. And it’s also the end of today’s program. For more commentaries like this one swing by my website Autoextremist.com. Once more I’m Peter De Lorenzo signing off for now. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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53 Comments to “Episode 974 – McLaren Unveils New Supercar, 2013 Aston Martin DB9, BMW Develops New Engines”

  1. aliisdad Says:

    That Fusion is one good lookin’ car!!! I liked the old one, but this one really moves its styling up a notch…In fact, I think there are some of the same styling clues, especially in the front end, as the Aston Martin…This is probably the residual effects of former Ford ownership of A-M…Anyway, it sure makes the Fusion look “world class” and more up market than its price…Kudos to Ford on styling..If the quality matches it, this should be a major winner!!

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    All these new sedans with their sloped off c-pillars need to carry a warning: “Watch your head as you enter, makes me long for those notchy c-pillars of years gone by, and let’s hold off the celebration for the new Fusion and see if the new Mondeo platforms is as reliable as the old Mazda 6 derived one. The last Mondeo by-products we had here were not exactly world-class vehicles.

  3. Roland Martin Says:

    I look at the McLaren P1 and I see the Pagani Zonda. Nothing wrong with copying the Zonda, except that I expected something groundbreakingly new from McLaren.

  4. C-Tech Says:

    I appreciate the new styling of the Fusion, but before I start drooling all over the car and saluting Ford, there is the matter of IS IT RELIABLE. Ford has done this before with the 1985 Taurus. GM had a ground-breaking design with the X-body cars in 1980. Chrysler’s LH cars were of ground-breaking design in 1993. Honda and Toyota’s solid foundation of ever-increasing sales and profitability has been built on reliability and performance, if not outstanding design (let’s face it, Toyota should be paying Buick and Mercedes royalties for the designs of their mid-size and big cars).

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    What Honda and Toyota should do is send GM a big thank you for making such crap in the early 80′s with their FWD disasters which allowed the Japanese automakers to grab a big market share here despite the import quotas that made it more expensive to buy them.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The new Fusion could be the next ’86 Taurus. That one sold well, and got great reviews for it’s Audiesque styling. This one is getting great reviews for its Aston Martinesque styling.

    Time will tell if Camry and Accord buyers will want something that screams “look at me” like the new Fusion, but I suspect it will sell very well.

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Ford has been upping the quality of all their offerings so I see no problem with them selling extremely well.But,time will tell…

  8. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Well this show makes it easy for the Aston Martin/Fusion comparison; big brother/little brother. Not bad but we’ll have to wait on sales.

    “X”, “A” and “J” cars (GM’s front wheel ‘drivers’) of the ’80′s; not as bad as pedro would have you believe. I had an “X” (Citation); not bad for the times: small exterior/big interior and over 30mpg hwy, I had an “A” (Celebrity station wagon) not good but great car (for the time), comfortable spacious and fuel efficient, drove a “J” (Cavalier) not the greatest but for the time okay IMO.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    #7 G.A. Ford has been losing some of that quality rating they earned due to the info-tainment system they use and the double clutch transmission in the Fiesta and Focus.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    #8 please Chuck, read your history, look at the sales numbers for the X-cars from their introduction to their demise, read every article you can find, including TTAC and you will see what I mean, soon we’re gonna have someone write that the Carter era was not as bad as we’ve been told. In the early 90′s I had to rent a 2 door Cavalier while my banged-up Camry was repaired, it was an awful car.

  11. HtG Says:

    Ford is going to have some kind of good looking showrooms. Is there a mutt in there at all? (OK, Transit Connects need to hide)

  12. HtG Says:

    Perhaps one could argue that Ford’s cars are looking more European than American, but this site doesn’t get too partisan, mostly.

  13. HtG Says:

    How about let’s compare us the McLaren P1 against the Porsche 918. We done?

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: I know the FordTouch has come under fire for the non ease of use.I see it as akin to what Audi(?) had.It’s not a quality issue but a user/learning curve issue.Even my 12 Equinox suffers from that particular malady imho.Kids can grab hold of it real easy it seems.Me,being an old phart,not so easy.

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Well maybe I got lucky but my “X” went for 8 years, one water pump (excellent service for me), it was 30plus years ago; I’m sticking with a pretty good car. For me I don’t have to read history I was living it(not bragging or complaining, just saying). My Celebrity served me through my children’s growing up years and even was around to teach them each to drive (second daughter finally killed it; accident), super comfortable (bench seat), great hwy mileage; just one reliable ride. One complaint, both; the gas gauges went ‘south’ (bad readings). Maybe I didn’t know what I was missing but I like both those cars (a lot). Maybe ‘blind loyalty’, oh like let’s say, one certain ‘Crapolla’ you mention on a fairly regular basis. ;)

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I had X, J, and A cars. All of them were ok for the time, except for the ’82 J car, but I didn’t keep them too long.

    As far as the Carter era, it was great for my parents. They had just inherited a modest amount of money, and they could put it in insured bank CD’s earning 12% interest. The interest was significantly higher than their cost of living inflation, because they had no debt. Now, the only way to keep up with inflation is to “invest” in mutual funds and the stock market, which is little more than gambling.

  17. HtG Says:

    Please, Kit, it’s only gambling when the deck isn’t stacked. Otherwise, it’s gaming.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My A car was a Celebrity wagon with a 2.5 and 4-speed manual. I suspect that one was about as rare as the turbo manual Dodge Caravan that replaced it, and which I still have.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, I need to learn these terms better.

  20. HtG Says:

    My sister inherited the family Celebrity wagons, and kept them going into the mid 2000′s. One was named blue, the other grey. When she sold them off, contractors in the DC area were eager to have them. There’s something about station wagons.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    The A-cars, derived from the Xcars were a lot better, I recall a couple of them in the family, both Pontiac 6000 and they were much better than the maligned Xcars, which according to TTAC did more to damage GM’s reputation than any other car, even the Corvair.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, CarBuyerUK just tested the Ampera and they liked it, except for the price and the flush controls, I guess it doesn’t have all the luggage over there that it has over here!

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I still see an A car on the road occasionally, but it’s been years since I’ve seen an X car.

    A real rarity, is that a week or so ago, I saw two OmniRizons on the same day. It’s rare to see even one of those, and two on the same day? That’s not likely to happen again in my lifetime, except at a Chrysler-themed show.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Xcar that was designed and engineered was way better than the finished product, one factor was the hurry-up assembly line that was supposed to fill in all the orders, I myself waited 6 mos for the freaking Buick and then the dealer cut my trade in value because of the delay, I should have just walked away from the deal completely, but I was young and foolish and this was my first new car.

  25. Now&Zen Says:

    Looking at the McLaren P1 what I see is an MP4-12C with a bit of body cladding in order to give it the appearance of the old F1 : albeit much fussier and messy . But wait . That IS what the P1 is according to Anthony Sheriff ! Same platform . Same engine : albeit tuned tweaked and chipped . Same almost everything . At an expected 4 – 5 times the price

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A big part of the sales decline of the X car, even with the GM faithful, was due to the internal competition from within GM. The J and A cars both came along in the ’82 model year. From that time on, there would be little reason to buy an X, except for the Citation and Phoenix hatch. There was little reason to even buy those, because there were wagon versions of the J and A. The X’s were a little cheaper which helped sell a few at the end.

  27. Zieke Says:

    Geez, how can I comment on the show when the first 30 seconds put me to sleep? C’mon John, can’t you get someone with some enthusiasm?

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I suppose that GM realized they had a real stinker with the X car and remade it into the superior A body, which was an enlarged Xcar with better components and drove a lot better, I remember driving the cousin’s 6000 STE and thinking it was waaaay better then my Skylark, and then comes the Corsica/ Beretta crap and again they messed up.

  29. cwolf Says:

    The new Fusion should be just as reliable as the old. My 2010 Milan has 160k miles and only had new brakes and oil changes. And averaging 78 mph on the highway,often with air, she still delivers 31.6 mpg! The only curiousity with the new Fusion hyb. is the longevity of its lith. batteries. What I find crazy is the 47/47/47 for both the fusion and c-max,because of their different size and body style. IMO,I wonder why the C-Max doesn’t do better. There must be more to it than aerodynamic drag!

    Ford has a splendid line-up,even with the new Connect. I spent the last 5 days in Mich. little finger and the Connect was a very common sight. It was no real surprise to see the Silverado the hands down winner with campers. I bet I only saw 3 Fords and one lost Ridgeline.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    #28 Why? different platform, new factory, first year problems with recent Ford products. They got the old one right, just like GM with the outgoing Impala, all the bugs were worked out.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m surprised the C-Max and Fusion hybrid would get the same mpg ratings. I would expect the C-Max to get worse highway rating because it would be dragier. It’s probably lighter, though, which should give it a better city rating than the Fusion. We’ll just have to wait for CR and others to test them.

  32. cwolf Says:

    #29 Huh? We are talking about why both get same mileage! The C-max may be geared differently,be higher off the ground,taller,ect,etc. So smaller doesn’t mean more efficient!

  33. cwolf Says:

    Kit: Your Prius was seen in fair numbers in Mich. finger; Surprising the Fiesta and Sonic faired just as equal. The Fusion and Cruze dominated the place! Of course,in cities like Traverse City, Bimmers,Merc and Lexus were had by those assumingly owned by the poor folk with 3 story lake front property.(Funn”in). By the way,Kit,off hand which of the two,C-max or Fusion, has more cargo area?

  34. Chuck Says:

    The Fusion is a nice looking car. I suspect it will sell as well as the last generation, and even though it’s a totally different platform most buyers don’t know or care about that.

    However, it will be impossible to repeat the initial success of the 1986 Taurus. It was a different time with less midsize segment competition than today.

    Not to mention, when the 86 Taurus came out, it looked like nothing else on the road, it was a game changer as John likes to say. This new Fusion, while it is a nice design, looks like every other car in the crowded midsize segment.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    Whoa, there cowboys,hold on to your reins, so far I have not found one tester who can get the 40mpg that EPA claims for some of these new subcompacts.

  36. cwolf Says:

    Gee, I wonder what benifits are to be had with the new Caddy braking syastem on the back roads of Michigan? After the brakes are suddenly applied,what’s the difference if the deer goes through the windshield into your lap,or you going though the winshield into its?

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Fusion would have more cargo space than the C-Max in 5 passenger configuation, but the C-Max would carry a lot more with the back seat folded.

    As far as aero drag, I am assuming the C-Max would have more, because it is a lot taller, but I could be wrong. Maybe its shape is “slicker” than I would expect.

  38. MikeG Says:

    @ #4 C=Tech Not wanting to start anything here but going back 25 years or more … come on. Why not judge manufacturers of today with more recent offerings.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They would get 40 or above if driven at mostly steady speed of not over 55-60. My MINI has a highway rating of 37, and I’ve had tanks over 40, but only with a lot of moderate speed highway, and very little stop and go.

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    I once managed to get 35 mpg with a ’95 Corolla, no a/c and no more than 60 on a secondary road, if you take the interstate, no one does 55 -60 unless they are very patient and don’t mind being passed by every single car on the road, I’d say 95% of long distance drivers will not drive that way on a long, boring trip.

  41. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    In response to Kit Gerhart yesterday about not seeing a Fusion or C Max yet… I work at a Ford dealer and the first C Max arrived 2 days ago the first Fusion still is not there but the Ford trainer brought by a pre production Fusion for sales training last week and I was impressed by fit finish and space inside and in the trunk even with the new design. I have no comment yet on rear visibility as I didn’t drive it… hopefully it is better than the Taurus in that respect.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Driving at the speeds I go on the interstate, normally about 75, I get well under the EPA highway ratings. With my Prius, with a lot of data, I get about 43-44 against an EPA highway of 48. My MINI, with less data, gets around 34-35 mpg at 75 against a highway rating of 37.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40, Jesse,
    Where are you located?

  44. C-Tech Says:

    @ #37 Mike that is a fair observation. The reason why I go back 25 years is because it is rare that you get a, as Peter put it, ” a game changer”. In more recent times, the PT Cruiser was a game changer because (IMHO) it created a new category among small cars. The Mazda Miata was the rebirth of affordable sports car. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was the first luxury SUV. The Lincoln Navigator blew up the full-size luxury SUV market. The Mercedes CL has inspired a bunch of imitators. The Toyota Pruis made hybrids mainstream. Now with that said, will this new Fusion redefine its category? Who will really come to market with that REAL GAME CHANGER?

  45. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    42 Kit in Minnesota

  46. Earl Says:

    BMW sets the pace when it comes to engine development.Ford is close behind with their EcoBoost engines.
    I hope GM with their mish mash engine line up can get their act together. You have to hand it to Toyota when they incorporated that 3.5 V6 into at least 8 vehicles and Chrysler is doing the same with that 3.6 Pentastar.
    Maybe GM will be able to do that with their new 2.5 4 cyl that will be in some models for 2013 and a few more in 2014.

  47. Earl Says:

    #6…I remember that game changing Taurus back in ’86…I bought an ’89 with a 3.8L and it was a terrific car. A friend of mine bought a ’93 and he to was pleased. And then Ford lost it’s way in ’96 with the jelly bean Taurus’s. Now they tell me the current Taurus leaves a bit to be desired
    However, if that new Fusion is as good as it looks it could be a game changer…sure hope so. I hope they keep the bean counters and the likes away from getting in their and screwing it up. Ford has a reputation that once they get on top they get complacent.

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    My in-laws had a 1986 Taurus wagon and it was a great car, but as the miles piled on, so did the problems, so they had to trade it away.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You could even get a manual transmission in a Taurus for the first few years, (and the first SHO).

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    While GM seems to use kind of a hodgepodge of engines, they are the masters at making simple, pushrod engines work well. They are still using them in trucks, but they don’t give up much to Ford or anyone else. The current 5.3 V8 gets only one mpg worse than the much-hyped “Ecoboost” turbo, but the Chevy will likely be a whole lot cheaper to keep running at 250K miles.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44, Thanks, Jesse. I’m surprised the C-Max made it there before Indiana, but I suspect they will show up here any day.

  52. Bobek Says:

    The 2013 Malibu & Lacrosse and soon 2014 Impala are also great vehicles….along with the Fusion & Taurus

  53. Bob e k Says:

    The 2013 Chevy Malibu & Buick Lacrosse & the upcoming 2014 Impala are great competition for the Fusion