Archive for the ‘Car Industry News’ Category

Volkswagen Scandal Deepens, New Offer Made to Owners

November 10th, 2015


Things aren’t getting any easier for Volkswagen.

When the diesel emissions scandal broke in September, the problem was limited to 11 million vehicles equipped with the company’s 2.0-liter TDI engine. That alone was a crippling blow to the company that some estimates said could top $18 billion in damages.

The situation hasn’t improved in the weeks since.

Volkswagen, at least publicly, has done very little to let customers know how it will proceed in fixing the affected vehicles. In the meantime, the U.S. government has accused VW of cheating on additional vehicles, and Volkswagen itself has found another 800,000 cars that are probably affected.

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Too Late for Hyundai’s Genesis Brand?

November 9th, 2015


I have vague memories of the first time I heard the word “Lexus.” I wondered if a new car brand created by Toyota and given a funny name could actually compete with established juggernauts.

We all know how that turned out. Today Lexus is one the top-selling luxury brands in America and has established itself as a benchmark toward which other automakers strive.

It’s been 26 years since the birth of Lexus and now another new luxury nameplate will launch. Genesis, a brand to be launched by Hyundai, brings some of the same questions today that were asked of Lexus almost three decades ago: Can a mass-market automaker create a luxury brand able to successfully compete with the established companies?

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SEMA Vehicles Demonstrate What’s Possible in Future Cars

November 5th, 2015

We are in the midst of the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show running in Las Vegas. It’s the greatest collection of aftermarket parts and new carmakers anywhere in the world. Some great vehicles are presented at this show—some are simply outlandish, while others showcase what could be possible in future new cars, trucks, and crossovers.

Ignition Ford Edge
Ignition by Webasto Thermo & Comfort North AmericaOkay, so normally a crossover wouldn’t get your blood pumping, but the Ignition by Webasto brings luxury and performance together to make the Ford Edge, dare we say it, stunning? This Edge Sport features more aggressive handling while offering a comfort level associated with high-end luxury rides. It features carbon fiber components and performance-enhancing parts. It also boasts more power and tighter handling while including Webasto Thermo technology, which gives it a more luxurious feel. Our favorite feature would be the AG Luxury 22-by-9-inch wheels wrapped around Toyo Proxes rubber.

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Car Industry News, Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Car Shows, Cars Coming Soon

Honda Civic Type R Coming to the United States… Eventually

November 5th, 2015
2016 Honda Civic Type R

2016 Honda Civic Type R

Today we have good news and bad news for you.

Here’s the bad:

If you live in the United States, you can’t buy the 2016 Honda Civic Type R. That’s bad news because the Type R is more than just a spiffed-up Civic. It’s a turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injected VTEC 4-cylinder speed demon that spits out 310 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque at just 2,500 rpm. It comes only with a 6-speed manual and can rocket from 0 to 62 in 5.7 seconds while on its way to a top speed of 167 mph.

The car is based on the European Civic, which differs from the U.S. version, so there’s no chance it will be sold here.

But here’s the good news:

The 2018 version will.

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The Camaro Matures Into a True Sports Car

November 4th, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Camaro

There was a time I considered myself a muscle-car fan, but that’s also the time I started growing my first facial hair and noticing girls. My car of choice back then was the Ford Mustang. More specifically, I lusted after a 1965 Mustang with the V8 engine.

I never owned that car, but the 22-year-old me scratched the itch with a 1994 Mustang. Not the same, I know.

In my years of being a muscle-car fanboy, the Camaro was never my thing. I associated it with ramshackle neighborhoods and saw them sitting on concrete blocks more often than on tires.

In my mind, muscle cars never matured past the testosterone-filled teenage drag-racing stage. But that could change this year.

The muscle car may have taken a long time to grow up, but with the 2016 Camaro, I think it’s finally become a man.

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The 2016 Camaro Goes Cross-Country

October 29th, 2015

2016 Chevrolet CamaroNow through Nov. 14, depending on where you live, you might just cross paths with the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. Teams of journalists are driving some cross-country in a promotion called the Find New Roads Trip.

Chevrolet is bringing the Camaro East, West, North, and South across the United States to consumer events where you can get up close and personal with the exciting new coupe as well as the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Cruze. The Camaro is going to cover 48 states in 25 days.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, General Chat, New Cars

Mazda RX-Vision: Reality or Illusion?

October 29th, 2015

Mazda RX-Vision concept

What happens when a Mazda RX-8 falls into a cotton candy machine?

You’ve seen how those machines stretch and pull the candy until it finally wraps itself around the cardboard stick. The new Mazda RX-Vision concept, pictured above, is the car-equivalent to stretched cotton candy.

And it’s gorgeous.

How did this wonder of automotive design happen? Will it actually come into existence? Will regular people like you and me be able to buy one? And most of all, if it does happen, how will it be powered?

The answer to that last question is perhaps even more exciting than the sleek shape you see in the photo before you.

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Electric Cars That Don’t Look Like Electric Cars

October 27th, 2015


“Why do electric cars have to look like that?” she asked.

My wife referenced a parked BMW i3, a vehicle that certainly qualifies as eye-catching if not attractive.

I answered her question with some pre-programmed babble that included a perceived need by automakers to make their EVs stand out from the crowd, and a desire by EV owners to tell the world what they are driving.

Electric vehicles like the i3, i8, and Nissan Leaf are designed to invoke immediate recognition, but I questioned the logic as I spoke.

Why DO electric cars look like that? If we want them to be incorporated into the mainstream, they need to look like mainstream cars. Tesla understands that, but will other automakers evolve their EVs to suite the tastes of a mass audience?

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Bye-Bye, Viper! Thanks for the Adventures

October 23rd, 2015

2016 Dodge Viper SRT GTS in competition blue

I can’t say I’ll miss the Viper.

About 15 years ago a friend of mine had a 1994 version that we enjoyed flinging along twisty back roads. The car was fun, and we got lots of attention (and third-degree calf burns from the ill-placed exhaust). The Viper was perfect for young adults in the late 1990s, but it doesn’t have a place now.

FCA has realized that fact, too, and come 2017, the venerable Viper will end production. There is no replacement car in the works.

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Before You Buy Your Teen a Safe Car, Invest in Safe Driving Skills

October 22nd, 2015

Ford Teen DrivingWe’re in the midst of National Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs through Oct. 24. That gives us a great reason to point out the variety of opportunities available for your teens to get into an advanced driver-safety program thanks to companies like Kia, Ford, and BMW.

John F. Paul, a AAA spokesman in New England, says these programs can be invaluable for young teen drivers. And don’t worry. Just like teaching martial arts doesn’t make a teen a fighter, advanced safety driving schools don’t make young drivers over-confident in their abilities. As Paul points out, kids are less likely to drive recklessly after taking one of these courses.

Startling statistics demonstrate why these courses are so important. According to Paul, 50 percent of teen drivers will be involved in some kind of accident within their first 6 months of driving.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, General Chat