Once a mainstay on American highways, Chrysler is now driving toward an uncertain future. Its partnership with Daimler-Benz has been replaced by one with Fiat, and while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has kept its head above water (thanks to America’s obsession with pickup trucks and the unyielding power of Jeep brand loyalty), the rest of the business raises more than a few questions. What is Fiat’s true future in the U.S. market? Will Alfa Romeo and its Giulia succeed today after a reputation for unreliability sunk them in 1995? And with only a midsize sedan with a questionable future, a full-size stalwart in a shrinking segment, and the 2017 Pacifica in a crossover-crazy era, can Chrysler stay afloat?
The thing about perfection is that it can’t be beat.
That’s why the word ‘perfect’ exists. There is nothing better and nothing can achieve a higher level of desirability. Perfect is as good as something can be and, by all measures, the Porsche 911 is perfect.
The 911 has all the qualities and characteristics one could ever desire from a sports car. Everything from the shape to the handling to the sound of the engine as it roars past 6,000 RPM is… in a word… perfect.
Yet other automakers continue in their attempts to achieve something beyond perfection. None have succeeded.
The year 2020 could become a major turning point for electric vehicles in this country.
Aston Martin, Audi, Ford, GM, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo are some of the major automakers with plans to introduce at least one all-electric vehicle by the end of the decade. Newcomers Faraday Future, Apple, and maybe even Dyson (yes, the vacuum company) are rumored to be working on electric vehicles as well.
We’re on the cusp of an electric revolution in the auto world, but the cars won’t replace gasoline-fueled cars until people stop caring about electric range. That’s getting easier to comprehend, as Tesla and GM will both produce affordable EVs with a 200-mile range.
Looks like we can include Hyundai on that list now, too.
Automakers, please note: The future of electric cars doesn’t include $76,000 luxury vehicles that look fast but go slow.
That seems like common sense, right?
A Cadillac that looks like the one pictured here should wrap its occupants in opulence while also delivering tooth-rattling performance.
This is the Cadillac ELR, though, a vehicle that brought everything to the table except performance. Like the 2005 Ford Thunderbird, this Caddy has failed to find a long-term home because it didn’t deliver on the promises made by its seductive design.
Production of the ELR has come to an abrupt end after just two years on the market.
Perhaps people have forgotten that the Tesla Roadster is what started it all.
The innovative electric supercar stunned the auto world all the way back in 2008 and remained in production into 2012. The car, which used the body of a Lotus Elise and Tesla’s own electric drivetrain, carried a $109,000 base price and could accelerate from 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Tesla produced about 2,400 copies of the car before discontinuing it to focus efforts on the Model S sedan.
The Model S, of course, became wildly popular and quickly erased memories of the Roadster. Then the Model X hype was followed by a massive number of pre-orders for the Model 3, and the Roadster suddenly felt like ancient history.
Maybe that’s why no one has reacted to news that the Roadster is making a comeback.
On May 26, the New England Motor Press Association, of which some of us here at CarGurus are members, will host a conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the theme Technology Intersecting Design. It may sound like a boring topic, but as you’ll see, it’s a compelling one.
The NEMPA conference will include prominent industry figures like Timothy Anness, head of advance design, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – North America; Mary Gustanski, vice president of engineering, Delphi; Michelle Tolini Finamore, curator of fashion arts at the (Boston) Museum of Fine Arts; Dr. Gill Pratt – CEO, Toyota Research Institute; and John J. Leonard, professor of mechanical and ocean engineering at MIT.
Hyundai could have a major impact on the luxury car market.
That statement may result in eye rolls and thoughts of the Hyundai Azera and Kia Cadenza, which are both are great premium cars, but haven’t succeeded at making a dent in the sales of the top luxury players.
Things are changing, though. Luxury car sales are down so far this year, which may help Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury brand put up a fight against BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi.
It seemed for a while that Buick was on the cusp of something great. The company had successfully turned away from the stodgy brand image of decades past and started to produce cars that were sexy and desirable.
For the first time in recent memory, Buicks turned heads on the street and caused many folks to utter the words, “That’s a Buick?”
Unfortunately, good design isn’t the only factor in selling cars. In the near-luxury space, which is where Buick wants to find success, a car must be sexy, youthful, and affordable. Even more importantly, a car has to offer a value proposition that no other car can match.
That’s where Buick has struggled, and the effects are starting to show. The first casualty is the Verano.
Automakers have found themselves stuck between trying to please the Environmental Protection Agency and trying to make their loyal fans happy.
Take Ford, for example. The automaker’s newest Mustang can be had with a 4-cylinder engine for the first time since the early 1990s, but Ford didn’t add the small motor because it wanted to please devout Mustang fans. The automaker had to find a way to make the EPA happy and boost its fuel-economy numbers.
Next on the casualty list is a 4-cylinder sure to anger rock hoppers and stump grinders across the U.S.
News coming out of Stuttgart, Germany this week is being met with emotions ranging from pure exhilaration to downright depression.
My first reaction ranged from sadness to disappointment, but has now eased into acceptance of the new world in which we live.
The auto industry is in a constant state of evolution and this latest development is merely a reflection of the sacrifices that must be made in order to carry on certain traditions. One of those traditions is the purest form of automotive enjoyment: the rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car.
I think we have to admit that some sports cars are still in existence because other, less awesome, vehicles foot the bill for their survival. Such is the case with the Porsche 911 and the new *gulp* Porsche Panamera wagon.