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Archive for the ‘Cars Coming Soon’ Category

Honda to Offer Electric, Hybrid, and Hydrogen Versions of Clarity

May 4th, 2016

Honda_Clarity

With its hydrogen-powered Clarity, Honda promises to deliver an alternative fuel source that it hopes will prove as viable as electricity.

Honda figured out how to package the vehicle as a standard five-seat midsize sedan with all the room and versatility buyers in the segment expect. Plus, it can carry enough hydrogen to propel it for over 430 miles and needs only three minutes to fill at a refueling station.

Previous efforts at creating hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles were limited by large tanks that infringed on passenger space, took too long to refuel, and didn’t provide nearly as much range. The Clarity, despite its odd proportions in the rear, is a design marvel that could bring hydrogen power into the mainstream.

Except that Honda will also create electric and plug-in versions of the Clarity. Why?

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Ford to Compete With Tesla, Chevy, for Long-Range EV Customers

May 2nd, 2016

ford_Focus_electric

Chevrolet will very likely be the first to get a 200-mile $30,000 electric car to market. The company’s Bolt will go into production this fall, followed a year (or so) later by the Tesla Model 3.

Ford has, thus far, shown no interest in a long-range EV, even saying earlier this month that a 100-mile range is plenty. Ford has increased the range of the 2017 Focus Electric from 76 miles to 100, and has said that’s as far as the company plans to go due to the increased costs of larger battery packs. Ford’s electrification guru, Kevin Layden, said,

I think right now with the launch of the Focus Electric at 100 miles, it is going to satisfy a big chunk of the population. It’s going to be really affordable and a step up from where we are now.

Ford CEO Mark Fields seems to have other plans.

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The Impact of the Japanese Earthquakes on Lexus, Toyota Models

April 28th, 2016

2015 Toyota Camry

The news of the recent earthquakes that struck Japan had a strong impact on the U.S. auto market when it comes to Toyota and Lexus. Several models have had to suspend production while the factories are inspected and repaired.

It’s even affected Toyota’s position as the number-one automaker. That spot was usurped by Volkswagen because of the shutdowns. Yes, in spite of the diesel emissions scandal, VW is on top because of the popularity of its Audi, Porsche, and Skoda brands.

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Will Audi Build a Boxster-Based R6?

April 21st, 2016

2015_audi_r8-pic-8826728875904120766-640x480

Here’s another one to file in the “sports cars aren’t dying” folder.

Audi is one of the carmakers that have thrived in the sports car world. The R8 and TT sit at opposite ends of the sports-car scale, but both have found a niche and generate enough sales to justify their existence. And the automaker’s S line turns its sedans and coupes into formidable performance machines.

Now Audi may be working on a rear-engine sports car to slot under the R8. Presumably called the R6, the new Audi would be based on the Porsche Boxster/Cayman twins, but would involve a lot more than a simple badge job.

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Best Car Tech Features for Geeks

April 14th, 2016

A new Geek Squad Prius c

Geek Squad has bought 1,100 new Toyota Prius c models. Best Buy’s Geek Squad made the switch because it wants to improve its carbon footprint. It also wants to disassociate itself from Volkswagen, according to Automotive News, in part because of the ongoing emissions scandal.

That got us to wondering what’s the best geeky technology available in modern cars. Well, the answer depends on your definition of geekiness, but here are my four top choices.

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Faraday Teases its Mysterious Future

April 8th, 2016

faraday-future-teaser

Mysterious car company Faraday Future hasn’t done much to shine light on its product plans or promote itself as the next up-and-coming electric car brand for the masses.

Since unveiling the raucous (and highly impractical) FFZERO1 supercar concept at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Faraday has released approximately zero product-related press releases or updates on the status of development. No one knows when, or if, the company will release a vehicle for sale or what type of vehicle it will be.

The absence of marketing is in fact great marketing. Nothing generates interest in a product like billions of dollars of mysterious investments and only the promise to “redefine our relationship with the automobile.”

We may have finally gotten a hint, though, of what’s coming next for Faraday.

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Volvo Prepares the S90 for Luxury Domination

March 31st, 2016

Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

The luxury sedan market has no shortage of excellent cars, but Volvo is about to introduce one more with which it hopes to shake up the establishment.

U.S. pricing and launch details have been announced for its new S90 flagship sedan.

Volvo has promised a technologically advanced flagship with the looks and safety features to make an impressive dent in the existing market. We know the design is rock-solid, thanks to earlier concepts and teaser images, but how does it stack up on price, performance, and overall value?

Here’s a hint:

The Swedes may have built a masterpiece.

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Supercars at the 2016 New York International Auto Show

March 29th, 2016

Koenigsegg Regera

The funny thing about being at a major auto show is that you tend to get tunnel vision. You can be running around the show floor taking notes on crossovers and minivans and not acknowledge that you’re standing amidst some of the most impressive supercars on the planet. Thankfully, that was not a problem for us at the 2016 New York International Auto Show.

Fresh from appearances at the Geneva Motor Show, the New York show is the first time some of these supercars have been seen on North American shores, and they represent various corners of the high-end ultra-performance marketplace.

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Genesis Sedan Concept Hints at Coming Greatness

March 28th, 2016

Genesis front

The front end looks like the face of a Cabbage Patch Kid. The rest of the Genesis, though, is a beautifully compelling car that people should genuinely desire. It’s dazzling, even with the squished cheeks and broad smile.

The design direction of Genesis, Hyundai’s new luxury brand, debuted last week in New York and seems to have squashed any rumors that the brand’s cars would be nothing more than rebadged Hyundais.

If the production versions of the coming Genesis G70, G80, and G90 look anything like this, we can be sure that affluent young buyers will take notice, and Lexus and the Germans will feel some competitive heat.

Yes, Genesis could be the real deal.

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Day Two at the Javits Center: The New York International Auto Show

March 25th, 2016

Honda Civic Hatchback Concept

Day Two began with the World Car Awards. Backed by a surprisingly loud, club-ish soundtrack and some odd song choices (maybe intended to help attendees wake up after a very long Day One?), the Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle got the World Green Car Award, the Audi R8 Coupe took the World Performance Car Award, and the BMW 7 Series won the World Luxury Car Award. Mazda managed to take two trophies, as 2016 World Car Design of the Year and World Car of the Year, with its MX-5 Miata, and having driven the car ourselves, we heartily applaud the WCA jurors’ decision.

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