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Archive for the ‘Cars Coming Soon’ Category

New XT5 Foreshadows the Future of Cadillac SUVs

March 16th, 2016

2017 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover

Up until recently, a Cadillac SUV is something we didn’t know we needed.

Plenty of folks questioned the rationale for Cadillac SUVs in the early days of the Escalade. The arrival of the SRX didn’t do much to help the company’s case as it struggled to gain a foothold against the likes of the Lexus RX 350 and BMW X5.

Cadillac seems to have it going on now, though. The SRX has improved enough to become Cadillac’s best-selling model, but it is now being replaced with the XT5, a 5-passenger rig that boasts a sophisticated, comfortable, and contemporary interior made from top-notch materials.

The exterior is sleeker and less clunky than the outgoing SRX and features plenty of LED lighting, along with a design that may not turn heads, but will at least keep people from looking away.

What’s most interesting about the XT5, though, is what it foreshadows for the future of Cadillac.

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Next-Gen Mustang Coming Two Years Early? Thanks Camaro!

March 9th, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Who would’ve thought that, in 2016, we’d still have Mustang versus Camaro debates?

Granted, both cars have evolved from their early days of pure muscle into sleek and capable sports cars. For the first few decades of their lives, both cars were good for straight-line acceleration and loud rumbling exhaust notes, but not much else. But Americans have flocked to muscle cars and customized them, raced them, modified them, and loved them since the early 1960s.

Then something happened. Rather than fading into the annals of history, the muscle car grew up and started to take on characteristics of European sports cars. By 2015, muscle cars were being compared with the likes of the BMW M3.

Then the utterly remarkable 2016 Camaro came along and officially ended the muscle car era. The new Camaro has left the Mustang reeling in a pile of obsolete dust and forced Ford to figure out how to catch up.

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Three Outstanding Geneva Motor Show Introductions

March 3rd, 2016

Lotus Cars Exige roadster

Media days are over, but the show must go on: the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, that is. Models introduced there don’t always have a huge impact on the domestic market, as the New York International Auto Show later this month focuses on the U.S. The Geneva show seems more geared to letting car fans around the world drool over barely aspirational cars.

Here are a few that caught our attention from the show.

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Honda Civic: Engine Recall for 2016, Hatchback Coming for 2018

February 23rd, 2016

civic-hatchback

The Honda Civic hatchback is on just about anyone’s list of cool European cars that Americans can’t have.

The car is built in Europe, for Europeans, and there’s been no sign that Honda would offer it up to a clamoring American public. Why is that? Money, of course.

Adapting the car to fit American tastes and to comply with American crash and emissions standards would simply cost too much, not to mention the costs associated with building in Europe and shipping to the United States.

The math didn’t add up, so the car never came here.

But guess what? Honda has announced that it will ship the next-generation Civic hatchback from its factory in Swindon, England to the United States for the first time ever in an attempt to inject some life into its struggling European division.

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Alfa Romeo’s U.S. Comeback Back On, Probably

February 22nd, 2016

alfa-romeo-giulia

Maybe this time will be different.

Alfa Romeo has promised a full-fledged return to the U.S. market, but so far all we’ve received is the 8C Competizione (in ultra-low numbers), the 4C sports car, and a bunch of broken promises.

We are supposed to receive a host of sedans, an SUV, and other vehicles that amount to a full line of products. It’s a promise we’ve heard for many years, but one that has yet to materialize.

Once again we’re hearing word that Alfa Romeo is on the verge of bringing two important vehicles to the market here, but what are the odds that they’ll actually arrive?

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Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and Ram Power Wagon: The Bad Boys of Chicago

February 19th, 2016

2017_Toyota_Tacoma_TRD_Pro

Maybe you’ve never stopped to think about this, but the Toyota Tacoma has become the size of a Ford F-150.

Sort of.

Let’s compare some numbers:

The smallest 2006 Ford F-150 is 211 inches long.

The smallest 2016 Toyota Tacoma is 212 inches long.

There are countless trim levels and sizes for each truck, but we have to acknowledge that the current midsize Tacoma is nearly the size of a full-size truck from a decade ago. And it’s still growing.

At the Chicago Auto Show this week, the Tacoma and another shamelessly large truck, the Ram Power Wagon, showed that downsizing isn’t an option.

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Kia Aims to Be Korea’s Performance Brand, With Hybrids

February 18th, 2016

2017 Kia NiroKia, as we know it, is distinguishing itself from its Hyundai parent by becoming Korea’s performance brand. Its introductions at the Chicago Auto Show further indicate where the brand is heading.

But wait, you might protest. Didn’t Kia introduce two hybrids at the Chicago Auto Show? Yes, but hybrid no longer means dowdy. Have you seen the Toyota Prius Super Bowl commercial? It’s not that far off the mark.

Developments for fuel efficiency can easily translate to performance enhancements. Kia’s two introductions demonstrate that.

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Coming Soon: A Lexus-Based Toyota Supra?

February 18th, 2016

Lexus LC_500

Ask any car lover what vehicle from the past they’d want to bring back, and the vast majority of them will say the Toyota Supra.

The Supra was in production for an astounding 24 years. The U.S. version ended in 1998 due to slowing sales and restrictive emissions standard, but the car soldiered on in other markets until 2002. Its demise cemented the Supra as a legendary sports car.

The 1998 U.S. version had a 3.0-liter V6 and up to 320-hp with the twin-turbo setup.

Rumors of the car’s return have been floating around for a good decade, and, finally, it looks like the Supra is on its way back.

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Compact Trucks Available Now, Soon, and Eventually

February 12th, 2016

2016_toyota_tacoma

Your world has gotten way more complicated in recent months if you’re in the market for a compact truck.

We are in the midst of a compact-truck renaissance, and keeping track of what trucks are here now, which are due for a major refresh, and which are coming soon can be a headache. How is a buyer to know whether he or she should pull the trigger on a truck that’s on the market now or stay patient for just a little while longer to get something that might be even better?

Keep reading for a quick rundown of what’s available now and what’s not far down the road.

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NHTSA Administrator Talks Autonomous Driving

February 10th, 2016

MIT Transportation Event

Remember all the recall-related headlines of the past two years? Those manufacturer errors account for only about 2% of deaths on the road. Conversely, 94% of lives lost in motor-vehicle accidents are due to human error. These are startling numbers, which lead to sobering realizations. Back in 1970, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was formed to study our highways and roads in an effort to minimize the risks associated with driving. As technology has advanced, this administration’s scope and responsibilities have advanced as well. Dr. Mark Rosekind, the current NHTSA Administrator, spoke with Bryan Reimer, of the New England University Transportation Center and MIT’s AgeLab, regarding the NHTSA’s role in the current and future state of autonomous driving technology.

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