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Archive for the ‘Cars Coming Soon’ Category

Buick Verano Discontinued in America, Buick Envision Coming From China

May 16th, 2016

buick-verano

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.

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4-Cylinder Jeep Wrangler Inches Closer to Reality

May 11th, 2016

jeep_Wrangler_off_Road

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.

It’s a trend happening across the entire automotive industry and the reason why we’re seeing all-turbo Porsches and hybrid supercars.

Next on the casualty list is a 4-cylinder sure to anger rock hoppers and stump grinders across the U.S.

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Ready or Not, Here Comes the Porsche Wagon

May 5th, 2016

Porsche Panamera Wagon

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.

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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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