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.
The New York International Auto Show hosts more than a million visitors every year, and we are excited to report on the biggest news from day one. From a 120 MPGe Toyota to a 565-hp Nissan GT-R, an all-new pair of Subaru Imprezas, and a $72,000 Maserati SUV, NYIAS did not disappoint.
Kia, 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.
Self-driving cars are coming. Thanks to visions of Skynet and Terminators, this is a frightening proposition to many people. Rather than being seen as an unparalleled convenience, autonomous cars have often been viewed as a soul-sucking leech on the driving experience. But that’s a shame, because if you begin to see cars as appliances, the appeal of an autonomous automobile is enormous.
CarGurus was honored to attend yesterday’s press preview of the 2016 New England International Auto Show. With more than 600 cars from 37 manufacturers valued at over $22 million, we were able to see and get into a bunch of brand-new vehicles for the first time. The show offers any car fan with an interest in new vehicles an unbeatable opportunity to take a close look at and ask experts questions about the wide world of cars available to American buyers.
Welcome to 2016, friends.
If the Chinese did their calendar correctly, this would have been the year of the car. I mean, the year of the monkey is all well and good, but 2016 will be among the best in a long time as far as new car debuts go.
There are a few cars, though, that aren’t available yet but should set the pace for excitement in 2016. Are you ready for these?
California State Highway 74 climbs out of Palm Springs, writhing into the mountains with immaculate blacktop, sweeping curves, and grand vistas. I’ve never driven this road before, yet I’m tackling every bend, curve, and kink in it like I’m a local. Capable cars have a way of instilling such confidence in their drivers.
From behind the wheel of the Lexus GS, a midsize luxury sedan that struggles to compete against the heavy hitters in this segment from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, it’s clear that Lexus deserves more consideration than it gets. The automaker isn’t just about the cushy ES cruiser or the popular RX crossover SUV. Not anymore, anyway. And the funny thing is, it’s the gas-electric GS 450h that’s making me feel like a champion high above Palm Springs.
The odds are pretty good that you’ll purchase a plug-in electric or hybrid vehicle within the next four years.
Why am I so confident?
Here’s a short rundown of companies that have announced major plans for electric cars by 2020:
- Tesla will be in production with the Model S, Model X, and Model 3
- Porsche will be in production of the Mission E Concept
- Volvo expects to add plug-in hybrid vehicles to its entire range
- Audi says 25 percent of its range will eventually be electric
- Nissan wants to rule the EV mass market
And now, Ford is investing $4.5 billion into electric vehicles so it’ll have 13 EV models by, you guessed it, 2020.
The electric revolution got another dose of support late last week.
Considering how much media coverage electric cars get, a person would be forgiven for thinking EVs constitute a somewhat hefty portion of car sales. The truth, however, is that the market for plug-in electric cars in the United States is ridiculously small.
Through the first nine months of 2015, EVs accounted for only .62 percent of new car sales. Yes, the market share for electric cars is currently well below one percent.
That number should rise as more automakers provide more options and as the logistical issues of limited range and a lack of charging stations are addressed.
But who will step up and cater to such a small market?
A huge lawsuit against ten of the world’s largest automakers was quietly filed last summer.
The suit claims at least 13 people have died due to a major safety defect in automobiles made by BMW/MINI, Mercedes-Benz, FIAT/Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda/Acura, Hyundai/Kia, Nissan/Infiniti, Toyota/Lexus, and Volkswagen/Bentley.
The issue has nothing to do with airbags, faulty ignitions, or sudden unintended acceleration. The problem is with a system we all take for granted that no one thought could end up killing people.
The Start/Stop button.