Cars Coming Soon: A Midsize GM Truck to Challenge Tacoma

New Chevrolet Colorado

Sales of the Toyota Tacoma are up this year almost 23 percent over last year. No, that’s not the most significant or exciting statistic ever mentioned in a car blog, but it could be the foundation for an exciting development over at General Motors.

GM got out of the midsize truck business last year after the mediocre GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado failed to light showroom floors on fire. Ford and Chrysler exited the market in 2011, leaving the Tacoma and Nissan Frontier as the two major midsizers in the Unites States.

The Tacoma is the undisputed king of the world in its segment, and challenging it isn’t an easy task. That’s pretty much the common consensus, as most automakers would rather roll over than even try to offer a challenge.

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A Radical New Look for Audi?

2013 Audi S4

2013 Audi S4

Audi could arguably be the most distinguishable car brand on the road today. Between the four joined circles on its gaping grilles and the imposing LED running lights, there’s just nothing else that looks like an Audi. Other companies have tried to emulate its looks, and most now offer some kind of LED running-light option.

Maybe Audi feels like the competition is catching up, or maybe it just feels as though it’s time for a change. Regardless, evidence is appearing that Audi isn’t satisfied with its current design and is working on an overhaul to its already iconic looks.

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Ford, GM Team Up on Development of New Transmissions

Ford & GM logos

It can be hard to sit here and write about cars on a day when so many humans were hurt in a senseless act of violence. I am not in Boston. I’ve never been to Boston. But that doesn’t take the pain away. This wasn’t just about Boston, but about the running community, the families of runners, the volunteers for the race, the citizens of the city and the people across the world watching live footage of the response and the tremendous outpouring of support that came immediately.

I know this is a car blog, and I’ll get back on topic, but I can’t let this event go unnoticed here, especially with so many fellow CarGurus, family and friends in the Boston area. I truly hope everyone is well, and that, if there is a positive to be taken away, it’s that the darkness of evil is replaced just a little more by the light of all those who choose to love instead of hate.

Part of recovery, of course, is moving on and finding stories of cooperation and getting back to the things that make us happy. With that in mind, I want to talk about two adversaries coming together for the better good of the automotive industry.

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2013 FIAT 500E: The Electric You Want But Probably Can’t Have

2013 FIAT 500E

Disclaimer:

Reading about the car in this post will make you want it. The price is ridiculously low, and it uses no gas, creates zero emissions and has a decent range. It even comes with a program allowing buyers the use of larger, gas-powered cars when needed.

This car, the FIAT 500E, is about as perfect as electric cars get, at least so far. It even comes with dedicated support and customer service designed to mostly eliminate any worry about running out of juice somewhere away from home.

The one drawback? You probably can’t get one. The FIAT 500E is for residents of one state, and one state only.

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The Coolest Cars in Baseball

Photo courtesy Lumber Liquidators

Head on down to a major league ballpark today and you’re likely to see an array of Maseratis, Ferraris, Land Rovers and Cadillacs going in and out of the players’ parking lot. Driven by their highest salaries ever, it seems that players, coaches and owners will spare no expense to arrive at the park in style. While it’s certainly a treat for a fan to get an autograph from a player as he pulls out of the lot in his fresh-from-the-showroom Maybach or Lamborghini, the simple fact is that the only thing drawing the fan to that player is his baseball-playing abilities. We here at CarGurus think that’s just wrong.

When seeking out an autograph from a baseball player, coach or team owner, there are many more factors to consider than just how well that individual plays, coaches or watches America’s pastime. Sure, a player could hit 40 home runs in a season, bat .300 and steal 30 bases, but if he arrives at the park in a white Range Rover (a car surprisingly common in baseball parking lots), what does that say about his personality, only desiring to blend in with the crowd like that?

In order to remedy this problem, we came up with a list of the 10 players, owners, managers and organizations with the coolest cars in baseball—cars that say something more about their owner than a car straight from a dealer’s lot ever could. Some of the cars on this list are supercars, others are much more, and yet many are much less.

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After Veyron’s Default, SSC Ultimate Aero Reclaims Speed Title

SSC Ultimate Aero World Record

Sometimes champions are crowned through disqualification.

Shelby SuperCars set the record for the fastest production car in the world in 2007 with its Ultimate Aero on a public highway in Washington. On that historic run, the car hit an impressive top speed of 256.14 mph. The Ultimate Aero kept the title for 3 years, when a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport achieved a top speed of 267.8 mph.

Just this week, though, a discovery has brought down the mighty Veyron and, by default, gave the record back to SSC.

There’s a third player in the game now, too, which isn’t going to sit idly by and let its attempt at the speed record go unnoticed.

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Cars Coming Soon: The Beauty of Ghibli

2014 Maserati Ghibli

Last Fall I was walking through the streets of Seattle with a friend when a parked car caught her eye. She turned her head as we passed the low-slung sports car and said, “What… is that?”

It was a Maserati GranTurismo, arguably one of the most beautiful cars on the planet. We don’t see a lot of exotics in our neck of the woods, so the Trident-branded beauty stood out to us both. There’s just something about a Maserati that demands attention. It’s an understated, elegant exotic that quietly seduces the senses. Well, until the engine turns on. The slow burble of the V8 can turn into a cacophony of roars and pops that’ll leave you wondering what in your life has gone so terribly wrong as to not have one of these in your garage.

By unveiling the new Ghibli sedan, Maserati hopes to drive more of us rectify the problem of not having a Maserati.

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Meet the Best Selling Cars in the World

2013 Ford Focus ST

Have you ever heard of the Wuling Sunshine?

Neither had I. The Sunshine is a minivan built and sold in China by Wuling Motors, which is actually a partner with General Motors. According to the automaker’s website, the Sunshine boasts a “user-friendly handling mechanism,” a “reliable braking system” and “comfortable interior decorations.” I’m sure the rest of the car is top-notch as well. I don’t know about you, but I’m left wondering where to sign! That bit about the reliable braking system sold me, because that’s just not something we see enough of these days.

Sarcasm aside, you might find yourself wondering why I’ve spent the first hundred words or so of this blog talking about such an obscure vehicle. Certainly it’s not the best selling car in the world, right?

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The Cadillac Comeback Gets Under Way

2013 Cadillac ATS

Think back to the year 2000, if you will.

Panic about the impending clock change had just passed, Pepsi Twist was the hot new soda, “Gladiator” was the big blockbuster, and nobody bought Cadillacs.

Well, nobody cool or even remotely young bought Cadillacs, anyway.

The Wreath and Shield brand was relegated almost entirely to the retired crowd without a lot of hope for a future turnaround. Today, 13 years later, there’s been a massive shift, as Cadillac has started tearing up showroom floors almost as fast as it finishes hot laps around the Nurburgring.

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The Mysterious Air Car: Is It Real?

MDI air car

There’s always some kind of magical new solution to power our cars being passed around the Internet. I’ve read about ways to convert your car to run on water, listened to pitches on computer chips that claim to increase fuel efficiency, even wondered if someone would try to remove the floor to achieve a Fintstones effect. Rumors fly, and the idea of a cheap but effective way to save on gas is a huge draw for just about every person living in the developed world.

So when I saw a video making the rounds on Facebook about a new air-powered car, my suspicions got the best of me. I watched the video.

The concept makes sense and, according to the video, there are working prototypes built. The car could sell for $15,000 and run on nothing but compressed air while emitting perfectly clean air. Is this another case of too-good-to-be-true wishful thinking?

Probably.

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