Local Motors Could 3D-Print Itself Into the Future

local-motors-lm3d_swim

A few weeks ago I made a statement on these pages that said something to the effect of how vehicle production hasn’t changed much over the last century or so.

Cars are still built on assembly lines using metal parts, a process that isn’t likely to change on a mass scale anytime soon.

There are companies, however, that are looking toward the future and coming up with innovative ways to build, and recycle, cars in the decades ahead.

Local Motors wants to be the one that disrupts the auto industry, and it wants to do so with 3D-printed cars.

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The Concept Kia Needs to Build

Kia Telluride

Kia wants to get into the luxury game.

Its sister company, Hyundai, dabbled in luxury for a few years with the Genesis and Equus sedans before finally announcing that it would launch a separate luxury brand to compete with the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. That new brand, called Genesis, will launch in Hyundai dealerships this year and offer up to six models by 2020.

This post, though, isn’t about Hyundai.

Kia also produces a luxury liner, the well-appointed K900, but it’s struggling to find a place in the world.

A recently completed long-term review of the car said,

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What Car Made You Fall in Love With Cars?

1966_Toronado

Do you remember your first car love?

The car that made me fall in love with cars was the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. I was just a clueless pre-teen when my dad brought home the rusty old car on a flatbed trailer. Little did I know it then, but that car would change the directory of my car-loving life.

Over the next couple of years we worked together to bring that beat-up old car back to life. It received an engine rebuild on the 425-cubic-inch V8, a new paint job, and a new interior. When finished, the car looked like it could have rolled off the Oldsmobile assembly line just days earlier.

That old Toronado taught me that cars can be so much more than simple transportation. They can actually develop personalities and grow up with a person while helping a father and son build a deeper relationship.

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LC 500 Ushers in Change for Lexus

lexus-lc-500

“Lexus is like Neiman Marcus. The quality isn’t that much better than what you’d get at a discount store, yet it’s incredibly expensive.”

Those aren’t my words, mind you. I’ve owned a Lexus and found it exceptionally nice, though certainly not overly thrilling. Those are the words of my lovely wife, who has very engrained perceptions about certain car brands.

She associates Lexus with spiffed-up Toyotas and doesn’t see the added-value proposition of the L logo on the grille.

That’s a sentiment that obviously isn’t widely shared, because Lexus remains one of the best-selling luxury car brands in America. Lexus has, however, suffered from a lack of performance and design credibility, especially when compared with BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.

Lexus knows it has a problem in those areas and has determined to do something about it.

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How to Enjoy a New England Winter Weekend Without Snow

2016 New England Int'l Auto Show Press Day

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.

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Five Biggest Impacts from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show

Last week I wrote about seven Detroit Auto Show debuts to watch. The only one I got remotely wrong was the 2017 Chrysler Town & Country, but that was only because FCA pulled a fast one and changed that vehicle’s name to the Chrysler Pacifica.

Here are the five vehicles that made the biggest impact at the North American International Auto Show, which runs through Jan. 24 at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.

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New Honda Ridgeline Could Redefine the Midsize Pickup

2017-Honda-Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline is all the truck you’ll ever need.

Not the truck that languished on dealer lots between 2003 and 2014. That Ridgeline lasted far longer than it should have and became something of a laughing stock in the truck world.

It’s unfortunate, really, because the past-generation Ridgeline was good enough at doing the things most truck owners do with their trucks. By which I mean get stuck in the same traffic jams as the rest of us, sometimes while hauling a couch.

The new Honda Ridgeline, which debuted at the North American International Auto Show, is similar, but could also revolutionize how we see midsize trucks.

If people buy it, that is.

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Volkswagen Scandal Gets Stranger

VW's Matthias Muller

So now Volkswagen didn’t lie.

If you’ve been following the VW emissions saga with even an occasional passing glance, you know that the German automaker was caught in the midst of a lie. There’s incredibly compelling evidence that the company lied to the U.S. government about the emissions of its cars and lied to consumers who purchased those cars.

The problem, of course, was a piece of software that detected when a vehicle was being tested for emissions, allowing the car to emit acceptable levels of exhaust during testing before returning to its normal toxic-fume-spewing self once back on the road.

In the midst of a lawsuit with the United States, VW CEO Matthias Müller now says his company never lied, and the problem can be attributed to a “technical problem.”

Excuse us, but… what?

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Buick’s Terrific Trifecta: Avista, Cascada, and Envision

buick_avista_concept

In 2008 I thought Buick should be sent to the chopping block. Its vehicles were aged, staid, not exciting, and overly bland for the tastes of most young Americans.

Yet instead of discontinuing the Buick brand, GM thought it would be more beneficial to send Pontiac packing. Pontiac was just beginning to get its chops back thanks to the beautifully crafted G8 GXP, but it died at the hands of a bankrupt GM that desperately needed to reorganize.

And reorganize it did. Here we are in 2016 and Buick is not only still here, it’s becoming a real player in the affordable luxury market.

This year we have three Buicks in particular to thank for that, though only two will likely be available for purchase.

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Chrysler Pacifica Replaces Town & Country, Goes Hybrid

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

In 2002 Chrysler introduced a vehicle that it thought would be the next big thing in the new crossover SUV market.

The vehicle, a luxury people-mover with three rows of seats, was supposed to offer the capacity of a minivan, the stance of an SUV, and the handling of a sedan. Chrysler expected to unload 100,000 of those vehicles every year.

Problems arose quickly, though. This vehicle, the Chrysler Pacifica, didn’t excel as a minivan, was too expensive to compete with other luxury SUVs, and had an engine that barely gave it enough oomph to pass on the highway.

Chrysler discontinued the Pacifica in 2008. Yesterday the company brought it back, only this time the nameplate will grace the rear hatch of what used to be the Chrysler Town & Country.

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