Cars Coming Soon: If Toyota and Subaru Can Team Up, Why Not Mazda and Fiat?

Mazda Shinari concept

I think it’s safe to say that Toyota and Subaru have started a trend.

By teaming up and bringing back the inexpensive, RWD sports car, the companies may have double-handedly revived a market for fun performance. Now, it’s confirmed that Mazda and Fiat have inked a “Memorandum of Understanding” to develop a roadster based on the MX-5 platform that is expected to see production in Mazda’s Hiroshima factory, with an Alfa Romeo version coming in 2015.

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Cars Coming Soon: 2013 Nissan Altima

2013 Nissan Altima

“We didn’t put all of the investment into this product and put in all the features with an expectation to be No. 2.”

That’s the kind of brash, confident talking I like to hear from an auto exec. It might sound like something you’d expect to hear from the head of VW or Chrysler, but in this case the quote is from Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas, in reference to the 2013 Nissan Altima.

Yes, Nissan is serious about its latest sedan. Not only does it want a larger share of the market, it thinks it can take down the perennial number one, the Toyota Camry.

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Cars Coming Soon: Porsche Macan Breaks Cover

2013 Porsche Macan

This is getting old: Much-anticipated new vehicle receives tons of hype in the automotive press, said vehicle is finally spotted uncovered, groans of disappointment fill the blog-o-sphere.

The latest victim is the Porsche Macan SUV (once known as the Cajun).

Not that there were exceptionally high expectations for a Porsche that could be considered a competitor to the Honda CR-V. But did it really have to look like one?

Porsche styling comes in three flavors:

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Cars (and Car Shows) Coming Soon: Seinfeld, Gervais, Baldwin and David Tease Mystery Project

I’m not personal friends with Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais, Alec Baldwin or Larry David. If I were, though, I’d call them up and ask what’s going on. I’ve been hearing all kinds of rumors and teases about some kind mystery project the four comedians are working on together.

Normally, as funny as those four would be on the same screen, they wouldn’t be enough to inspire a post here on these hallowed car pages. But there are signs that the mystery project could be a car show of some kind.

That, while pure speculation and based on only small clues, would be the most amazing show to hit television in America since Top Gear. And not the American version, but the real one, with Jezza, Hamster and Captain Slow.

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Cars Coming Soon: The Great 2014 Chevrolet SS Performance Debacle

Chevrolet 2014 SS Performance confirmed

Blogs everywhere are running with the story that a technology blogger has uncovered the mysteries of Chevrolet’s 2014 product plan.

At first glance, it appears the find may be something. On second and third glances, though, it seems like something might be fishy.

The story goes something like this:

Technology blogger Christopher Price has found out that two all-new 2014 models from GM are coming, thanks to some digging around OnStar’s website.

It then continues to say that this proves Chevy is planning a performance sedan, called the SS Performance. That news is even hotter right now because of the recent announcement of GM’s trademark application for the name SS.

Clearly something is up. But come on, let’s think this through, people.

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Cars Coming Soon: SRT Viper, Jaguar F-Type, BMW M6

BMW M6 Convertible

We live in the best age ever for automobiles. Never before have so many exceptional vehicles been available from so many automakers.

Yes, I wish more diesel varieties were available here, but if we have to take what we get, we might as well enjoy the high-horsepower buffet.

And BMW, Jaguar and Dodge (well, SRT) have plans to let us indulge our power addiction with a new M6, F-Type and Viper.

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Cars Coming Soon: Track-Ready Jaguar XKR-S, 2015 Ford Focus RS and a 4-Cylinder Mustang

2011 Ford Focus 500RS

Out of all the performance-bred excitement you are about to read, this is perhaps the one piece of information that’ll make you stumble over your words and spit out your morning mocha:

The Ford Mustang may get a 4-banger.

Before horrible visions of the 1976 2.3-liter 4-cylinder Mustang II creep into your head, rest assured that, should the Mustang drop cylinders, it’ll do so with plenty of panache.

In 1976, the 4-cylinder Mustang II put out all of 92 hp. A new 2.3-liter engine, slated for use in the 2015 Ford Focus RS, could make a whopping 320 hp and, potentially, be used in the forthcoming Mustang. How’s that sit with ya?

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Cars Coming Soon: Gas Beats Diesel in New BMW 328i

BMW 328i

Does engineering know no limits?

The draw of diesel-powered cars, for many people, is the increased fuel economy they offer. In some cases, diesel cars compete with hybrids in terms of the number of miles a car can be driven on a single gallon of fuel.

Auto writers routinely sing the praises of oil-burning engines because we love the performance, reliability and fuel economy they offer. One of the best is the BMW 335d. If I had purchased a new car this morning, there’s a good chance it would have been the 335d. Today, though, I heard about a new BMW that might be even better. And it’s powered by… gasoline.

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Cars Coming Soon: Scion iQ a Great Punchline, an Odd Car

“Where’s the rest of it?”

“Where do you park that thing, on your pool table at home?”

“Hey man, isn’t that Barbie’s car?”

Drive in a Scion iQ and you can be sure you’ll hear jokes like these multiple times per day, each comedian thinking he is the only one to ever loft such creative barbs at the diminutive car and its embarrassed driver.

Yes, the iQ is incredibly small. It actually would fit on a pool table. Barbie though, could never drive it because inside, everything is full-size. The windshield, seats and side windows might as well be from a Corolla, which makes driving the iQ seem like a perfectly respectable thing to do. It *feels* normal. But it’s not.

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Cars Coming Soon: Looking Deeper Into the Next Acura NSX

Acura NSX concept

Yesterday, a great injustice was done.

The Acura NSX concept, a car that fanboys and serious enthusiasts alike have mourned since its demise while patiently longing for its return, was blasphemed by one of our own.

Yes, the car will officially go into production again, though not quite in the same form as the quintessential and utterly perfect original. This is big news, yet 23 words is all it took for jgoods to crash the party and turn the excitement about the car’s return into a head-shaking episode of wondering what went wrong.

He said,

Acura took the best-looking car it ever produced, the NSX, and turned it into a grinning jumble of front-end design clichés.

You know what? He’s right. It’s ugly as sin. But there’s more to the NSX story.

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