Can Subaru and Volkswagen Compete with GM SUVs?

subaru-viziv-7-concept

Chevrolet’s monopoly on the large SUV industry might be threatened by a few up-and-coming newcomers.

We recently covered the sales explosion of full-size SUVs that’s happening over at GM. Obviously other automakers would love to tap into some of that success, but existing alternatives, such as the Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada, don’t have the same rabid following (or price discounts) as the GM offerings.

A couple of new vehicles will hit the market soon, but can they make a dent in the General’s market share?

Continue reading >>>

Scion’s Comeback Effort Looks Like an Old Toyota

2014_scion_im_concept_la_auto_show

Let me be clear: I don’t think Toyota needs the Scion brand.

The initial intent in creating Scion was to appeal to a younger crowd at a lower price point with small but exciting vehicles. It worked for a little while but Scion has slowly been dying in recent years.

The cars, with the exception of the great FR-S (which should have been a Toyota) are lifeless and dull.

Regardless of this humble car blogger’s opinion, Scion trudges on and will introduce a new vehicle at the LA Auto Show this week.

Continue reading >>>

Cars Coming Soon: Porsche Macan to Debut at LA Auto Show

2014_porsche_macan

Auto Express seems to have a lot of “unnamed insiders” on their bankroll. In spite of its mysterious sources, the outlet has a pretty good track record of being accurate, so we take this news with a certain level of excitement:

The Porsche Macan SUV could debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show and be released next Spring.

Sure, the idea of an entry-level Porsche SUV is like Target selling a thousand-dollar handbag. Even the words don’t seem to go together in a sentence. Get used to the idea, though, and pretty soon you’ll be clamoring at the doors of your nearest Porsche dealer to get your hands on one.

Continue reading >>>

LA Auto Show Delivers Fuel Efficiency and Raw Power

2014 Jaguar XFR-S

One in 10 new cars sold in the United States is registered in California.

That’s quite the statistic and justifies the importance of the Los Angeles Auto Show to automakers. With the unveilings officially under way in Southern California, it’s time to take a look at the most exciting, potentially game-changing vehicles that have debuted so far.

The show this year is an interesting representation of the different directions the car industry is getting pushed. Cars powered by gasoline, electricity and diesel are represented, along with plenty of raw performance cars that somehow manage to take decent fuel economy into account while shredding tires and blistering the pavement.

Read on for more.

Continue reading >>>

2013 Honda Civic Tries to Bring Back the Passion

2013 Honda Civic

2013 Honda Civic

In its First Drive review of the 2012 Honda Civic, Car & Driver said,

The Civic lacks the passion, soul, and entertaining driving dynamics of its predecessor. Mainstream buyers may not care, but enthusiasts surely will.

That echoes the theme for the 2012 Civic from virtually all auto reviewers and even led to Consumer Reports revoking the car from its “Recommended” list. It’s a stumble from Honda that used to be unthinkable but seems to be more common with today’s models (specifically the Crosstour and Ridgeline).

To Honda’s credit, it’s been able to act fast and provide an “emergency refresh” for the 2013 Civic, pictures of which were released yesterday and posted on Facebook. Will the quick tweaks be enough to get that lost passion back?

Continue reading >>>

The Sweetest Rides of the LA Auto Show

The city of Los Angeles and I have a long love/hate history. The traffic along the 110 brings out unmentionable evil thoughts. The traffic in Beverly Hills inspires feelings of pure love, though that’s mostly due to the rumble of Maseratis.

I love the ocean. I hate the heat. I love Disneyland. I hate earthquakes. You get the idea.

I also love the annual LA Auto Show, a showcase of shiny awesomeness with a hint of the kind of extravagance only LA can provide. This year’s show has featured plenty of exciting cars, some of the most interesting of which are shown after the jump.

Continue reading >>>

Introducing the 650-HP, 200-MPH 2013 Ford Shelby GT500

2013 Ford Shelby GT500, front

Never again shall the word “wicked” be used to describe a car, because today, my friends, we are retiring it in honor of the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. Set to officially debut at this week’s L.A. Auto Show, the king of Mustangs can once again look the Camaro ZL1 in the face and laugh.

With 650-hp, 600 lb-ft of torque and a 200-mph top speed, straight from the factory, mind you, this is one maniacally wicked car. Yes, it still has that solid rear axle, but this is the last I’ll mention that meaningless little fact, because in this car it doesn’t matter.

Continue reading >>>