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Posts By: Derek Kreindler
In case you haven’t had your fill, live shots, as well as shots in of the ragtop below. Ford was coy with powertrain details, but the 2.3L Ecoboost will make “more than 305 horsepower”, helping it exceed the 3.7L V6′s output. The 5.0L V8 is said to top the current car’s 420 horsepower. The convertble top will apparently raise and lower in just 5 seconds, while bigger brakes, paddle shifters and MyFord Touch all make an appearance. Despite adding a 4-cylinder engine and independent rear-suspension for world markets, Ford expects them to make up just 10 percent of sales.
Reports out of Australia claim that GM will be ending Australian vehicle production by 2016, turning Holden into a brand that sells imported cars, rather than locally produced vehicles.
After talk of increasing the seperation between Chevrolet and Opel, GM has announced that it will axe the Chevrolet brand in Europe, despite previously aiming to make Chevrolet its low-cost brand, while signing a nine-year, $584 million deal to have the brand sponsor Manchester United football club.
Ford’s latest game changer is here, after months of rumors, hand-wringing and broken embargoes. Aside from the new 2.3L Ecoboost engine, features like blind spot monitoring and MyFord Touch are now making an appearance. We’ll have more in a few hours, as TTAC’s Ronnie Schreiber attends the official premiere.
Just off the wires, we have word from Chevrolet that the 2015 Corvette Z06 will debut at NAIAS in January – the perfect time slot to steal some of the thunder from the Blue Oval, which will show the all-new Mustang and the F-150 to the public for the first time. Last year, Ford managed to upstage GM’s truck debuts with the surprise unveiling of the Atlas concept. Looks like GM is exacting some revenge.
Buried in an article about the East-West schism between wagons and BMW’s ungainly Gran Turismo series of pseudo-crossovers was a bit of news destined to horrify the BMW diehards that represent a slim but vocal minority of its customer base. Despite indications that it would not be appearing on our shores, BMW will in fact be launching a front-drive car in North America, as per Automotive News Europe
Next year, BMW will add a minivan-styled compact model targeted at young families, sports enthusiasts who need space for their equipment and older buyers who like cars that are easy to get in and out of and have a high seating position. The minivan will be based on the Active Tourer concept and is set to debut in production guise at the Geneva auto show in March. Most likely it will be called the 2-series Active Tourer. It will be underpinned by BMW’s new UKL front-wheel-drive architecture that debuted this week on the third-generation Mini.
Speaking at a preview event for the next-generation Hyundai Genesis, Hyundai CEO John Krafcik defended his company’s decision to forgo establishing a seperate luxury channel for cars like the Genesis and Equus. While the rationale put forth usually revolves around the exorbitantly expensive pricetag for launching a new brand and an all-new sales network, Krafcik put it from another angle.
Weeks prior to the historic deal reached between Iran and the “P5+1″ group of nations, TTAC reported on some of the machinations going on behind the scenes regarded the United States, France and their respective auto industries ability to do business in Iran. We put forth the theory that any deal with Iran would be a boon to auto manufacturers, who would have access to a market expected to be worth 1.5 million units in a few short years, with a very young population and a standard of living that is substantially better than many highly touted emerging markets.
At the time of publication, we encountered significant dismissal, if not disagreement. But as it turned out, negotiations had been ongoing since the start of 2013, and the preliminary deal appears to make the auto industry a big winner.
With the demise of the Lotus Elise and Exige, the lineup is looking pretty barren these days. Only the Evora exists for those looking to simplify and add lightness. The Los Angeles Auto Show saw the introduction of the formerly-forbidden Exige V6 Cup, but unlike our world market friends, this one is not street legal.
Claiming that the Toyobaru twins are “mid-life crisis” cars, Nissan fired back with their own retro concept, dubbed the IDx, which was apparently designed with the help of “digital natives”, or young people who have grown up with computers and the internet. For such a Generation Y-oriented car, it’s fairly retro.
Jalopnik does it again, with this Edmunds-supplied leak of the Chevrolet Colorado. GM’s mid-size truck looks like it’s gotten a thorough cosmetic revamping compared to the global variants, but no word on what powertrains we’ll be getting.
Jalopnik managed to snag a promo image of the Subaru WRX driving in the dirt, thanks to a now disappeared Edmunds video. Looks like the “Impreza with a Guy Fawkes mask” styling is here to stay. Expect an official reveal at tomorrow’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
If you haven’t read the first-ever Road & Track Performance Car of the Year story, I would highly recommend reading the Baruth-penned story, which gives any British buff book a run for its money, despite a dearth of derring-do heroics on Welsh backgrounds. Some of the most illuminating information comes not from the Disco Hoodied One himself, but from other R&T staffers. Take this choice quote about the Nissan GT-R for example:
There’s a lot of chuckling in the paddock over the blue seats and odd Track Edition badging on Nissans newest GT-R, but on the runway, it’s serious business. It’s also damn near the fastest car in the test. “It’s so good — and it used to be so terrible,” says Cammisa.
This review comes from reader Nicholas Naylor, who rented a Seat Altea XL for a recent trip to Spain.
My wife and I attended a wedding in southern Spain recently, along with another couple who are close friends of ours. We’re all taller than average, and being that we’re attending a wedding, the luggage load was heavy. So my idea of renting something small and Euro chic was out of the question; it had to be a wagon. Enter the Seat Altea XL.
News of Mitsubishi’s rebadging of Renault-Samsung vehicles for the US market is being greeted with far less enthusiasm around these parts than one would expect the internet to greet news of any French vehicles coming to America. One angle that isn’t being explored much comes from commenter callisall, who writes
if anyone else was scratching your head (like I was) about how Mitsu makes money in the USA, Mitsu is the third largest seller of cars to subprime borrowers behind Chrysler and Dodge.
So by outsourcing its R&D and focusing on the subprime market (and perhaps parts for its cars), it looks like Mitsu can make its US operations worthwhile.