The Truth About Cars » Enthusiasm http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 21 May 2015 18:21:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Enthusiasm http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/enthusiasm/ Luxury Automakers Wary Around Growing Female Consumer Base http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-automakers-wary-around-growing-female-consumer-base/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-automakers-wary-around-growing-female-consumer-base/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 19:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1070938 Those dealing in luxury vehicles and high-performance exotics may need to improve their relations with women soon, as more women seek such wares. While less than 10 percent of Lamborghini and Ferrari owners in the United States are women, and Porsche only boasts 25 percent, female consumers in emerging markets like China are flexing their […]

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McLaren MP4-12C Circa January 2012

Those dealing in luxury vehicles and high-performance exotics may need to improve their relations with women soon, as more women seek such wares.

While less than 10 percent of Lamborghini and Ferrari owners in the United States are women, and Porsche only boasts 25 percent, female consumers in emerging markets like China are flexing their wealth with the automakers’ models in significant numbers, Reuters reports. The overall female consumer base is expanding, as well, fueled by increasing wealth as more and more women enter into greater positions of power.

However, marketing leaves a lot to be desired, especially as some automakers are wary of appealing to the new consumer base. Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann explains:

It’s like with an engineering degree which attracts more men than women, that’s just how it is. Males are more into the car business and the super sportscar is the pinnacle of that business.

On the other side, automotive consultant Belinda Parmar says high-end and exotic manufacturers should consider women drivers when designing vehicles. Her work with Aston Martin on its planned crossover is slated to have a higher sitting position and smaller steering wheel, allowing those wearing skirts to enter and exit without having to worry about feeling “silly” about the matter.

[Photo credit: Axion23/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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2016 Chevrolet Camaro – Same Recipe, New Ingredients http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-chevrolet-camaro-same-recipe-new-ingredients/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-chevrolet-camaro-same-recipe-new-ingredients/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 20:22:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1069698 “From every angle, you’ll never mistake this for anything but a Camaro,” said Tom Peters, design director for the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. That’s probably because it hasn’t changed that much, at least visually. Yet, under the skin, the new Camaro drops some 200 lbs thanks to its new Alpha platform bones and gains a new […]

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The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was introduced May 16, 2015, at a special event in Detroit. The all-new muscle car is approximately 200 pounds lighter than the current model and offers more powerful V-6 and V-8 engines.

“From every angle, you’ll never mistake this for anything but a Camaro,” said Tom Peters, design director for the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. That’s probably because it hasn’t changed that much, at least visually. Yet, under the skin, the new Camaro drops some 200 lbs thanks to its new Alpha platform bones and gains a new base engine – a 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec four-pot.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

The new Camaro introduces a turbocharged 2.0L Ecotec powerplant for the first time, bringing with it more horsepower and the same torque figure as the same engine in the Malibu. That puts the new base model Camaro at 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of twist. GM says 90 percent of those torques will be available between 2,100 rpm and 3,000 rpm, making the sixth-generation Camaro good for a 60 mph sprint in under 6 seconds while still returning 30 mpg by their own estimates.

Note that I said “base model” above. Unlike Mustang, the Camaro will offer up their four banger as the economy option instead of a premium lightweight option like in Ford’s pony car.

An all-new 3.6L V6 will join the piston party as well with 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque. The most notable addition to the now mid-range engine offering is cylinder deactivation. The system will shut down two cylinders effectively turning the V6 into a V4. While the V6 does offer up more output versus its predecessor (323 hp, 278 lb-ft) and claims best-in-class power, it should also return better fuel economy.

A new-to-Camaro 6.2L LT1 V8 will be the headliner, boasting 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque, just 5 lb-ft down from on the Corvette.

All engines will be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission (SS models receive Active Rev Match for downshifts) or all-new Hydra-Matic eight-speed automatic (8L45 in LT, 8L90 in SS) with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, further enhancing fuel economy and performance. Also, unless there’s a change to the preliminary output figures, it seems GM won’t be penalizing customers by slashing engine output for those who choose the automatic transmission in SS models.

Unfortunately, the new platform is so sound dead, all Camaros will have their engine note pumped in one way or another. All four-cylinder models will have active noise cancellation. If you opt for the Bose audio system, you’ll receive the aforementioned faux engine noise delivered by speaker. Thankfully, it can be disabled at the whim of the driver. V6 and V8 models will offer up “enhanced” sound through mechanical means by pumping analog audio into the passenger compartment. A dual-mode exhaust will also bypass the mufflers under hard acceleration for better performance and “better” sound.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Underpinned by the same Alpha platform as the Cadillac ATS and CTS, the new Camaro does shed some unneeded weight, but its dimensions shrink only slightly. Think of the new model as a nip-tuck job over the last generation.

GM claims the Camaro, depending on the model, will lose “200 lbs or more” mass – meaning no matter what the trim, we should expect at least a 200 lb weight reduction. We will see about that when official curb weights are published. The skeptic in me thinks this will not be the case.

The brakes bringing everything to a stop are about the same size in LT (I4/V6) models as the previous generation, but SS models see their brake disc diameters shrink from 14/14.4 inches (front/rear) to 13.6/13.3 inches (front/rear).

With a new platform also comes new suspension setups. Up front are new multi-link MacPherson strut solutions while the rear sees a new five-link independent suspension GM says reduces “squat” during hard launches. Also for the first time, the Camaro SS will be available with Magnetic Ride Control, a much welcomed enhancement over the crashy previous-gen SS suspension.

Another first for Camaro will be an assortment of driving modes, including Snow/Ice, Tour, Sport and Track settings. The latter setting is only available on SS models. The following table provided by GM outlines the different settings in each mode.

DRIVER MODE SELECTOR SETTINGS
Snow/Ice Tour Sport Track
(SS only)
Electronic throttle progression SNOW/ICE NORMAL NORMAL TRACK
Automatic trans.
shift map
NORMAL NORMAL SPORT TRACK
Automatic trans. Performance Algorithm Shift N/A N/A AVAIL. AVAIL.
Engine sound management
(if equipped with dual-mode exhaust)
STEALTH TOUR SPORT TRACK
Electric power steering calibration TOUR TOUR SPORT TRACK
StabiliTrak – Competitive Driving and Launch Control N/A N/A AVAIL. AVAIL.
Magnetic Ride Control
calibration (if equipped)
TOUR TOUR SPORT TRACK
Ambient lighting
(if equipped)
ICE BLUE BLUE RED ORANGE

An all-new, driver-focused interior in the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro features performance-optimized ergonomics, including new seats, a new, flat-bottom steering wheel and a new center console designed for easier manual-transmission shifting.

One thing needing as much attention as the “My 600-lb Life” levels of bloat was the incredibly cramped, cheap interior. Judging from the photos, the quality of materials has gone up, but issues still remain.

Those not fans of the dual-pod gauges will be pleasantly surprised. While the dual-pod hood remains, the remainder of the pods are gone. Instead, the Camaro is now available with an optional 8-inch screen in the instrument panel. In addition tonavigation and infotainment details, the screen will also provide a location for new digital performance gauges, taking them away from their previous location in front of the shifter where they were virtually useless. And, as before, another 8-inch screen will sit mid-dash.

Another improvement – and this one is quite ingenious – is a redesign of certain HVAC controls, turning them into rings around the low mounted air vents. This gives driver and passenger an easy way to make adjustments through a physical control while still saving space like the touchscreen controls used by other manufacturers.

However, there are two downsides to the new Camaro cabin. One – you won’t be doing any emergency brake induced drifting in the new-gen car thanks to its electronic parking brake. The other, and more crucial issue, is GM seems not to have done anything about visibility. With a fairly high beltline and even taller rear deck, the new Camaro continues its trend of being the worst pony car for rearward visibility.

All in all, the new Camaro has conformed to the new normal by being a more economical, lighter weight and nimbler offering. However, its execution is still decidedly traditional, providing an American coupe shape that prioritizes style over functionality.

The 2016 Camaro will be bolted together in Lansing, Michigan and goes on sale later this year.

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Autoleaks: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Revealed Ahead Of Weekend Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/autoleaks-2016-chevrolet-camaro-revealed-ahead-of-weekend-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/autoleaks-2016-chevrolet-camaro-revealed-ahead-of-weekend-debut/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 13:51:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1069058 Thanks to CNBC, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was revealed to the world ahead of its global debut Saturday at Belle Isle in Detroit. The unofficial unveiling occurred during a segment about the upcoming Camaro on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday morning, AutoGuide reports. The screencaps, captured by forum users over at GM Inside News, show the […]

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2016-Chevy-Camaro-CloseUp

Thanks to CNBC, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was revealed to the world ahead of its global debut Saturday at Belle Isle in Detroit.

The unofficial unveiling occurred during a segment about the upcoming Camaro on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday morning, AutoGuide reports. The screencaps, captured by forum users over at GM Inside News, show the front and rear profiles of two 2016 models.

Of the few other details revealed thus far, the new Camaro will receive a 6.2-liter V8 and a possible turbo-four as two options, the latter meant for battle against the Ford Mustang EcoBoost. Magnetic ride control will be available for the SS, while handling has been improved thanks to a stiffer, lighter construction. A flush belly pan is said to reduce lift by 30 percent, and optional dual exhaust will come with a number of settings, ranging from roaring track destroyer, to quiet cruiser in the city.

More will be revealed Saturday, where Chevrolet is holding a special event at Belle Isle celebrating the Camaro’s history alongside the debut of the 2016 model.

[Image credit: GM Inside News]

2016-Chevy-Camaro-CloseUp 2016-Chevy-Camaro-Main 2016-Chevy-Camaro-Rear

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Miller Motorsports Park Closing This Fall After 10 Years of Operation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/miller-motorsports-park-closing-fall-10-years-operation/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/miller-motorsports-park-closing-fall-10-years-operation/#comments Sat, 09 May 2015 14:40:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1064562 If you’ve meant to make the trip to Utah to turn some laps around Miller Motorsports Park, you might want to do it this year. The jewel of a circuit located a short drive from Salt Lake City, built to the tune of $100 million, will close October 31st. The track was a project envisioned by […]

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Miller Motorsports Park

If you’ve meant to make the trip to Utah to turn some laps around Miller Motorsports Park, you might want to do it this year. The jewel of a circuit located a short drive from Salt Lake City, built to the tune of $100 million, will close October 31st.

The track was a project envisioned by the often controversial Larry H. Miller, a Salt Lake City native and lifelong resident, businessman, and philanthropist. Miller, whose other ventures included retail, entertainment, automotive, and professional sports businesses before his death in 2009, first broke ground on the track in 2004 before it was opened two years later.

The track’s closing at the end of this racing season will mean it lasted only 10 years.

The Larry H. Miller Group, the company that operates Miller Motorsports Park, does not own the land on which the race track is built; instead, it is leased to the group by Tooele County. The group will not be renewing the lease with the county, effectively shutting it down. All assets at the 511-acre site will also return to the county.

“On behalf of my family, I would like to thank all of those who have supported the track over the years, both locally and worldwide, for their enthusiasm and use of the facility,” Larry H. Miller Group owner Gail Miller said in a statement released by the organization.

Not all hope is lost for the facility. County commissioners are now tasked with looking for someone or a group to take over the facility and the Miller Group has said they’d assist in the process.

“It was part of our conversation this afternoon,” said Tooele County Commissioner Shawn Milne to Deseret News. “They have assured us and we are faithful that there will be a smooth transition.”

Scheduled events will continue uninterrupted this summer. An all-day opening party is set for next weekend.

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Luxury Brands Doing Well On The Back Of Lower-End Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-brands-well-back-lower-end-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-brands-well-back-lower-end-models/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 19:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1061074 Want to know why Mercedes, Audi, Lexus and all of the other luxury players are doing so well these days? Because of less-costly, lower-end luxury models. The low-end models, whose starting base prices are between $31,000 and $35,000, are pulling in new customers who desire the status a given badge conveys, USA Today reports. Edmunds.com […]

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2014-CLA-CLASS-COUPE-GALLERY-023-WR-D

Want to know why Mercedes, Audi, Lexus and all of the other luxury players are doing so well these days? Because of less-costly, lower-end luxury models.

The low-end models, whose starting base prices are between $31,000 and $35,000, are pulling in new customers who desire the status a given badge conveys, USA Today reports. Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell explains:

Luxury sales have increased as products have become affordable to a wider audience. Of late, luxury car brands have focused on the lower end of the price spectrum, introducing models such as the Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1 and Porsche Macan, which are slotted below existing popular SUVs on the price spectrum.

Caldwell adds leasing is also helping bolster the luxury brands’ high status, as most of their offerings are leased. Those who’d rather own their low-end luxury ride opt for long-term financing with low interest rates, with payments spread out over several years.

The brands’ consumer base is also varied. Kelley Blue Book analyst Akshay Anand said buyers were coming from every corner, “especially as Millennials start to create more wealth for themselves and continue to be as aspirational as ever,” helped by an improving economy.

[Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz]

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Honda Civic Hatch “Near Identical” To NY Coupe Concept, Will Get Hybrid http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/honda-civic-hatch-near-identical-ny-coupe-concept-will-get-hybrid/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/honda-civic-hatch-near-identical-ny-coupe-concept-will-get-hybrid/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 10:59:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1058010 If a report from Britain’s AutoExpress is to be believed, the front clip of the next-generation Honda Civic hatchback – due to arrive in North America for the first time since 2000 (in non-Si form) – will look “near identical” to the Civic Coupe concept revealed in New York. Head of Honda UK, Philip Crossman, […]

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Civic Concept

If a report from Britain’s AutoExpress is to be believed, the front clip of the next-generation Honda Civic hatchback – due to arrive in North America for the first time since 2000 (in non-Si form) – will look “near identical” to the Civic Coupe concept revealed in New York.

Head of Honda UK, Philip Crossman, told the UK outlet the next Civic hatchback will only differ from the coupe at the rear third of the car and all sheetmetal fore of that will be the same. In addition to a coupe, sedan, and hatchback, AutoExpress also posits a new Tourer model will likely be available, though we can’t see this version of the Civic coming to our shores.

The Civic will ride on a common architecture for both European and North American models. Under hood will be a brand new drivetrain with a hybrid version available later.

“We’ll come back with a class-leading hybrid powertrain in the next five years,” said Crossman, “and it’s likely to make as much impact as the VTEC valve system.”

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2016 Cadillac CTS-V Undercuts BMW M5 by $10,000, On Sale This Summer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2016-cadillac-cts-v-undercuts-bmw-m5-10000-sale-summer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2016-cadillac-cts-v-undercuts-bmw-m5-10000-sale-summer/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:09:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1056466 Cadillac has announced its next V-Series model will sport more than just big horsepower numbers when the third-generation CTS-V arrives to do battle with its German competition. Following the launch of the brand-new ATS-V coupe and sedan this spring, deliveries of the larger CTS-V sedan will begin this summer with a base price of $83,995 before taxes and […]

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2016 Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac has announced its next V-Series model will sport more than just big horsepower numbers when the third-generation CTS-V arrives to do battle with its German competition.

Following the launch of the brand-new ATS-V coupe and sedan this spring, deliveries of the larger CTS-V sedan will begin this summer with a base price of $83,995 before taxes and destination. Dealers are accepting orders now for the 640 horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged V8-powered full-size Cadillac that’s capable of getting to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 200 mph.

With that price, the new Caddy undercuts the BMW M5 by nearly $10,000 while offering up more horsepower and torque, making it a performance bargain in the segment. Whether its any good versus the M5 is yet to be seen.

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Study: Millennials Love Cars, Not So Much EVs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/study-millennials-love-cars-not-much-evs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/study-millennials-love-cars-not-much-evs/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1056274 Per a new study by Continental AG, millennials love cars as much as they love iPhones, so long as their rides aren’t electrified. The biennial Continental Mobility Study found in 2015 that 84 percent of those between ages 16 and 25 state that driving matters greatly to them, with 76 percent of the group driving […]

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Kia Soul with Lyftstache Circa September 2013

Per a new study by Continental AG, millennials love cars as much as they love iPhones, so long as their rides aren’t electrified.

The biennial Continental Mobility Study found in 2015 that 84 percent of those between ages 16 and 25 state that driving matters greatly to them, with 76 percent of the group driving their vehicles every day, AutoGuide reports.

Regarding the aforementioned iPhones, consumer electronics still rule over the group, as 91 percent placed a high importance on their smartphones, tablets et al. When it comes to automakers bringing that experience to their offerings, 73 percent stated they would like a connected vehicle. However, Continental AG board member Helmut Matschi cautions automakers to take a shotgun approach to implementing said tech, with data security being at the top of the list.

Ownership matters to all who were surveyed: 94 percent said they owned their vehicles, while only 1 percent preferred to use car-sharing services. The figure follows a similar trend in Europe, where 83 percent surveyed also stated that they own their cars. Matschi said he was “a bit surprised” at the outcome, thinking behavioral changes should have occurred by now, but that both young and older drivers alike “see driving as sustainable and fun.” Industry experts add that 65 million millennials will buy a vehicle over the next five years, fueling technological advancements in connectivity and autonomy in so doing.

One of those behaviors – going for greener, electrified motoring solutions – isn’t highly regarded among the group, let alone among all those who were surveyed by the supplier. While 71 percent of all Americans surveyed found EVs did wonders for the environment, only 31 percent said EVs were a joy to drive, 38 percent loved their designs, and 27 percent believed they were sporty.

Going from bad to worse for EV proponents, 21 percent of 31- to 59-year-olds said they thought EVs were a viable solution for transportation, while 24 percent of 16- to 30-year-olds stated they would use an EV to get around over the next decade.

The 2015 edition of the Continental Mobility Study contacted 2,300 non-drivers and 400 drivers in the U.S. for representative and qualitative sampling respectively during the second half of 2014.

[Photo credit: Raido/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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New Mazdaspeed3 Speculated For Frankfurt Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-mazdaspeed3-speculated-frankfurt-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-mazdaspeed3-speculated-frankfurt-debut/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 00:43:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1055817 Fans of the Mazdaspeed3 may soon rejoice, as speculation points to a new version of the high-performance hatch debuting in Frankfurt this September. The new Mazdaspeed3 – Mazda3 MPS in Australia – will turn up as a concept before quickly entering production, Motoring.com.au reports. Power is expected to come from a 2.5-liter turbo-four unit capable […]

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Fans of the Mazdaspeed3 may soon rejoice, as speculation points to a new version of the high-performance hatch debuting in Frankfurt this September.

The new Mazdaspeed3 – Mazda3 MPS in Australia – will turn up as a concept before quickly entering production, Motoring.com.au reports. Power is expected to come from a 2.5-liter turbo-four unit capable of 295 horsepower – which will also motivate the new CX-9 set to make its world debut later this year in Los Angeles — with AWD as a possible feature.

For those waiting for the next Mazdaspeed6, the publication’s sources point to 2017 as the earliest the high-performance sedan would arrive; the aforementioned turbo-four and AWD system would also find its way here.

Meanwhile, Mazda has plans to have four crossovers in the lineup with the addition of a reborn midsize CX-7 and its third-row seating, taking its place alongside the subcompact CX-3, compact CX-5 and fullsize CX-9. The CX-7 would debut after the new CX-9.

[Photo credit: Mazda]

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General Motors Doing Well In Midsize Truck Segment, Success May Not Last http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/general-motors-well-midsize-truck-segment-success-may-not-last/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/general-motors-well-midsize-truck-segment-success-may-not-last/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1052369 General Motors’ return to the midsize truck segment has done wonders for the automaker and the market, but skeptics aren’t sure how long that will last. Ever since the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins left for the showroom last fall, the segment has grown to over 2 percent of the overall U.S. new-vehicle market […]

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2015 Chevrolet Colorado front side 2

General Motors’ return to the midsize truck segment has done wonders for the automaker and the market, but skeptics aren’t sure how long that will last.

Ever since the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins left for the showroom last fall, the segment has grown to over 2 percent of the overall U.S. new-vehicle market from 1.4 percent last summer, Reuters reports. Industry execs add that as many as 500,000 midsize pickups could be sold this year, double what was sold in 2014.

However, IHS Automotive analyst Tom Libby found that 9 out of 10 Colorado and Canyon owners traded in other GM cars and trucks for the smaller pickups, with over 16 percent coming from ownership of Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras alone. Libby warns this could be a sign of undercutting of sales of models with higher margins.

GM execs and dealers, on the other hand, are happy with the midsize twins. GM President Dan Ammann called the duo a “very good investment,” while GMC’s director of marketing, Rich Latek, says the midsize segment as a whole is “a sleeper segment with huge opportunity.” AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson adds the Colorado and Canyon happen to have been the right trucks to come at the right time to give the segment a shot in the arm.

The party may not last for the duo, though. LMC Automotive notes that the segment would hold at 2 percent for this year, then slip back down by 2020. Meanwhile, the twins would fizzle out from projected sales of 74,000 for the Colorado and 29,500 for the Canyon this year, falling 8.4 percent and 21 percent over the next five years.

[Photo credit: Blake Z. Rong/The Truth About Cars]

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Kia GT Concept Closer To Becoming Production-Ready http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/kia-gt-concept-closer-becoming-production-ready/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/kia-gt-concept-closer-becoming-production-ready/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 10:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1039233 Over three years ago, the Kia GT concept made its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. Soon, however, the four-door coupe could hit the production line. According to Drive.com.au, Kia America product planning chief Orth Hedrick is very close to being production-ready, and would likely fare well in North America despite the distance in […]

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Over three years ago, the Kia GT concept made its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. Soon, however, the four-door coupe could hit the production line.

According to Drive.com.au, Kia America product planning chief Orth Hedrick is very close to being production-ready, and would likely fare well in North America despite the distance in time because it is a sedan, and because of its “younger, more emotional message to the market”:

I think for us the GT is a sedan so it has a lot broader appeal than a two-door coupe. They don’t do well here. They do really, really good for 18 months and then they really fall off. You can get just as much emotional experience in a sedan, a more practical car, than a coupe. But it communicates something very, very clear to market with a coupe in your line-up.

Hedrick adds that the announcement officially confirming the GT’s production would come soon. The concept is powered by a turbocharged V6, with the rear wheels doing the driving.

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New York 2015: Honda Civic Type R Coming To America http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-honda-civic-type-r-coming-america/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-honda-civic-type-r-coming-america/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:57:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1036473 It has happened: The United States will finally get its Honda Civic Type R. AutoGuide reports the announcement was made during the unveiling of the 2015 Honda Civic Coupe Concept, though the date of arrival is still not yet known. Our Type-R will likely be built on an all-new platform, whereas the recently unveiled Type-R […]

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It has happened: The United States will finally get its Honda Civic Type R.

AutoGuide reports the announcement was made during the unveiling of the 2015 Honda Civic Coupe Concept, though the date of arrival is still not yet known. Our Type-R will likely be built on an all-new platform, whereas the recently unveiled Type-R is a swan song for the current car, which has more in common with our Fit than the next Civic.

The Type R gets its power from a VTEC 2-liter turbo-four making 305 horsepower, and can leave the line from nil to 62 in 5.7 seconds.

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New York 2015: Subaru STI Performance Concept Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-subaru-sti-performance-concept-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-subaru-sti-performance-concept-unveiled/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:33:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1035681 The BRZ of a few enthusiasts’ dreams, the Subaru STI Performance Concept was revealed at the 2015 New York Auto Show. Power for the performance division’s showcase comes from a 2-liter flat-four made for the Subaru BRZ Super GT race car, pumping out 350 horsepower to the back. Aggressive aero, braking, exhaust and chassis upgrades, […]

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The BRZ of a few enthusiasts’ dreams, the Subaru STI Performance Concept was revealed at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

Power for the performance division’s showcase comes from a 2-liter flat-four made for the Subaru BRZ Super GT race car, pumping out 350 horsepower to the back. Aggressive aero, braking, exhaust and chassis upgrades, and suspension enhancements complete the package.

As for whether or not the BRZ itself will get an STI variant, no word has been officially been given beyond a confirmation that more STI models overall will come into the USDM family.

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New York 2015: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-club-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-2016-mazda-mx-5-miata-club-unveiled/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:15:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1035073 For those looking for a track-day special that can driven to the track, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club just might be what you need. Performance upgrades found in the Club model include limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, and shock tower brace, but only if one opts for the six-speed manual. Those who choose the six-speed […]

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Mazda North American Operations MX5Club

For those looking for a track-day special that can driven to the track, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club just might be what you need.

Performance upgrades found in the Club model include limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, and shock tower brace, but only if one opts for the six-speed manual. Those who choose the six-speed auto will only have 17-inch gunmetal wheels, front air dam and rear lip spoilers going for them.

An additional package — pulling from the MX-5 Global Cup race car — adds Brembo brakes, functional side aero, and swaps the standard wheels for 17-inch black BBS forged alloys.

Other features include Mazda Connect, seatback bars, and piano black side mirrors.

Pricing and other details will arrive closer to the MX-5 Miata’s showroom debut this summer.

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Dodge Adds 1,000 Hellcats To The Assembly Line http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/dodge-adds-1000-hellcats-assembly-line/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/dodge-adds-1000-hellcats-assembly-line/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1032625 Not too long ago, Dodge had to curb new orders from dealers for both the Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats. As of now, 1,000 more on on their way. According to Jalopnik, an anonymous source relayed the news to Hellcat.org forum, though how many of each was not mentioned: For those of you still waiting […]

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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Not too long ago, Dodge had to curb new orders from dealers for both the Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats. As of now, 1,000 more on on their way.

According to Jalopnik, an anonymous source relayed the news to Hellcat.org forum, though how many of each was not mentioned:

For those of you still waiting on your VIN’s, you just may be receiving a nice little surprise in the coming days. An anonymous source tipped us this morning and said that Dodge has just scheduled an additional 1,000 SRT Hellcat’s to be built. Of those 1,000 new schedules, we did not receive any hard numbers on how many were Challengers or Chargers, but it’s definitely a huge step in the right direction and looks like Dodge is listening.

Right now, 2,200 Hellcats left the assembly line since early March. The duo have proven to be popular among those plunking down over $60,000 for the opportunity to wrangle the 707-horsepower monsters, with dealers taking so many orders that the brand had to tell them to stop until the current orders were fulfilled.

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New York 2015: Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Edition Set To Bow http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nyias-2015-mazda-mx-5-miata-club-edition-set-bow/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nyias-2015-mazda-mx-5-miata-club-edition-set-bow/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1029737 Coming next week, Mazda will unveil its most aggressive version of the new MX-5 Miata when it brings the MX-5 Miata Club Edition to New York. Though little information was given about what the Club Edition will bring to the party, Mazda says the model will amplify the driving experience already found in the standard […]

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Coming next week, Mazda will unveil its most aggressive version of the new MX-5 Miata when it brings the MX-5 Miata Club Edition to New York.

Though little information was given about what the Club Edition will bring to the party, Mazda says the model will amplify the driving experience already found in the standard model, “harking back to the early lightweight sports cars that inspired it, but serving as a beacon for the future as a thoroughly modern, sophisticated package.”

Speculation points to the Accessories Design Concept from the 2015 Chicago Auto Show for inspiration, as well as the current Club Edition, including black wheels, limited-slip differential, and an appearance package.

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Reithofer: Government Programs Key To BMW i3 Success http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/reithofer-government-programs-key-bmw-i3-success/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/reithofer-government-programs-key-bmw-i3-success/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1028841 BMW’s i3’s success is helped by a number of government incentives in a few of the automaker’s key markets, according to CEO Norbert Reithofer. According to Automotive News Europe, Reithofer said that sales figures for the i3 are connected to political initiatives toward electric mobility, adding that when those initiatives are there, “the registration figures […]

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2015 BMW i3 Range Extender Exterior-007

BMW’s i3’s success is helped by a number of government incentives in a few of the automaker’s key markets, according to CEO Norbert Reithofer.

According to Automotive News Europe, Reithofer said that sales figures for the i3 are connected to political initiatives toward electric mobility, adding that when those initiatives are there, “the registration figures for the BMW i3 soar.”

The CEO cited Norway as an example, where the government not only has a charging infrastructure where owners can park and recharge for free, but does not levy sales or registration taxes on EVs. Those incentives have helped BMW move 2,000 i3s in 2014.

Meanwhile, significant financial subsidies in the United States, as well as privileges such as use of dedicated HOV lanes, led to sales of 3,000 units in California alone, a figure that is half of all i3s sold in the U.S.

Other incentives include looser licensing restrictions in Shanghai, circulation tax exemptions for 10 years from date of first registration in Germany, and company car tax exemptions for life in France.

Speaking of Germany, where 2,000 i3s were sold in 2014, Reithofer said his country’s government needs to “pick up the pace” in pushing electric mobility. Germany wants 1 million EVs on its roads by 2020, and has plans to offer additional incentives to achieve its goal.

In the meantime, BMW will introduce its DriveNow car-sharing service this spring, beginning in London. San Francisco will be the first U.S. city in the program by May, while the German cities of Hamburg, Berlin and Munich will join in July. The program is meant to help boost acceptance of electrification, and widening the tech’s appeal among younger drivers.

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How Cars Work, Engineering Explained http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cars-work-engineering-explained/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cars-work-engineering-explained/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1027145 Jason Fenske is a mechanical engineer with a degree from NC State. A car enthusiast, after a number of times explaining how cars worked to his girlfriend, with the encouragement of friends he set up the EngineeringExplained website to explain to the general public how cars, and other mechanical devices like turbine engines and jet-skis, work. […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

Jason Fenske is a mechanical engineer with a degree from NC State. A car enthusiast, after a number of times explaining how cars worked to his girlfriend, with the encouragement of friends he set up the EngineeringExplained website to explain to the general public how cars, and other mechanical devices like turbine engines and jet-skis, work.

I first found out about Fenske with his YouTube video on how automotive mufflers work, and if you click on the Lessons link at his website you will find an extensive selection of educational videos ranging from the differences between two and four stroke internal combustion engines to explaining the traction circle, a mathematical representation of how much grip your tires have. Fenske is a natural teacher, presenting technically accurate information in a simple and easy to understand manner that both car enthusiasts and complete mechanical novices will find worthwhile. The videos are not glitzy or high tech, just Fenske, a whiteboard and some car parts, but he does as good of a job explaining how cars work as I’ve come across.

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Toyota Returning To WRC With 2017 Yaris, Homologation Special Planned http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/toyota-returning-wrc-2017-yaris-homologation-special-planned/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/toyota-returning-wrc-2017-yaris-homologation-special-planned/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1027441 Find the Toyota Yaris a bit ho-hum? Thanks to FIA’s homologation rules for the World Rally Championship series, it soon won’t be. Motoring.au reports that Toyota’s return to WRC in 2017 after a near-two-decade absence will be pinned upon the second-gen Yaris/Vitz, set to hit showrooms for the 2016 model year. That beast will be […]

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Find the Toyota Yaris a bit ho-hum? Thanks to FIA’s homologation rules for the World Rally Championship series, it soon won’t be.

Motoring.au reports that Toyota’s return to WRC in 2017 after a near-two-decade absence will be pinned upon the second-gen Yaris/Vitz, set to hit showrooms for the 2016 model year. That beast will be driven by a 1.6-liter turbo-four pushing above 300 horsepower to all corners, and is undergoing testing in Europe as of this writing.

Speaking of Europe, that is where the 2,500 homologated versions of the Yaris WRC will likely turn up in order for the automaker to be able to compete two years from now. However, power for the homologated model will come from the Lexus NX 200t’s 2-liter turbo-four, capable of 235 horses and 258 lb-ft torque. The power would be directed by a six-speed manual.

Whether the Yaris WRC will be seen elsewhere is not for certain. Those in Europe who are lucky to get their hands on one will pay around €33,900 ($36,650 USD) for the honor, the same price for Volkswagen’s own WRC entrant, the Polo R.

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Sixth-Gen Chevrolet Camaro To Be Revealed Mid-May In Detroit http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/sixth-gen-chevrolet-camaro-revealed-mid-may-detroit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/sixth-gen-chevrolet-camaro-revealed-mid-may-detroit/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023905 Want to see the sixth-gen Chevrolet Camaro? You’ll have to wait until mid-May, when Chevrolet reveals the vehicle in Detroit. The brand is inviting 1,000 fans to witness the unveiling in Belle Isle, which also includes a meet-and-greet with those behind the new Camaro, Camaro-only parking for owners, hot laps in a 2015 Z/28 around […]

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Want to see the sixth-gen Chevrolet Camaro? You’ll have to wait until mid-May, when Chevrolet reveals the vehicle in Detroit.

The brand is inviting 1,000 fans to witness the unveiling in Belle Isle, which also includes a meet-and-greet with those behind the new Camaro, Camaro-only parking for owners, hot laps in a 2015 Z/28 around the course that will host the Belle Isle Grand Prix in late May, and a display of vehicles from nearly 50 years of the car’s existence.

The catch? One must register online to attend the free event, with priority given to Camaro owners.

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Dodge Restricting New Hellcat Orders Until Older Orders Are Fulfilled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/dodge-restricting-new-hellcat-orders-older-orders-fulfilled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/dodge-restricting-new-hellcat-orders-older-orders-fulfilled/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023097 Clamoring for a Dodge Challenger or Charger Hellcat? You’ll have to take a number to order one, as the brand is restricting new orders until it catches up. MotorAuthority reports the brand is doing this because so many customers want to throw down behind the wheel of the 707-horsepower, $60,000-plus boulevard bombers. Per a representative: […]

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2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Clamoring for a Dodge Challenger or Charger Hellcat? You’ll have to take a number to order one, as the brand is restricting new orders until it catches up.

MotorAuthority reports the brand is doing this because so many customers want to throw down behind the wheel of the 707-horsepower, $60,000-plus boulevard bombers. Per a representative:

Due to unprecedented demand for the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats, we are temporarily restricting orders while we validate current orders that are in the system.

As of now, over 9,000 orders have been placed for the Hellcats; over 2,200 have been delivered thus far.

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Geneva 2015: Aston Martin Vulcan Revealed Prior To Global Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-aston-martin-vulcan-revealed-prior-global-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-aston-martin-vulcan-revealed-prior-global-debut/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008130 Twenty-four well-heeled gentleman drivers will soon pilot their own Aston Martin Vulcan, the automaker’s newest track-only machine. Power for the Vulcan comes from a naturally aspirated 7-liter V12 pumping over 800 horsepower to the back via a rear mid-mounted Xtrac six-speed sequential-shift transmission. Other features include extensive use of carbon fiber, Brembo racing calipers mounted […]

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Aston Martin Vulcan_01

Twenty-four well-heeled gentleman drivers will soon pilot their own Aston Martin Vulcan, the automaker’s newest track-only machine.

Power for the Vulcan comes from a naturally aspirated 7-liter V12 pumping over 800 horsepower to the back via a rear mid-mounted Xtrac six-speed sequential-shift transmission. Other features include extensive use of carbon fiber, Brembo racing calipers mounted over carbon ceramic discs, race-spec Michelin tires, driver-adjustable anti-lock braking, variable traction control, and a power-to-weight ratio surpassing those found in FIA GTE cars.

Before the 24 fortunate owners take delivery of their FIA-certified Vulcans, they will offered a chance to gain some seat time behind the wheels of Aston Martin’s other road and track offerings — like the V12 Vantage S, One-77 and Vantage GT4 — in an intensive training program. Per special projects and motorsports chief David King, the 24 will then have the opportunity to take part in a series of track days in 2016 “on some of the world’s most famous and glamorous race circuits.”

The Vulcan is set to officially bow at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show next week before making its track debut later in the year, and was produced in a partnership with Multimatic, who will also be in charge of assembling the Ford GT next year.

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Volvo S60, V60 Polestar Enter Second Run, Middle East For 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/volvo-s60-v60-polestar-enter-second-run-middle-east-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/volvo-s60-v60-polestar-enter-second-run-middle-east-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1007730 Been wanting a Volvo S60 or V60 Polestar? The Sino-Swedish automaker is making a second batch for 2015, with 13 countries to take delivery this time. Volvo plans to make 750 S60 and V60 Polestars this year for the 2016 model year, citing the performance vehicles’ sales success in 2014 for the second production run. […]

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Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar, model year 2016

Been wanting a Volvo S60 or V60 Polestar? The Sino-Swedish automaker is making a second batch for 2015, with 13 countries to take delivery this time.

Volvo plans to make 750 S60 and V60 Polestars this year for the 2016 model year, citing the performance vehicles’ sales success in 2014 for the second production run.

Meanwhile, the Middle East will see some of the blue Volvos on its roads this year, as Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates are the newest additions to the list of markets the automaker sells its high-performance wares, which currently include Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

As for what they’ll receive, the Polestars feature power from a turbocharged 3-liter I6 pushing 345 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque through a Polestar-calibrated paddle-shifted six-speed automatic to the vehicle’s Haldex four-wheel drive system. The S60 goes from nil to 60 in 4.7 seconds, while the V60 does it in 4.8 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph, and Brembo brakes stop the 20-inch wheels — shod in Michelin Pilot Super Sports — before any moose are hit. Price of admission in the U.S. starts at around $60,000.

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Geneva 2015: New Honda Civic Type R Drifts Through Video Before Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-new-honda-civic-type-r-drifts-video-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-new-honda-civic-type-r-drifts-video-debut/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006770 Though set to appear next month in Geneva, the Honda Civic Type R drifted through a video showing a few of the automaker’s latest and greatest. Per Autoblog, the video, titled “Keep Up,” shows the hot hatch drifting across the screen for one second in the 55-second video, which also showed Honda’s HondaJet, Jazz and […]

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Though set to appear next month in Geneva, the Honda Civic Type R drifted through a video showing a few of the automaker’s latest and greatest.

Per Autoblog, the video, titled “Keep Up,” shows the hot hatch drifting across the screen for one second in the 55-second video, which also showed Honda’s HondaJet, Jazz and ASIMO products, all with words of encouragement rapidly flashing over the desert environment.

Power for the Type R is a 2-liter VTEC turbo-four pushing 280 to 300 horsepower to the front wheels, and was recently teased to have round foglamps, as opposed to the video’s bladed LEDs.

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Tesla Hitting Sales Roadblock In China http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/tesla-hitting-sales-roadblock-china/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/tesla-hitting-sales-roadblock-china/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1003778 Tesla’s Apple aspirations may have its detractors, but the automaker’s ongoing problems in China are likely to do more harm than said detractors. Forbes reports Tesla’s China operations are closing 2014 on a down note, having brought over 444 units in December compared to 747 in November. Further, 45 percent of all Teslas have yet […]

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Tesla’s Apple aspirations may have its detractors, but the automaker’s ongoing problems in China are likely to do more harm than said detractors.

Forbes reports Tesla’s China operations are closing 2014 on a down note, having brought over 444 units in December compared to 747 in November. Further, 45 percent of all Teslas have yet to be registered with local authorities, and therefore, have yet to legally hit the road. The country also accounted for 15 percent of the automaker’s global sales in 2014.

The issue is the brand’s cachet with Chinese consumers, who bought the Model S because of its trendiness, not because it’s better for the environment. Thus, Tesla’s popularity will last as long as the next trendy vehicle from a competing luxury automaker.

CEO Elon Musk’s current solution? Fire or demote those “not on a clear path to positive long-term cash flow.” The publication says this approach will only “erode his power base and credibility,” aspects he needs to maintain if he intends to keep to the path of long-term sustainable growth and stability.

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