Category: Future Vehicles

By on December 9, 2016

Normal, Illinois (Ross Griff/Flickr)

An abandoned assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, could once again become a beehive of car-building activity.

Opened in 1988 as a collaborative effort between Chrysler and Mitsubishi, the plant served as headquarters for a great 1980s corporate relic — Diamond-Star Motors. In its heyday, the facility dutifully cranked out Plymouth Lasers, Mitsubishi Eclipses, and Eagle Talons, before Chrysler lost interest in the 50-50 deal.

Turned over to Mitsubishi in 1995, the plant soldiered on after Diamond-Star Motors bit the dust. What followed was a parade of forgettable nameplates — Mitsubishi Mirage, Eagle Summit, even the Dodge Stratus Coupe — before a final shutdown earlier this year eliminated the last of 1,250 jobs and production of the Outlander Sport.

Now, the 2.4 million square foot plant could soon be home to a shadowy new tenant. Read More >

By on December 9, 2016

BYD_Line-up_2015

The recent Guangzhou Auto Show in China was a reflection of everything stereotypical about the Chinese car market: Chinese OEM clones of European vehicles, North American and European legacy platforms resurrected into new China-only models, wacky supercars from unknown Chinese OEMs, stretched European executive sedans, and weird electric vehicles.

The only major North American press headline from the show was bold: “Five New Electric Cars from China, World’s Largest EV Market.” I never saw China as a leader in electric vehicles. However, green car publications like CleanTechnica have stated China is the world’s largest EV market for almost two years now.

What’s the real story behind China’s EV market? There’s both truth and lies in these headlines.

Read More >

By on December 9, 2016

2017 Skoda Kodiaq rear

Volkswagen AG’s Škoda subsidiary claims it’s interested in bringing the value-packed Czech brand to the U.S., even going as far as copyrighting model names, but the powers that be in Wolfsburg couldn’t hate the idea more.

According to comments published by Automobile Magazine, Volkswagen execs want nothing to do with the idea of a stateside Škoda. It looks like the surging brand’s parent company is prepared to kill the dream for good. Read More >

By on December 8, 2016

1978-jeep-wagoneer

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has high hopes for the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer and its ability to challenge Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz for premium SUV buyers. The proposed model’s $140,000 price ceiling keeps FCA execs up at night in giddy anticipation.

However, there’s a problem: Before FCA hoists that sparkling and lucrative cherry atop its Jeep sundae, it first needs to build the damn thing, and that’s easier said than done.

Which is why the Grand Wagoneer — the three-row ultra-lux SUV that Lee Iacocca could only dream of — is on hold. Read More >

By on December 7, 2016

opel-insignia-grand-sport-304401

General Motors’ European subsidiary Opel has pulled the wraps off its next-generation Insignia flagship, giving us a damn good preview of the next Buick Regal.

Lower, longer and wider in the grand American tradition, the 2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport should premier at the Geneva Motor Show in March, shortly before GM reveals its stateside twin — the 2018 Regal — in New York. That model, we’re told, should arrive with greater powertrain and body style choice than before.

Will the redesign breathe new life into Buick’s overlooked midsizer? Read More >

By on December 6, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

You don’t just develop a multi-cog transmission with your longstanding rival and not use it.

With that in mind, General Motors has big short-term plans for the nine-speed automatic it co-developed with Ford Motor Company. Already announced as uplevel equipment in three models, GM plans to spread the nine-speed love to a total of 10 models within a year. Read More >

By on December 2, 2016

2018 Toyota Camry (Image: Toyota)

Midsize cars just don’t excite like they used to. North American buyers have happily made the switch to voluminous crossovers and SUVs, turning the once top-ranked segment into a raisin on the vine.

Toyota hopes to change that, announcing that next month’s North American International Auto Show will reveal the next generation of the first midsizer off anyone’s lips — Camry. Perhaps realizing that name recognition and safe styling is no longer a surefire plan for sales dominance, the automaker has scheduled its uber-sensible sedan for an image makeover. Read More >

By on December 1, 2016

Untitled

We’ve got a pretty clear picture of what the upcoming Kia GT sports sedan will look like (thanks to this pretty clear picture of a pre-production model), but Kia wants us to look inside.

In advance of the model’s unveiling, the Korean automaker hopes to boost cardiac BPMs by releasing a high-RPM video of the model on Germany’s famed Nürburgring. Read More >

By on November 29, 2016

Fo

The next-generation Ford Fiesta had its coming out party at a corporate event in Cologne, Germany today, and there’s no mistaking the updated B-segment runabout.

Ford clearly wasn’t willing to mess with the exterior too much, but changes abound on the 2018 model year Fiesta. That includes an industry-first advancement made to its available three-cylinder motor. Read More >

By on November 29, 2016

2018 Kia GT

A photo of what looks like a pre-production Kia GT was leaked to the interwebs today, revealing the upcoming premium midsize tapped to carry the brand’s performance torch.

Bowing next year as a 2018 model, Kia’s rear-wheel-drive sports sedan faces an uphill battle against a well-established competition, changing consumer preferences, and itself. Read More >

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