Category: Product Planning

By on November 23, 2015

2017 Hyundai Elantra at 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show (2015 LAAS)

Shortly after the debut of its Avante brother in South Korea, the Elantra was revealed for the first time in North America last week at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Going into its sixth generation, the Elantra looks offer even more in its class with the addition of new safety kit and technology that makes even class-above vehicles blush.

But, even though the new Elantra is much improved over the outgoing model in almost every conceivable way, it’s hard not to think it looks a bit, well, familiar.

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By on November 23, 2015

2017 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover

It didn’t take long after the North American debut of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 for people to ask, “What’s next?” for the crossover-starved luxury brand.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen told Automotive News that the next Caddy crossover will come in two years and would likely slot below the XT5, in terms of name — but not necessarily in terms of size.

Cadillac’s next crossover, the XT4, will likely go on sale in 2018 with a bigger, three-row crossover coming one year later to bookend the XT5. The battleship-sized Escalade will remain, and a smaller, subcompact crossover could arrive at the end of the decade to give the brand a full range to offer a crossover-crazed market.  Read More >

By on November 16, 2015


After officially giving the Mazda2 its North America reveal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in January, Mazda Canada announced, nearly 10 months later, it will not sell the subcompact hatchback in the country.

“Following a thorough evaluation of the B-car segment, Mazda Canada has decided not to launch the new generation Mazda2 in Canada,” Mazda Canada said in a statement released Monday.

Instead, the company will focus on its CX lineup, including the CX-3, CX-5 and new, upcoming CX-9 to be revealed for the first time this week in Los Angeles.

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By on November 12, 2015

2016 Ford Focus RS

There may be a quicker one coming.

That’s if you believe what Autocar reported Thursday. According to the British publication, Ford engineers in Europe are already be whispering there could be a lighter, quicker version of the 2016 Ford Focus RS coming. Engineers are reportedly aiming for a sub-4 second 0-60 run.

The increased performance won’t come by way of a bigger engine however — the laws of thermodynamics in cramped spaces preclude a bigger bolt-on snail, apparently — but rather the ol’ Colin Chapman route: adding more lightness. Read More >

By on November 12, 2015

Nissan IDS Concept

Nissan may soon be the next guest to arrive with its own take on semi- and fully autonomous driving, but the Leaf won’t be the one to carry the torch.

Though Nissan’s Intelligent Driving autonomous concept from this year’s Tokyo Auto Show resembles a future-forward Leaf, and while the automaker is using Leafs to test its form of semi- and fully autonomous driving, Green Car Reports says the first version of Nissan’s Piloted Driving will appear in a luxury model when the rollout begins next year in Japan.

For markets such as China and the United States, an Infiniti may be the first to bring the tech over to each country’s respective shores.

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By on November 11, 2015


I guess I cover the reverse trike beat here at TTAC.

It started with a post about a Chinese death trap three-wheeler I’d seen advertised. In the comments to that post, one of our readers suggested looking into the Elio project. We’ve done that a few times since then, including an exclusive review of one of their prototypes. Because of our coverage of Elio Motors, a group of Elio deposit holders who have become disenchanted by continued production delays asked us to consider their charges. While it’s true that I’m in what may be a minority of automotive writers that don’t think Elio is a scam, I’m not naive. There are ample reasons for skepticism and we take the word truth in our title seriously, so Mark Stevenson and I looked into the critics’ complaints and we both decided they were adding nothing new to issues raised by Elio’s critics before.

However, I do keep tabs on their Facebook group, which is how I found out about Arcimoto, a Eugene, Oregon company that hopes to put their highway capable electric reverse trike in production by the end of next year with a starting price of $11,900. Read More >

By on November 3, 2015

MY16 Hyundai Tucson

Reuters reported Tuesday that Hyundai will spin off Genesis as a global premium brand to compete with German automakers such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi. The news agency quoted sources “close” to the company and said an announcement could come as early as Tuesday.

Hyundai didn’t comment on the report.

According to Reuters, Hyundai would launch Genesis with the Genesis sedan — and possibly coupe — and the Equus sedan. Genesis would add a mid-size SUV around 2019.

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By on October 28, 2015


During a call to discuss its third-quarter financial results, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne hinted that the automaker may launch a Ram-branded large SUV to compete with Ford’s Expedition and General Motors’ Suburban/Yukon XL.

The battleship segment is “the near-exclusive use of some others. We have a reasonable chance of getting at least part of that market,” Marchionne said, according to Automotive News.

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By on October 20, 2015

Scion LAAS Teaser

If history is any indication, North American consumers may get their first look at the Scion C-HR at the New York Auto Show in April 2016.

Autoblog confirmed Tuesday that Toyota would show off its production-ready cute ‘ute next March at the Geneva Auto Show. Last month, Scion teased a concept it would be showing in Los Angeles next month, widely considered to be the C-HR in Scion clothes. Both announcements may mean that the C-HR is following a pattern started by the Scion iM.

In 2014, Scion showed off an “iM Concept” in Los Angeles before taking the wraps off the production version in April 2015 at the New York Auto Show.

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By on October 15, 2015

Volvo Cars' vision of an electric future

Volvo announced Thursday that it would make an all-electric car available by 2019 and offer more plug-in hybrid versions of its cars sooner, starting with the S90. Volvo already sells a plug-in hybrid version of its XC90 SUV.

The automaker’s announced plans follow news that it would make a compact crossover by 2018, likely called the XC40, which would eventually share the same architecture as its V40 and V40 Cross Country.

According to the automaker, Volvo expects 10 percent of its sales by 2020 to be of electric cars. The automaker reported 465,000 sales in 2014.

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