By on September 26, 2016

Volkswagen-Amarok-2017-1024-01

Move over Chevrolet, Ram and Ford?

It’s hard to say if American van and truck builders have anything to worry about after the head of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles division publicly mused about jumping into the U.S. market. (Read More…)

By on September 23, 2016

2017 smart fortwo cabrio electric drive (Euro spec image)

Smart, the plucky and perplexing subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, has the unique distinction of offering an EV variant of its sole U.S. model that’s generally accepted as being an improvement over the gas-powered model.

Certainly, a vastly reduced range doesn’t boost the tiny package’s appeal, but the two-seat city car really isn’t meant for those long-legged highway trips. That’s what the Ford F-150 and Fiat 500 are for. No, the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive has two aces up its sleeve — instant thrust, and a transmission that mercifully stays in the same gear.

For 2017, Smart has sized up its Electric Drive, accepted its limitations (no, we can’t add a backseat ... ), and made it a bit better in any way it can. (Read More…)

By on September 20, 2016

2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited red

The next-generation Jeep Wrangler needs to satisfy increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements, which means shaving weight off of the brick wherever possible.

While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has shunned widespread use of aluminum (a la Ford F-150), a significant amount of the lightweight metal will still find its way into the upcoming model, according to an internal Alcoa new release posted to JL Wrangler Forums. (Read More…)

By on September 19, 2016

2013_Lexus_LS_460_017

The flagship LS built the Lexus brand’s reputation by offering quality on par with the Germans and a V8 engine that was smaller and more advanced than those fielded by the Americans.

The model continued on a relatively fixed course for the next 26 years, slowly increasing the displacement of its V8 and giving a nod to environmental pressure with a hybrid variant. Even in the LS 600h, the battery is still strapped to a 5.0-liter V8.

However, a trademark application uncovered by AutoGuide suggests that the LS’s drivetrain tradition is due for a shakeup. (Read More…)

By on September 19, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

The next-generation Ram 1500, due to appear as a 2019 model, can’t afford any delays or Dodge Dart-like launch failures if it wants to challenge perennial front-runner Ford in the full-size pickup battle.

To ensure it doesn’t spend too much time in the womb, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has taken the unlikely step of allowing some of its engineers to make their own decisions, Automotive News reports.

Clearly, when the success of one of its biggest revenue generators is at stake, the automaker is willing to kick tradition to the curb. (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2016

2017 Kia Rio

Kia Motors has pulled the wraps off of its next-generation Rio subcompact ahead of its Paris Motor Show debut later this month, revealing a newfound love of straight lines that couldn’t be more different from the bulbous previous generation.

A longer, flatter hood, longer wheelbase, high beltline and upright C-pillar aim to make the 2017 Rio appear more mature and refined. Kia engineers adopted the 1950s “longer/lower/wider” approach for the redesign, as the hatch hits a growth spurt. (Read More…)

By on August 26, 2016

detroit electric sp:01

Detroit Electric, the fledgling electric car maker with the historic American name, wants to follow its limited edition roadster with a mass-production sedan and SUV.

The company recently told a Dutch newspaper that it doesn’t want to be like that other electric car company — you know, the one with the rocket man — despite copying its every move, Elektrek reports. (Read More…)

By on August 24, 2016

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica

Fiat believes it can attract more buyers to the brand by offering a fixed-roof version of the 124 Spider.

According to Autocar, a coupe version of the recently released roadster is under development, and could make its appearance next year. (Read More…)

By on August 24, 2016

 

2017 Kia Rio

The next-generation Kia Rio will receive styling to match its confidence as the brand’s best-selling vehicle.

The automaker released design renderings of the looming 2017 Rio today, in advance of the model’s world premiere at the Paris Motor Show on September 29. The sad sedans that once populated the back of used car lots are now a distant memory. (Read More…)

By on August 20, 2016

2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

If you collected all of the ink spilled over the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup’s chances of entering production, it would overflow the unibody model’s abbreviated bed.

Well, Hyundai just put a year and a half’s worth of rumors to rest, confirming to Motor Trend that the car-based pickup is definitely a go, and will appear in 2018 as a 2019 model. (Read More…)

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