The Truth About Cars » rear-drive The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:42:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » rear-drive Editorial: Don’t Get Your Hopes Up For Rear Drive Alfa Romeos Mon, 22 Jul 2013 14:25:51 +0000 Alfa_Romeo_GTA_-_002

All it took was one little article in CAR magazine for the auto blogosphere to light up with a million different re-purposed versions of the same report. And what a joyous bit of news it is; Alfa Romeo is going to be rear-drive only from now on.

We decided to run the piece because it comes from Georg Kacher, a respected journalist who is known for having his finger on the pulse of the industry. If he says Alfa is planning to move to rear drive platforms, they probably are. But the big problem is that they are planning it. Nobody said anything about actually doing it.

Alfa Romeo has planned plenty of things before. Like a return to America that never seems to materialize. It hasn’t gotten better under the Sergio Marchionne regime either, with flip-flops on future product (especially Alfa) becoming standard operating procedure. Personally, I could care less if they make it over here. Whatever they make is never going to live up to cars like the GTV, Junior, Berlinetta¬† Giulia Berlina and Duetto, largely because Alfa’s absence has caused the enthusiast crowd to lionize the brand to the point where it can never meet their outsized expectations. And because Mazda has managed to fill that void by offering products that are just a bit better at resisting corrosion.

With the new Chrysler/Maserati rear-drive platform waiting in the wings and the Mazda collaboration with the Duetto, it’s certainly feasible for Alfa Romeo to go all RWD. But don’t be surprised if Alfa Romeo scraps the “rear drive only” plans and goes back to using front-drive. Marchionne and his crew are liable to change their plans quicker than Italy changes governments. Front-drive has a lot of advantages as far as packaging and efficiency go. These factors matter quite a bit in Europe, and as early as May, 2012, the plan was for FWD products with the large rear-drive sedan left on the cutting room floor. All of a sudden, things have changed.

Again, I won’t mind, as long as something materializes. Some of the better modern Alfas, like the 156, 159 and anything with a “GTA” badge on it, were all “wrong wheel drive” and hardly anyone complained.

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BMW Readies The Zweier Mon, 20 May 2013 15:11:02 +0000 2011_BMW_1_Series_M_(E82)_coupe_(2011-08-08)_03

As the 1-Series prepares to move to a front-drive platform, BMW is also working on something to keep rear-drive fans happy.


The 2-Series will replace what we all know as the 1-Series, and the model you see here is the M235i, which will use the familiar twin-turbo 3.0L Inline six.

According to Car and Driver, there will also be a four-cylinder 228i and an M2, to compete with the upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and the Audi RS3. All-wheel drive has been confirmed by a BMW source as well, while a 6-speed stick will be standard equipment (what a novelty these days).

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Want A Rear Drive Compact Minivan? Toyota’s Got It Wed, 17 Oct 2012 15:00:34 +0000

The Volkswagen Microbus, Mazda MPV and GMC Safari. These are the now-departed vans that were driven by their rear wheels, but ultimately fell victim to market forces, technological progress or the insurmountable drive to make cars greener and safer. With the Microbus just recently going out of production, Toyota is the sole torch bearer for the rear-drive van. But you’ll have to go to Indonesia to find it.

The Toyota Innova is sold in Vietnam, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Phillipines and the UAE. But its main market is Indonesia, which is quickly becoming the apple of many automakers eyes. Indonesia is one market where the compact van is thriving, with Mahindra, Tata, Chevrolet, Suzuki and Nissan all fielding their own entrants. The Innova drives the rear wheels, just like Toyota’s own Avanza, an even smaller van that is Indonesia’s best-selling car.

The Innova comes with three 4-cylinder¬†engines, with a 2.0L and 2.7L gasoline engine and a 2.5L diesel. A live-axle outback betrays the Innova’s Hilux-based underpinings, but the realities of third world roads likely have a lot to do with this kind of packaging. The cheapest Innova starts at around $21,000 in Indonesia, which prices it out of the “low-cost” car range. But equipment is sparse on the base models, with a two-speaker sound system, steel wheels, no rear wiper and no power accessories. The top-trim model retails for about $26,000 and features luxuries like an airbag and ABS brakes.

Toyota currently occupies 60 percent of the Indonesian market, which is good for 750,000 units annually. With 234 million people, Indonesia is on the radar of auto makers all over the world, and their local tastes will be an important consideration for future products. If compact minivans are the vehicle of choice, then we’ll probably see more of these cars cropping up in developing markets beyond Indonesia. We won’t get them, but you can already buy the smaller, cheaper Avanza in Mexico.

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Holden About To Confirm American Commodore Exports – And Not Just Sedans, Either Thu, 17 May 2012 14:23:31 +0000

Holden is expected to make an announcement regarding the export of its Commodore vehicles to North America – essentially confirming the existence of the forthcoming 2013 Chevrolet SS Performance – and apparently it may not be limited to sedans. Utes and wagons could be arriving at some point as well.

Australia’s Drive, an auto publication affiliated with the Sydney Morning Herald, said that Holden is coming “very soon”, possibly on Friday. And it gets even better

The export deal is expected to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and form the basis for a crucial new V8-powered performance model for Chevrolet. It could also expand to involve ute and sportwagon variants.

Drive suggests that the recent $1 billion investment in Holden by GM and the Australian government not only re-affirms the Commodore’s place in Holden’s lineup (despite a growing shift to small cars, and the Commodore becoming more of a fleet car for companies), and that the next generation Commodore lineup – including the sedan, wagon, Ute and long-wheelbase versions, could be built in North America.

The low volume nature of the SS suggests that the car may be a test program for another large, rear-drive sedan as well as a halo vehicle for Chevrolet. A perfect storm of unfortunate events helped torpedo the Pontiac G8, but a new Caprice, with a more mainstream Chevrolet badge and a more defined focus could gain more traction in the marketplace. The lack of a small pickup to replace the Colorado could help pave the way for a Chevrolet Ute. And how about those LPG versions that are readily available in Australia. Maybe a CNG version, in line with GM’s full-size trucks? The possibilities are endless. Holden’s focus, on the other hand, seems to be shifting as well. Lots more rebadged Daewoo cars, and a focus on helping engineer cars for China. Today, the big, rear-drive sedan Commodore plays a role akin to the Chevrolet SS – a halo player that’s not the star of the show, but important for reasons beyond mere volume.

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