Nissan Goes on About Inspiration: I'm Skeptical, but Kyoto Craftsmen Are Still Great Artisans

Nissan introduced the Xmotion (pronounced Cross Motion) CUV concept at the NAIAS in Detroit the other day. The company says the Xmotion is inspired by the Yokahama-based automaker’s Japanese heritage, particularly the practice of traditional Japanese crafts. The crossover is said to connect “traditional and modern Japanese craftsmanship and technologies.” Artisanal techniques such as weaving, metalsmithing, and woodworking were used to craft the interior of the Xmotion.

To emphasize that connection, master shokunins from Kyoto’s GO ON consortium of traditional Japanese artisans were brought to Detroit to demonstrate their skills to assembled media and the general public after the big auto show officially opened later in the week.

Read more
Dan Gurney, One of the People Who Has Made America Great

He called his cars — made in California — Eagles, and his friends and fans nicknamed him Big Eagle. His company and team were the All American Racers (though they raced Toyotas for some time). He was one of less than a handful of American drivers to win in Formula One, but the only one to do so in an American race car, built in his own shop. He, along with A.J. Foyt and Roy Lunn, helped The Deuce kick il Commendatore’s ass at LeMans, in a car designed and built in Dearborn, Michigan. There was even a lighthearted attempt to draft him to run for president.

Dan Gurney was quintessentially American, one of the people who have made the United States a great country.

Read more
2019 Hyundai Veloster - N Stands for Next

It wasn’t a secret that Hyundai was set to launch its next Veloster in 2018. It also was fairly certain that there would be a turbo model available.

Yet Hyundai still managed to stuff a surprise up its sleeve – the high-performance N version will come to America.

Hyundai promises “up to” 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged four-banger, and the sole transmission is a six-speed manual.

Read more
2019 Kia Forte Sedan: Vastly Improved But Unlikely to Best the Hatchback

Today at the North American International Auto Show, Kia Motors bestowed the all-new 2019 Forte upon the world. Granted, it’ll mainly be in the hands those entering the workforce for the first time, but those budget-minded youngsters will be please to learn that the third-generation Forte boasts improved fuel economy and features.

It’s not all touchscreens and gas savings, however. It doesn’t look like the new model has had to make many sacrifices, but Kia is launching the base Forte with a CVT instead of the six-speed automatic the current generation uses. That has us a little uneasy, though Kia promises it won’t be an abysmal substitute and that the rest of the improvements should help deliver a vehicle that represents a net gain in refinement.

Read more
2019 Volkswagen Jetta: The Wind Cries MQB

Volkswagen today took the wraps off its latest salvo in the compact sedan market, the new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. Based on the MQB platform that also has produced the Golf, Tiguan, and Atlas, the newest Jetta promises more interior room via a longer wheelbase and increases in overall length, width, and height — with a starting price $100 less than the outgoing model.

Read more
Kia Teases Forte's Sexy, Third-generation Overhaul Prior to Detroit Debut

Kia revealed a few design renderings of the 2019 Kia Forte ahead of its debut at the fast-approaching North American International Auto Show. While highly reminiscent of the second generation of the Korean compact, the third-gen model offers a sexed-up profile and more sophisticated looks.

The headlights taper upward, set into creased bodywork, while large air inlets evoke a sense of sportiness. Kia says that’s intentional; it wanted the new Forte to borrow some of the spirit of the Stinger fastback sedan. For the most part, it seems to have done that gracefully.

Read more
2019 Acura RDX Shows Some Leg Ahead of Detroit Debut

This week, Acura teased the prototype of its third-generation RDX ahead of its world debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Claiming its to be the “most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade,” the brand believes it will usher in a “new era” for the company.

While the shadowy images hint at more aggressive and angular styling, the RDX needs more than a pretty face to compete in an increasingly crowded segment. It seems as if every luxury automaker fields a midsize crossover these days, though often at higher price points than the RDX. However, Acura isn’t going to bunt here and hope a freshened model boosts this years’ weaker sales. It’s bringing an entirely new platform that’s exclusive to the brand.

Read more
  • FreedMike I like it - handy size, cool looks, standard AWD, plenty of power in the base model. And the PHEV application here makes more sense to me than it does in the Wrangler - it's a performance enhancer, versus a mileage-maker. I sincerely hope it sells - I think we're in danger of losing Dodge, and that's a brand I would be sad to see leave the market.And I also sincerely hope this is a harbinger of more performance CUVs to come.
  • Funky D "Some men are Baptists, others Catholics. My father was an Oldsmobile man."— Ralphie Parker
  • Funky D EV performance is fantastic. Their range and battery replacement costs not so much. Killing off the V8-power models is a big mistake as they are still solid sellers.
  • Funky D Soooooooooo ...[list][*]Locally sourced parts are going to be more expensive than their Chinese counterparts (not a knock, just a fact)[/*][*]Prices of EVs are already up sharply[/*][*]So let's cut subsidies and make them even more expensive.[/*][/list]What a way to "reduce" inflation, which is just one of the major fails in this Charlie Foxtrot of a bill.
  • Kcflyer Guess we know who didn't give enough bribe money (aka campaign contributions) during the latest cycle. Got to pay to play boys and girls.