The Cadillac Lyriq’s final production form remains unknown, but the “show car” revealed late Thursday is said to be a fairly close representation of the real thing. That show car is also not far removed from a conceptual rendering released in January 2019, previewing a vehicle that will enter production in late 2022 as a 2023 model.
A lot can happen in the span of more than three and a half years: Buzz can wear off, unreleased products can grow outdated, rivals can catch up. Imagine if Chrysler’s “Suddenly, it’s 1960” collection of 1957 creations were first teased in early 1953.
Cadillac’s betting that the Lyriq’s attributes will remain fresh come roll-out time, and that could very well prove true.
You’ll have to both forgive us and brace yourself at the same time, as this could get controversial. We’re about to delve into a serious problem that goes back quite a while. One that has its roots in many factors — some of them organic, others the result of those in power making bad decisions.
It’s something many of you probably ignored, pushed to the back of your mind as your attention turned instead to the mundane day-to-day goings-ons of your own life, not wanting to concern yourself with something you don’t believe involves you, and yet it’s something we can’t ignore anymore.
We’d caution both sides of this debate not to lash out at each other, and instead, listen, learn and understand.
Ready? Okay, here goes…
The new vehicle market has stopped marching. For three weeks in a row, sales in the U.S. plateaued, mirroring COVID-19 case levels in many locales. Try as they might, neither doctors nor dealers seem capable of eradicating all of the bad and returning the country to its coronavirus-free, spend-happy ways.
Things take time.
If you’re a purveyor of premium cars, however, things are looking up. If mainstream’s your bag, uncertainty reigns. And if you thought Memorial Day Weekend sales offers would stimulate the industry and kick-start a renewed sales climb, well, you were out of luck.
Teased nearly to death in the run-up to its online debut, the 2021 Acura TLX revealed on Thursday lives up to the brand’s boastful pronouncements, at least on paper.
Athletic in stance and aggressive in design, the next-generation TLX arrives with a dedicated platform, double wishbone front suspension and turbocharged V6 in tow, ready to tempt premium import sedan buyers who can’t bring themselves go the safe-and-steady Lexus ES route.
Refreshed and technologically updated, the BMW 5 Series maintains a familiar powertrain lineup for 2021, albeit with a few adjustments that reflect the company’s environmental proclamations.
Just because buyers choose green doesn’t mean they shun horsepower, and just because buyers are willing to add some electrification to their life, doesn’t mean they want to feel it.
As you read last week, the U.S. auto industry continues its climb out of the coronavirus ditch, with foreign automakers pushing back at a briefly dominant Detroit in a bid to restore sales sanity.
The domestic three managed to unload an awful lot of big-margin trucks during the lockdown, propelling scared customers into dealers with zero-interest financing on long-term loans. Detroit’s rivals have now fully caught on, fighting back with their own offers. For Lexus, the new proposal to buyers doesn’t even end at the new-car lot.
Yes, it’s true. The news that marred your sunny and/or drenching weekend cannot be ignored: the slow-selling, highly complex Acura RLX flagship will not stage a return for 2021.
If it did, would anyone have noticed?
That’s doubtful, given the model’s shrinking sales volumes.
Over the course of three decades, Lexus has accomplished remarkable feats in the U.S. marketplace. While the modern luxury landscape proves how challenging it is for a (non-Tesla) upstart such as Genesis to garner even an ounce of market share, Toyota’s premium brand generated relatively high volume levels from the get-go.
By 1991, only the third year on the market, Lexus had already overtaken all other import premium brands. By 1998, Lexus was able to top monthly luxury sales leaderboards. Then in 2000, Lexus became America’s top-selling premium marque. The Lexus LS, the brand’s flagship sedan, was an especially important piece of the puzzle in those early days. In fact, when Lexus first outsold Mercedes-Benz and BMW on an annual basis, the LS was one of just three Lexus nameplates. Nearly 43,000 copies of the LS were sold in 1990, for example, at a time when BMW’s 7 Series did just a quarter of that volume; and with Mercedes-Benz some 17,000 units abaft.
But as the LS gained license to move upmarket, as the Great Recession came and went, as the tastes of luxury car buyers became the tastes of luxury SUV buyers, the LS became something of a forgotten flagship. By the end of the fourth-generation LS’s tenure, Lexus was selling barely more than 300 LSs per month in America.
Yet with the launch of a new model in 2018, Lexus intended to dramatically increase the U.S. sales volume for its biggest and most costly sedan. And if at first it looked as though Lexus might just have forecasted accurately, a second glance reveals just how far off the mark even Lexus can be.
Sure, we weren’t hankering for a high-riding Genesis model, but the brand was. And many buyers might, too, or so the fledgling marque hopes.
After teasing the upcoming midsizer since 2017, Hyundai’s premium brand pulled the wraps off the GV80 in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday. In doing so, it raised the brand’s complement to four vehicles: three sedans, and this CUV. So, how does the GV80 stand apart in an overcrowded segment?
Rich people are just like us: they put on their pants one leg at a time, they walk upright, and they enjoy winters at their villa in the south of France. Okay, maybe they aren’t exactly like us. My villa is in Spain.
One other thing they do? Buy cars, apparently. A quick perusal of 2019 total year sales numbers show that while mainstream makes like Ford and Chevy fell into the red compared to the same timeframe one year ago, there’s no shortage of growth at the big money brands.
One of the bigger stories this year, albeit one that occurred mostly in the background of splashier news, concerned a fun-to-drive compact car that did pretty well for itself over the past decade. For 2019, that car got a makeover and a push upmarket, aligning it more closely with other models in the lineup. That car was the Mazda 3 — and the 2019 model year brought big changes not only to its content, but also its price.
Gone was the American-market’s base 2.0-liter engine and most of the model’s manual transmission availability, and these omissions played an obvious role in inflating the model’s entry price by roughly three grand. Looking back on the sales decline that marked the new 3’s entry to the market, Mazda’s leadership is expressing regret.
Lincoln’s MKC was a solid effort for the brand’s first foray into the compact premium crossover market, but certain gripes stood out. For this not-broad-of-beam writer, the relatively narrow front chairs didn’t usher in that sense of coddling a buyer demands of a high-end vehicle. In base spec, the 2.0-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder felt slightly labored, and that push-button transmission, with the selector keys mounted high on the center stack, isn’t something a driver grows used to in a hurry.
It looked above-par for its class, however. Kudos to Lincoln’s designers.
For 2020, the MKC nameplate mercifully bites the dust, replaced by an all-new vehicle with an honest-to-goodness name and an extra helping of style.
Lincoln Motor Company brass aren’t afraid to tout the brand’s concerted push to redefine the idea of what an upscale American vehicle should be — in the process, hopefully ridding itself of a longstanding stigma born of lackluster past offerings. The latest entry in Lincoln’s renewed lineup is the 2020 Corsair, bound for dealers late this year.
A replacement for the compact MKC, the Corsair lists the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, Audi Q3, and especially the new Cadillac XT4 as its main rivals. As Lincoln has now bestowed pricing upon the Corsair, we’re able to contrast those two domestic challengers.
There’s still a ways to go, but the transition of Mazda’s image into that of a semi-premium automaker is well underway. The latest interiors — and exteriors — emerging from the brand boast extra refinement, better materials, and a subdued elegance you won’t find on, say, a Nissan.
Mazda’s getting there, but in the meantime, sales remain an issue. Between the brand’s recent U.S. sales pinnacle in 2015 and the end of 2017, volume fell 9.3 percent. There’s a plan to turn it around, and it doesn’t all have to do with the automaker’s looming mystery crossover.