By on March 24, 2016

2017 Subaru Impreza

It’s longer, lower, wider, and yes, more global than before.

Subaru has unveiled the next generation of its perennially popular Impreza, adopting a more contemporary style while placating purists who worried their fun compact could become too beige.

Revealed at the New York Auto Show in sedan and five-door guise, the 2017 Impreza brings tasteful, flowing lines to a body that once delighted in being chunky. There are more subtle curves here than a coastal highway.

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By on March 14, 2016

Volvo XC90 eAxle (Image: GKN)

Front-wheel drive, four-cylinder cars have defined the automotive C-segment for decades, but maybe these automakers aren’t dreaming big enough.

That’s the message being sent by global technology supplier GKN Automotive, which really, really wants automakers to buy a lower-cost version of its eAxle for use in affordable compacts. GKN says the unit would allow the segment to more easily offer electric all-wheel drive and plug-in capability.

Developed by the GKN Driveline division, a high-end version of the eAxle exists in the BMW i8, Porsche 918 and Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in.

(Read More…)

By on October 14, 2015

2015 Mitsubishi RVR (1 of 11)

A preconceived notion — or simply, a bias — forms easily when correlations exist to support it.

Take Mitsubishi.

While the Japanese automaker has seen recent sales success, their newest nameplate — Mirage — has become the butt of many jokes and is often associated with a group of buyers one degree removed from the “Buy Here, Pay Here” crowd. Whether the Mirage deserves that reputation is another story.

The company’s largest model, the Outlander, recently received a refresh that is more than skin deep, but still not very dramatic. A new front fascia and revised rear sheet metal bring up the visual appeal a notch, and Mitsubishi does say numerous engineering changes have been employed on its latest and greatest crossover, but the crossover still houses the same, tired, premium fuel-drinking V-6 engine as always.

The recent news that Mitsubishi will shut down its manufacturing operations in Normal, Illinos, a plant that’s been open since 1988, also doesn’t help optics on the surface. And, unfortunately for the automaker, stories about sales gains just aren’t sexy enough to grab the attention of the average consumer.

Therefore, with all this bad news and bad press, you’d think the Outlander Sport (RVR in Canada) is just another zit on the face of the Japanese automaker.

But you’d be (mostly) wrong.

(Read More…)

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