By on July 31, 2019

The news of Nissan’s recent financial trouble brought attention right where it needs to be: on lackluster product. In our most recent reporting regarding Nissan’s sales woes, I was asked in the comments whether I had any ideas for improvement. Well that got me thinking (and worked up), and it turns out I do have ideas, and they fall into three major categories.

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By on January 16, 2019

Cooperation and borrowing between auto manufacturers is nothing new, and it isn’t always a bad thing. For example, look what happened in the 1980s when Lincoln borrowed a BMW inline-six turbodiesel for its Continental Mark VII luxury coupe. Oh, maybe that’s not the best example. But two events this week have led to a couple of new examples for us to ponder.

How do you think these cooperative automotive projects will fare?

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By on October 22, 2018

Image: Audi

Audi’s first electric sport utility vehicle, the much-touted E-Tron, will arrive at dealerships a month later than anticipated. According to the automaker, a software development issue has stymied the rollout.

While nothing has reportedly busted, Audi claims it needs to obtain the necessary regulatory clearances for some ones and zeros that were modified during the development process. Normally, we would assume the applicable agencies would have been informed of this in advance, but we don’t know what Audi changed. All the manufacturer admits to is that alterations were made to benefit the customer.  (Read More…)

By on August 1, 2018

Image: General Motors

What do buyers like? Ultra-lux trims and big-bucks window stickers, that’s what. At least, that’s the gist of General Motors’ media run-down of the new 2019 Buick Regal Avenir — the third vehicle in the Buick stable to undergo the high-zoot treatment, and a model we uncovered last week.

“Avenir” debuted on the revamped-for-2018 Enclave, then made its way to the LaCrosse sedan. It exists because Denali exists, and Buick saw what the addition of that sub-brand did for GMC sales, to say nothing of average transaction price and profits. After crunching some numbers, Buick decided the Regal Sportback was the next obvious candidate for the brand’s “highest expression of luxury.” (Read More…)

By on July 11, 2017

Audi A8

For years, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class represented all the cutting-edge automotive wizardly you could hope to see trickle down into plebeian cars. That honor now belongs to the Audi A8. While Mercedes recently revamped the S-Class to better compete with Audi, the A8 is back with a vengeance — proclaiming itself, once again, to be the future of automobiles.

Now that “luxury car” really means “technology buffet,” Audi has adorned the 2019 A8 with the very best it can offer, hoping to find its way back into the premium vehicle market’s good graces. (Read More…)

By on June 14, 2017

2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

It’s always nice to see a station wagon in North America. Crossovers may have caught on faster than fidget spinners in a wildfire, but they’ll never be able to offer the same diving dynamics of a lower-slug automobile — leaving room for wagons to persist.

Likewise, rebranding estate cars as shooting brakes or “sportbrakes” is helping give the niche segment some much-needed panache, extending its appeal beyond the true believers. Wagons have long since become an endangered species in certain parts of the world but, thanks to conservation efforts from several carmakers, we might not lose them entirely.

One of those companies is Jaguar. It has yet to abandon the cargo-happy bodystyle and has even seen fit to bring the XF Sportbrake to the United States for the very first time — possibly because it realizes wagon lovers are now one of the most underserved demographics in autodom.  (Read More…)

By on April 11, 2017

Audi Q8 Concept Front 3/4, Image: © 2017 Jeff Wilson/The Truth About Cars

Audi issued a press release today to remind the world that it’s going to be Germany’s preeminent source for sport utility vehicles. While every major automaker is making a push into the segment, Volkswagen Group has assigned Audi with one of the largest.

Today, the company outlined its production strategy for the forthcoming Q4 and Q8 models, reaffirming its claim that crossovers could account for half of its global sales in the very near future. By 2019, Audi will have expanded its SUV lineup to include seven individual models and increased its overall production volume to meet the growing demand. (Read More…)

By on March 15, 2017

Lucid Air

Lucid Motors’ production EV turned out to be a much more reasonable entry than anyone expected. The media buzz was that LM’s Air would be a super-sedan offering up to 1,000 horsepower and a 400 mile range — a real Tesla killer. With a 1,000 horses and instantaneous torque, it would actually shame just about everything else on the road, regardless of how it was powered. However, as is so often the case with EV startups, the reality is significantly more nuanced than the hype.

That doesn’t mean Lucid can’t be a massive thorn in Tesla’s side, though. Looking over the freshly released details of the Air reveals a highly competitive base model (on paper) and, since this is the base model, there remains room for that ludicrously powerful and extravagantly priced car we were promised.

In the interim, consumers will just have to be satisfied with a much more affordable unit, but it still outdoes the base model Tesla in terms of power, range, and price.  (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2017

2018 volkswagen tiguan

Volkswagen showcased its second-generation Tiguan at the 2016 Frankfurt Auto Show, so it is a little underwhelming to see another one at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. However, the Frankfurt debut was the Euro-spec model. A modestly sized SUV simply won’t do for a nation that has experienced decades of drive-through grease burgers, cross-country camping excursions, and massive expanses of multi-lane highways. America has bigger people, bigger roads, and more junk to haul around.

A perfectly adequate-sized vehicle in Europe is a tiny baby’s toy in the United States — and we all know which country Volkswagen is eager to please right now. With this in mind, the German automaker delivered a stretched version of the Tiguan crossover specifically for North American consumers.  (Read More…)

By on December 16, 2016

2016 Ford F-150 Limited

All that leg-stretching, snot-nosed kid-hauling, hockey equipment-carrying, ATV-lugging space that new vehicle buyers so desperately crave comes at a premium.

Thanks to this insatiable thirst for crossovers, SUVs, and pickups, the average new vehicle transaction price jumped to a new record in 2016. Good news for manufacturers, but also for those selling their old ride. (Read More…)

By on October 17, 2016

MINI Hybrid Countryman

Mini has revealed what form its new hybrid will take.

That, the e-tron name lives on in Audi’s first dedicated electric SUV, Unifor squares off with Ford, and hype man Elon Musk reschedules his alleged big announcement … after the break! (Read More…)

By on September 29, 2016

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Ford Motor Company has issued specifications for its 2017 F-150 Raptor off-road performance pickup, and you can thank the company’s engineers for the attractive numbers.

The next-generation Raptor makes serious gains not just in horsepower and torque, but also in fuel economy. The mileage boost should make those dirt-flinging romps through the countryside just a little bit greener. (Read More…)

By on September 28, 2016

2017 Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover pulled the wraps off the next-generation Discovery today at the Paris Auto Show, revealing a host of changes to the brand’s storied nameplate.

Not wanting anyone to mistake it for another SUV, the automaker kept some exterior styling cues from the outgoing LR4, but moved the overall shape in the direction of the Discovery Sport. However, the biggest changes hide beneath the Disco’s skin. (Read More…)

By on September 7, 2016

2017 Audi S5 Sportback

Despite dire warnings that the sedan is about to experience a slow and grisly demise, der Technikers at Audi announced today that they will be crafting a new five-door liftback from their swoopy A5 coupe, the most interesting of which is the S5 Sportback.

Styling is typical Audi fare, employing their current Different Lengths of Sausage™ design language. Audi trumpets the Sportback’s short overhangs but it’s hard to ignore the gawping Singleframe grille, flatter and wider here than on previous models.

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By on June 16, 2016

The 2017 Cruze Hatch offers the design, engineering and technolo

Chevrolet just announced pricing for the 2017 Cruze hatchback due out this fall, and the extra cargo volume tacks on about $4,700 to the price of a base sedan.

Buyers looking for an extra 32.4 cubic feet of cargo space (with rear seats folded) will pay an MSRP of $22,190 — a price that includes a destination freight charge, but not taxes, fees and other monetary hassles. (Read More…)

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