By on November 8, 2021

1992 Ford Taurus SHO in California junkyard, RH front view - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsFord introduced the high-performance version of the Taurus sedan— the SHO— in the 1989 model year, and enthusiasts rejoiced over the cheap new factory hot rod that blew away far more expensive European sedans. I’ve documented quite a few discarded SHOs during my junkyard travels, but this is the first ’92 I’ve photographed. Why is 1992 special for the SHO? Simple: It’s the final year for the mandatory five-speed manual transmission. Here’s one of those rare cars in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard. (Read More…)

By on February 1, 2021

Cadillac

Last week, GM announced plans to go 100 percent EV with its light-duty vehicle fleet in less than 15 years. Tonight, Cadillac took the wraps off two high-performance luxury sport sedans that probably won’t pass too many gas pumps.

Talk about whiplash.

(Read More…)

By on May 20, 2020

Last year, Acura previewed the Type S Concept at Pebble Beach, making itself an exciting brand for the first time in years. The model heralds the return of the marque’s performance nomenclature and gives us a taste of the next-generation TLX sports sedan — which will be the first Acura product to wear the Type S badge in quite a while.

On Wednesday, the company announced the new model will debut on May 28th. Not surprisingly, it also confirmed the next TLX will share as much with the concept car as regulators allow.  (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2020

Cadillac’s CT5-V debuted so far away from its predecessor that you have to wonder what the brand’s marketing team was thinking. Whereas the CTS-V represented a monumental jump in performance over the CTS, its modern-day replacement barely offers more than the Premium Luxury trim with an upgraded engine option.

Stepping out of the CT5 and into V territory is only slightly more meaningful than purchasing an appearance package. The turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 is tuned to make an extra 25 horses in the CT5-V, offering a grand total of 360 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. The brand has clearly tried to soften its V-badged models for broader appeal, but enthusiasts cried foul. This wasn’t because Cadillac had built a cheaper, softer sedan but due its overt use of the performance emblem. There’s not enough distance between a V6-equipped Premium Luxury model and the base CT5-V for it to seem truly special.

Don’t be disappointed if you were considering one. General Motors has promised that completely insane performance Cadillacs are still to come. While the presumed Blackwing variants appear to have been scrapped, CT5 test mules have been spotted running mystery V8s in the past and new rumors have all but confirmed a variant with a manual transmission.  (Read More…)

By on April 2, 2019

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen’s latest iteration of the Jetta is a well-rounded commuter car, but a tad boring. VW had an easy fix for that in mind – just implant the heart of the GTI hot hatch along with some Golf R bits. Boom, instant sports sedan.

There’s been a GLI version of the Jetta since 1984, and every previous one I’ve driven has been a fun little hoot to drive; a way to put a little spice in the otherwise sorta bland Jetta recipe. This one, though, ups the ante. Instead of a nice little sprinkle of seasoning, someone in the kitchen doused it with cayenne pepper.

What you get here is not just a Jetta that’s more fun to drive, but a proper affordable sport sedan. (Read More…)

By on January 16, 2019

As bargain luxury brands go, Genesis Motors is aiming high — seemingly fixated on taking down its German competitors at a fraction of the price. However, while Genesis is capable of rumbling with its rivals’ base models with total confidence, it doesn’t have the hardware necessary to bash in the heads of most models wearing AMG or M badges.

That could soon change.  (Read More…)

By on October 19, 2018

Everyone who spends the majority of their time obsessing about cars seems to low-key adore the Genesis G70. It’s handsome, comfortable, and apparently handles like a sports sedan should. The dealership will even sell it to you with a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive if you can live without the 365-horsepower twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6. It also undercuts the starting price of its self-selected rival, the BMW 3 Series, by a full ten grand — softening the blow of any shortcomings it may possess.

However, there is one aspect that puts it a step behind its more-expensive competition. The G70 still uses analog instrumentation in conjunction with its digital interfaces. While this is a non-issue for many enthusiasts, as most electronic gauges simply mimic traditional clusters (and sometimes rather poorly), the general public expects premium autos to have the most-flashy tech available.

Genesis is remedying the situation in South Korea as read this. But, rather than than simply bringing the G70’s display up to the bar, it has decided to do a front flip over the status quo by offering what it claims is the world’s first 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster.  (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2018

As domestic automakers usher sedans onto the precipice of a mass grave, it appears German manufacturers have yet to give up on them — at least the fancier ones. BMW recently announced the M5 Competition, which is an amped-up version of the standard performance model.

Somehow, we get the feeling the Competition exists only so BMW can set a better lap time at the Nürburgring. Excluding its visual enhancements, we doubt many drivers would be able to notice any changes from the already fast M5.

Adding 17 additional horses to a lightweight hatchback is transformative, but the same cannot be said for a 600 hp sedan weighing in at over two tons. But that’s what the Competition offers — along with revamped suspension tuning, more aggressive looks, and an angrier sound. (Read More…)

By on March 7, 2018

BMW’s 8 Series coupe isn’t even here yet and the automaker is already toying with the idea of a sedan. Of course, in true luxury automaker fashion, it’s calling the four-door concept a Gran Coupe — proving once again that the language has evolved to a point where it is as fluid as it is meaningless.

Officially dubbed the “BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe,” the sedan offers a conceptual glimpse at a performance variant of the brand’s returning 8 Series. The plan appears to be: build something that can compete with, and perhaps trump, Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class. But if you’re going to take on the big boys, you need to come at them with everything you have. That means a base model 8 Series coupe with double-wishbone suspension, rear-wheel steering, adaptive suspension, xDrive, gobs of tech, and a strong motor.

However, you’ll also need a nasty four-door M variant with all of that and a rip-roaring engine, larger air intakes, flared fenders, and a carbon fiber rooftop.  (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2017

Subaru WRX STI TYPE RA NBR, Image: Subaru

As Subaru continues work on a performance-spec BRZ, there has been a cautious level of optimism surrounding its development. So when Subaru USA tweeted out a massive rear spoiler and urged us to “stay tuned” for June 8th, everyone naturally assumed this was the vehicle to be on the lookout for.

Another image was released today — this time of a carbon fiber roof — referencing the same date and stirring up some controversy. That’s because, just out of focus, you can make out the blurry front end of what is assuredly a WRX. Instead of treating the world to a tweaked version of its rear-wheel-drive coupe next week, Subaru is reviving the hardcore WRX Type RA for the company’s 50th anniversary. The only way this could be any better is if it came with a hatchback option.  (Read More…)

By on May 8, 2017

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Front 3/4, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

“Dad, you need to buy this car!” screamed my godsons from the backseat, needling their Scion xB-driving father with an outburst fueled entirely by speed-induced adrenaline and youthful innocence.

I remember being just a little older than these two kids — I was in Grade 4 to be exact — when a low-budget field trip to nowhere brought me into contact with my kindly homeroom teacher’s adolescent son. Or maybe he was 26? You can’t make a call at that age. Anyway, volunteering-son-of-teacher’s daily driver that day was a Fox-body Ford Mustang GT, gray in color.

Already a tall kid, I folded myself into the backseat, excited to not be confined to the third row of the Caprice (or Safari) wagon hauling seven other classmates to look at frogs or tadpoles or whatever it was that day. Up front, the Mustang’s 5.0-liter V8 roared to life, the clutch dropped, and I suddenly forgot all about the abundance of loose change I’d discovered littering the Stang’s floor.

So, I knew how my godsons felt when I said, “Check this out,” and hoofed the throttle of the new-for-2017 Ford Fusion Sport on the way up to their dad’s cottage. A heavier car this time, but with more power on tap. Far more room, too, and the kind of stealthy anonymity you only really appreciate in the pragmatic embrace of adulthood.

It’s a large-ish midsize domestic family sedan, but kids dig it. The question is: can adults live with it? (Read More…)

By on April 5, 2017

Lexus 500 LS F-Sport

Lexus is giving its flagship sedan the F-Sport touch for the New York International Auto Show. While it isn’t likely to rival AMG’s super sedans in terms of power, Toyota’s premium brand is promising improved handling to go with a platform it claims is the “stiffest that Lexus has ever developed.”

The next-generation LS 500 premiered in Detroit back in January and was followed by the Lexus 500h hybrid in Geneva last month. Lexus is unlikely to unveil a tuned powerplant for the LS, but the F-Sport should be more than just a handling package and unique badging.  (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

Ford hasn’t told us when we’ll see the 2017 Fusion Sport on dealer lots, but it does want us to know how the 325-horsepower sedan alters its personality.

The top-shelf performance variant of Ford’s midsize family hauler lets its hair down with the press of a single button, which switches seven settings from “Jekyll” mode to “Hyde.” (Read More…)

By on June 9, 2016

2017 ford fusion sport

Ford’s comparing itself to the Germans again, but this time the vehicle isn’t a Granada, and the disco era isn’t still raging.

The automaker just announced it boosted the output of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 in the 2017 Fusion Sport, keeping horsepower levels the same while adding an extra shovelful of torque. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2015

2016 Nissan Maxima Front Three-Quarter

Though the 2016 Nissan Maxima will make its showroom debut June 2, there was a time when the Maxima was slated to meet the guillotine.

(Read More…)

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