by Ali Arsham The Cadillac CTS has been around since 2002. Back then it replaced the Catera sedan which was supposed to be Cadillac’s answer to BMW. The Catera was not a success but the CTS made everyone notice. The third generation CTS has received continuous improvements and has been hailed as the closest rival to BMW yet from the US. After a few days of living with the CTS, I can tell you that GM has done a fabulous job with the CTS and it is definitely not a pretender.
Lighten Up. Power Up BMW Wednesday announced the all-new BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe models, which capitalize on the strengths of the latest 3 Series Sedan and fresh 4 Series Coupe models as their respective foundations. As the first-ever BMW M cars to feature the achievement of an engineered-in reduction in curb weight from one generation to the next, the all-new M3 and M4 stand poised to attack corners, hills, and braking zones, and will vigorously defend BMW M’s decades-strong position as segment leader around the world
by Stephen Cox Over the next few weeks you’re going to hear more about a new system called “V2V,” which stands for “Vehicle to Vehicle Communications for Safety.” It’s the latest electronic gadgetry that the government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may soon impose on all new car buyers. The Department of Transportation claims that the V2V system will address up to 80% of all traffic accidents.
by Ali Arsham Ford’s newest plug in hybrid is the Fusion Energi. The regular Fusion is a terrific sedan and now with the Energi system, it is also very efficient. Ford promises great range and terrific economy and the EPA numbers are there to back it up but there is never a free lunch so we had to find out what it is like to drive and if it is a good choice. When it comes to choosing a Fusion, you have three choices. The first is a regular Fusion that gets as high as 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
Clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible The next chapter in the life of the iconic pony car began today as the all-new Ford Mustang – loaded with innovative technologies and delivering world-class levels of performance – was revealed around the globe in six cities on four continents. “Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development.
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is Designed for Downforce
Racing-inspired design elements enhance high-speed stability When it comes to keeping its tail on the track, the 2014 Camaro Z/28 manages airflow like few other production vehicles, generating downforce like a race car to press the tires against the track for high-speed stability and greater cornering capability. Numerous modifications were made to the exterior, compared to the Camaro SS, with new and revised content developed to improve aerodynamics, powertrain cooling and brake-system cooling. They help the Z/28 produce 440 pounds more downforce at 150 mph, relative to the SS, which generates slight lift at that speed.
by Ali Arsham Let’s say that you are in the market for a family sedan. Your heart wants a BMW or Audi but your wallet only allows you to look at Accords and Camrys. It may be time to look at Volkswagen’s Passat because it could be one of the best all-around sedans in the US. It has the feel of the expensive other German brands but at much more friendly prices. We got our hands on a 2014 Passat SEL TDI to see if it is as good as we thought and we were very impressed.
Rebuilding My Totally-Not-Collectible Mustang, Part I
by Stephen Cox I am proud to own one of the most incredibly rare Ford Mustangs ever built… the 1980 Mustang GL. It is rare today because nobody wants it. Nobody wants it because it was dead slow. It was dead slow because its naturally aspirated four-banger produced a distinctly unimpressive 86 horsepower. Now you know why my Mustang is so rare. As you can see, I have very little to lose no matter how this rebuilding project turns out.
by Ali Arsham Ford’s C-Max has been around in Europe for a while now and it finally made the trip across the ocean. In Europe, the C-Max is an ideally sized vehicle for a family. It is small enough to drive in their tight streets yet its tall structure provides lots of room. After a lot of waiting, we were excited to finally get our hands on one of these cars to see if they fit the American lifestyle.
The ultimate super sports car The grand finale: the SLS AMG GT FINAL EDITION brings an impressive era to an end in exclusive style. The FINAL EDITION model, built in a limited run of just 350 units, represents the last opportunity for customers to order a SLS AMG – while at the same time reflecting the unrivalled success story and unique scope offered by the first vehicle to be completely built by Mercedes-AMG.
By J.D. Power III I owned other cars during the years but these ten stand out in my mind for various reasons. Especially as my company, J.D. Power and Associates, got more established I tried to never own a car that would be obvious or expected. I wanted to show people that the cars that were at the top of the J.D. Power and Associates lists for quality or customer satisfaction didn’t get there because they were my personal favorites. And, you can see, when there were new models, or special editions that offered something different and unexpected, I was a happy pushover.
To replace the successful 1-Series BMW Friday announced the introduction of an entirely new model series with the introduction of the all-new BMW 2 Series Coupe. This new take on The Ultimate Driving Machine will arrive in the US in the first quarter of 2014 as the 228i and the M235i. The BMW M235i, the first M Performance Automobile offered in the US, includes an impressive list of performance enhancing features. This successor to the successful 1 Series Coupe will continue the decades-long tradition of premium sub-compact coupes.
The newest top-down Ultimate Driving Machine The all-new BMW 4 Series Convertible represents the latest chapter in the modern history of BMW Convertibles which dates back to 1987 and the first BMW 3 Series Convertible. As with the new BMW 4 Series Coupe, the 4 Series Convertible embodies the very essence of dynamics and aesthetic appeal in the premium segment. The new 4 Series Convertible is a technical tour-de-force. The 2014 428i Convertible and 435i Convertible will arrive in US showrooms in the first quarter of 2014.
Innovative engine technology and a focus on lightweight design The launch of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe sees BMW M GmbH revealing an all-new interpretation of the high-performance sports car – and carrying the BMW M philosophy over into the fifth generation of the M3. More than 40,000 examples of the fourth-generation BMW M3 Coupe were built, and now the BMW M4 Coupe is poised to continue this history of success.
A new era in sustainability The BMW Group entered a new era in automotive construction today with the start of series production of the BMW i3. The world’s first premium electric vehicle to be purpose-designed for this form of drive system is the result of an all-encompassing development approach targeted at reducing fuel consumption and emissions in urban areas. This is the first time that carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) has been used in automotive volume production.
by Stephen Cox Dollars are hard to come by these days for pretty much everyone. Perhaps I can save a few of yours by preventing a disaster of epic proportions. Do not under any circumstances go see the new film, “The Getaway,” in theaters now. Car guys, I urge you to fight your instincts. Forget the tantalizing prospect of watching a Shelby GT500 Super Snake being driven full tilt for two hours. Forget the tempting storyline of a former NASCAR driver screaming like a madman through Bulgaria, leaving cops in the dust and saving his dear wife.
by Stephen Cox I confess that I am a muscle car guy. Can't help it. I grew up cruising Mustangs and Torino's on the strip on Saturday night. But after watching Mecum Auctions sell Porsche 550-0077 for over 3.7 million dollars at Monterey last weekend, I couldn't help but be impressed with the little machine. The 550 was Porsche's first race-specific design. Introduced in Paris in 1953, the 550 was famously modeled after a series of home-built cars from racer Walter Glockler utilizing a mid-engine layout and aerodynamic efficiency to squeeze the most out of a small engine.
New two-door previews upcoming M4 coupe On the 15th of August, surrounded by both current and historic BMW models, BMW M tonight offered a first outlook on a high-performance sports car of tomorrow – the BMW Concept M4 Coupe. The car was unveiled at the BMW opening media reception for the iconic annual Pebble Beach/Monterey automobile weekend. The BMW Concept M4 Coupe reflects the BMW M philosophy in ideal form: It combines motor racing genes and unrestricted everyday suitability in a highly emotional overall concept.
Monterey, CA August is a special time of year on the Monterey Bay peninsula in California. This beautiful piece of coastline offers a magnificent setting for the extraordinary display of automotive design, technology and tradition that is formed by Monterey Classic Car Week. Considered as one of the world’s greatest automotive feasts, the week kicks off Thursday, August 15, with the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex, and ends with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday August 18.
by Ali Arsham Acura’s TL was introduced years ago as a mid level luxury car. In 2004, the second generation TL appeared and this time there was some heavy duty hardware to make the car a genuine sports sedan. That car did very well in sales but fell a little short of being a true sports sedan. For 2009, the TL was redesigned and received the usual more power and bigger dimensions. The exterior styling became bold and was not universally appealing. A new TL should appear soon but for now the TL receives a freshened up exterior to answer some of the critics.
A Crash Course in the Great Anti-Lock Brake Debate
by Stephen Cox "Say, don't anti-lock braking systems shorten stopping distances?" Nope. An ABS-equipped car cannot stop a single millimeter shorter than a non-ABS car. Read the fine print. ABS proponents create a statistical advantage by frequently comparing ABS to “locked braking,” which is the act of smashing the brakes in a panic. The shortest stopping distances are achieved by threshold braking, which is the act of applying as much braking power as possible without skidding the tires.
80 to 100 miles on a charge, 200 miles with range extender BMW Monday introduced the all-new BMW i3 electric car, constructed in a revolutionary way from next-generation materials. The BMW i3 will go on sale in the US market in the second quarter of 2014, and starts with a base MSRP of $41,350, before any federal or state incentives, and before Destination & Handling fee (currently $925).
by Ali Arsham The Acura MDX luxury performance SUV, considered by many as the benchmark of its class, was completely re-engineered in 2007 and since then it has received many improvements. Today’s version is better in almost every way and it is a very sweet SUV to drive. It has pretty much everything that the typical family would want in an affordable package. But many cars sound good on paper, but we had to see if it was really that good.
by Ali Arsham Ram trucks want to be the best and the 2013 Ram heavy duty pick-up trucks make a strong statement. We are big fans of heavy duty trucks and we use them for heavy hauling. Many can’t take the punishment but when we tested the 2013 Ram 3500, it never seemed to break a sweat. The new Ram has gotten bigger and taller and it is an impressive beast to look at. Every year Ram engineers keep adding new features for more strength and more comfort and the 2013 Ram is an amazing piece of work.
Monterey Classic Car Week For one week each August, California’s Monterey peninsula becomes the hub for vintage automobile enthusiasts. Within the glittering collection of unique rendezvous that make up Monterey Classic Car Week, there are a number of stand out events: the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex (15 August), The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering (16 August), the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (18 August) and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (16 -18 August). As a whole, the occasion is a reference point for those who appreciate the virtues of the classic car, and Rolex has been deeply involved since 1997.
by Stephen Cox If there is one person who is most responsible for the coming destruction of the modern American muscle car, it is Ray LaHood. Since 2009 LaHood has headed the federal government's Department of Transportation, a massive bureaucracy that includes such agencies as the “Surface Transportation Board” (yes, that is an actual agency), the “Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration,” and the “Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.” One of LaHood's shortest tenures came as the Secretary of Transportation, yet those four brief years will derail 30 years of automotive progress.
BMW's latest style for their new platform The all-new BMW 4 Series Coupe marks the beginning of a new era for coupes at BMW. Launched as the latest generation of BMW’s sporty mid-size Coupe, the new BMW 4 Series Coupe embodies the very essence of dynamics and aesthetic appeal in the premium segment. The "4" in its title headlines this new product line for the Coupe and emphasizes not only its stand-out design, but that any way you look at it, the new 4 Series Coupe represents something more than its BMW 3 Series cousins - 3+1, if you will.
New Corvette has most powerful standard engine ever The 2014 Corvette Stingray’s all-new LT1 6.2L V-8 engine is SAE-certified at 460 horsepower (343 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 465 lb-ft of torque (630 Nm) at 4,600 rpm, with the available performance exhaust system, Chevrolet announced today. The Stingray is SAE-certified at 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 460 lb-ft (624 Nm) with the standard exhaust system. They are the highest standard power ratings ever for the Corvette, delivered with efficiency that is expected to exceed 26 mpg on the highway.
Not your Mother's GTI How about a really high-performance Volkswagen GTI? Say, 503 horsepower instead of the standard model's maximum 230 hp, and 186 mph flat-out, vs., well, less than that by quite a bit. Volkswagen will Thursday showcase a new Golf GTI concept for the track – the Design Vision GTI – at the annual enthusiasts’ meeting on the shores of Lake Worthersee in Reifnitz, Austria. Around 150,000 fans are expected to attend the gathering between now and Saturday, and take their turn to see the concept, designed by Volkswagen engineers and designers.
Incredible performance for a passenger car Just in time for the 911 Turbo’s 40th anniversary, Porsche has decided to give its loyal customers and fans a special present for this important milestone by unveiling the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S models which will both serve as the range-topping performance models in the 911 model family. Performance for the 2014 Turbo and Turbo S come from a pair of 3.8 liter twin turbocharged flat six engines with the Turbo achieving a 3.2 second time to 60 mph, while the Turbo S model achieves the same feat in a mind-blowing 2.8 seconds before achieving a final top speed of 198 MPH.
by Ali Arsham Ford’s Mustang is a legend that is the car of dreams for many. The Mustang is a muscle car and has a reputation of being fast when it comes to going straight. Ford has done wonders with the Mustang GT’s suspension with the Boss 302 version’s target being the BMW M3. Not all of us can afford to buy the Boss 302 or even the GT. The base six cylinder Mustang has been around since the beginning and the idea has been to offer it for people that want the look of the Mustang but don’t care about performance as much. The 2012 Mustang V6 is different though.
by Stephen Cox California has passed a new law allowing “autonomous cars” on the roadways and Audi says it can have an automated car ready for sale by 2015. Look no further, folks. It has begun. Leprosy, smallpox, malaria... and now the driverless car. Let me be abundantly clear about why I don’t like the idea of a car with no driver. It’s not the car that worries me. Yes, I’m sure some technofreak out there can build one. I oppose the fact that human beings are becoming less skilled by the day. “Civilization” has already caused us to lose most basic skills.
by Stephen Cox As under-appreciated muscle cars go, the enigmatic Mercury Cyclone is about as obscure as they come. But I still love them. First of all, “Cyclone” was a cool name. Most modern car names are garbage. The Intrigue wasn’t. The Hummer didn’t. The Citation couldn’t go fast enough to earn one. The Probe… well… insert your own joke here. And every Prizm, Tempo and Aztec ever built should be loaded aboard the Enterprise, launched into space and used for photon torpedo practice.
2014 Cadillac CTS Elevates to Challenge World's Best
Longer, lower and leaner sedan Cadillac today introduced the all-new 2014 CTS sedan at the NY Auto Show, which ascends into the heart of the midsize luxury market with expanded performance, elevated luxury and sophisticated technology. The third-generation CTS sedan is based on the high-performing rear-drive architecture of the award-winning ATS sport sedan, moving Cadillac into the prestigious class of midsize luxury sedans. It will be the segment’s lightest car, enabling the most agile driving dynamics in the class.
The LaFerrari unveiled in Geneva The wraps are finally off the LaFerrari. The Prancing Horse’s eagerly-anticipated limited-series special, of which just 499 will be built, made its world debut today at the Geneva International Motor Show. For Ferrari the development of a limited-series special like the LaFerrari represents an opportunity to experiment with all the technological solutions that will later filter down onto the production cars.
All three units sold already In the year of its 50th anniversary Automobili Lamborghini is presenting an extremely exclusive model at the Geneva Motor Show 2013. Only three unique units of the Lamborghini Veneno will be built and sold. Its design is consistently focused on optimum aerodynamics and cornering stability, giving the Veneno the real dynamic experience of a racing prototype, yet it is fully homologated for the road. The Veneno accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds and the top speed for this street-legal racing car stands at 355 km/h.
Chevrolet Lifts Lid on Corvette Stingray Convertible
at Geneva Auto Show Chevrolet revealed the 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible today at the Geneva Motor Show, featuring an all-new, fully electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car’s key fob. The top can also be opened or closed on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). With an estimated 450 horsepower (335 kW) and 450 lb.-ft. of torque (610 Nm), the 2014 Stingray is the most powerful standard Corvette in history..
The world's most powerful electric super sports car With the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive, Mercedes-AMG is entering a new era: the locally emission-free super sports car featuring advanced technology from the world of Formula 1 represents the most exclusive and dynamic form of electric motoring. The most powerful AMG high-performance vehicle of all time has four electric motors producing a total output of 740 HP and maximum torque of 737 ft-lbs.
by Ali Arsham The Honda Accord is a very important vehicle for Honda. It is the second bestselling car in the US, selling about 29,000 cars in just last month alone. When Honda decided to create the all-new 2013 Accord, they had to be careful not to mess with a great product. Fortunately, the ninth generation Accord is more luxurious and better performing than any Accord in its 37 year history.
by Ali Arsham If you want an affordable mid-size hybrid family sedan, most people would run out to their local Toyota dealer and buy a Camry Hybrid. Well there are a few other options out there and one of the better ones is the Kia Optima Hybrid. We recently tested the regular Optima EX and were blown away with it. Now we managed to get our hands on the high efficiency Hybrid model. While costing a bit more, the hybrid promises a lot more.
Show opens to public today First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. This year marks the 105th edition of the Chicago Auto Show. "After successful auto shows in Los Angeles and Detroit, we're very excited to open our doors here in Chicago," said Michael Ettleson, Chicago Auto Show chairman. "We know from the buzz generated on social media that our attendees cannot wait for Feb. 9."
A new level of dynamicism The C 63 AMG models are becoming even more dynamic: the AMG high-performance cars are being fitted with an AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine with increased output as exclusive "Edition 507" models. The increase of 50 hp now brings output to 507 hp with a maximum torque of 610 Nm, and is a result of a technology transfer from the SLS AMG: the eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine from the super sports car features forged pistons, connecting rods and a lightweight crankshaft.
by Ali Arsham Hyundai introduced the all-new 2013 Elantra GT at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. Elantra GT brings five-door functionality and European driving dynamics to the expanding Elantra lineup. The Elantra GT is based on the new-generation i30 model designed for the European market. Hyundai describes the new Elantra GT with words that start with F. These words include Fun-to-drive, fuel efficient and functionality. We think that the Elantra’s proportions are fantastic and the car’s fetching styling is right on target.
By Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx Pure electric cars are slow to adoption. The two problems are price and range. A third problem of lack of charging stations on the journey and at destination might go away if range was fixed. Unfortunately, there is too much work on infrastructure, interfacing with the smart grid, influencing user behavior, legislation and other external factors and too little on fixing the real problems, so even major car companies continue to launch pure electric cars with only 100 miles range, BMW and Volkswagen being the latest culprits.
Electrified ELR's driving experience is pure Cadillac
Advanced propulsion systems deliver responsiveness, refinement The 2014 Cadillac ELR electrified compact luxury coupe drives with the performance-bred DNA of all the brand’s vehicles, connecting the driver to the road with responsive driving dynamics expected from a Cadillac. “The ELR is first and foremost a Cadillac and it brings a driving standard that customers will recognize regardless of what’s driving the wheels,” said Chris Thomason, vehicle chief engineer.
Return of the Stingray: The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette
Retooled Chevy Corvette guns for new generation of enthusiasts Chevrolet is redefining modern performance with today’s debut of the all-new Corvette Stingray. And only a Corvette with the perfect balance of technology, design and performance can wear the iconic Stingray designation. The 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 450 horsepower (335 kW) and 450 lb.-ft. of torque (610 Nm). It is also the most capable standard model ever, able to accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieve more than 1g in cornering grip.
Every manufacturer reports sales increase Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today reported December 2012 U.S. sales of 27,251 vehicles, representing an increase of 21.9 percent versus last year, and the best December since 1994. On a year-to-date basis, MNAO reported 277,046 vehicles sold in 2012, exceeding 2011 by 10.6 percent, and representing the company's best full calendar-year of sales since 2007. Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported December 2012 sales of 194,143 units, up 13.2 percent compared to the same period last year.
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