In a car industry flush with new luxury categories, the one that seems to present the most room for growth is the one at the small end of the spectrum ...
I can say with all honesty that I’ve never been a huge Corvette fan. I know that’s heresy coming from a so-called “car guy”, but I’ll endure the fallout. Save for the C4-generation ZR-1, there’s been not a single one that has aroused my passion. Every generation has had its foibles and fame, but for me the Corvette as a brand only truly crystalized when I witnessed the C7 rolling across Chevy’s debut stage at last year’s Detroit show. Here was a car that not only looked fantastic on the outside, but finally had an interior to match. As ever, powertrain and chassis accommodations were not found to be lacking – 460 horsepower and a torque figure to match in a car weighing less than 3,500 pounds are enough to set any driver’s loins afire. Quality on preproduction show cars is hard to judge, though, so I waited until I had a real life example to see if my initial excitement was justified.
Turns out, it was.
Photos courtesy of Nissan
It’s hard to get worked up over a midsized sedan. Yes, I believe they make up the defining segment in the American automotive market, and from time to time I find one of them to be particularly satisfying to drive, but on the whole, they are just plain vanilla.
Few cars these days, even the fun ones, wear their hearts on their sleeves quite as triumphantly as the Subaru WRX. To wit – the ride on our World Rally Blue Pearl example is starched to such an extent that few beverage sips will go without spillage. Why? All the better to flatten out body roll, thereby imparting such immediate turn-in (aided by a new, quicker electric steering rack) that a few extra jostles are a small price to pay for handling precision, Subaru figures.
VW’s first major foray into the US’s highly competitive (and highly important) small SUV marketplace was with the Tiguan back in 2008. The SE model pictured here is now six model years old, but largely unchanged. Has the Tiguan blossomed for the brand, or been left to wither on the vine?
We’ve all experienced relationships in life that despite our best intentions, are based largely on physical attraction. There’s usually an angel on our shoulder the whole time, suggesting we seek a partnership more stable, more collaborative, and more psychologically sound – but despite all that, the attraction remains. Sure, there are safer options – a partner that’s not interested in shouting your baser instincts to the world. But those certainly aren’t as fun. The BMW 6 series is that temptress we should all know better than to tango with; but then, the heart wants what it wants.
The Hennessey Venom GT has set a new world record for a 2-seat production sports car by reaching a top speed of 270.49 mph. The run was held at the 3.2-mile Space Shuttle landing runway at Kennedy Space Center. Check out this mind-blowing video of the run!
It’s not often I find myself daydreaming of rising to political prominence in a third-world banana republic somewhere; in fact, that’s never run through my mind. But after a few days of rolling around in a Lexus LX570 (aka the “Lexus Land Cruiser”), mindsets tend to change.
As an enormous fan of the original 2010 W212 generation E-class, I was more than a little worried when the introduction of a 2014 facelift was first announced during last year’s Detroit auto show. After all, the W212 was considered, by many in addition to me, to be perhaps the best-looking Benz sedan of the modern era. Why mess with success? As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. Because while the rectangular quad headlights and the sedan’s throwback ponton-style rear fender flares are now gone, an extremely cohesive and simply handsome car remains in place.
Ferrari has published the first photos of the new front-engined California T ahead of its world début at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The Ferrari California T updates the current California with new sheetmetal, and an all-new 3.9-liter turbocharged direct-injection V8 engine which Ferrari says has zero turbo lag, and is rated at 560-horsepower and 557lb-ft of torque. That is a massive 70 horsepower jump from the current California model, and an increase in torque of nearly 50-percent. Despite the huge performance gains, Ferrari says that the new California T is up to 15-percent more fuel-efficient and emissions have been reduced by 20-percent.
It’s been a long-standing opinion here that the current California is one of the worst looking and most undesirable of the modern Ferraris. The California T goes a long way in fixing several of the styling problems that we had with the outgoing California. Only seat time will tell whether the new powertrain and improved handling bits will make up for the shortcomings in the driving dynamics area.
Hot hatch fans rejoice! Audi has pulled the covers off the all-new S1 quattro and S1 Sportback quattro, set for a début at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March. The S1 and S1 Sportback are both powered by a new 2.0TFSI engine which produces 231 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Audi claims a 0-62 mph time of just 5.8 seconds, and fuel economy of 7.0 liters per 100 kilometers (European cycle). The S1 and S1 Sportback will be the first small compact segment Audi to wear the quattro badge. A choice of manual or dual-clutch transmission is expected.
Check out the full Audi S1 and S1 Sportback gallery after the jump!