Ford introduced the newest member of the ever-expanding F-150 at a recent press event held at the company’s proving grounds in Dearborn, Michigan. The 2014 F-150 Tremor is a regular-cab short-wheelbase model that packs the company’s 365-horsepower turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 “EcoBoost” engine.
Note: This article is reprinted from the April 2013 issue of Collectible Automobile.
If Frank Sinatra had been a Ford man, he might have sang about how 1963 was a very good year. In Dearborn, it certainly was.
At the start of the model run, Ford’s four passenger-car lines wore freshened styling. For the midsized Fairlanes, the most obvious change was a restyled front end along the lines of the year’s full-sized Fords. The rear fenders still wore small fins, though.
American Motors entered 1975 as a company in transition. The top-of-the-line Ambassador and sporty Javelin were both discontinued at the end of the 1974 model run. The company’s plan was to concentrate on small cars, including its compact Hornet and subcompact Gremlin. During the year, the wide-yet-small Pacer was introduced. The last car in the line was AMC’s largest, the intermediate-sized Matador.
The surprise introduction of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 was the big news from Chevy at the 2013 New York Auto Show. This track-focused Camaro joins the refreshed 2014 Camaro lineup. (See Consumer Guide’s review of the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro.)
At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet introduced the newest variant of its compact sedan, the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. This car, which will be available in the United States and Canada, uses a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The company is projecting 42 mpg on the highway and claims that the car will offer best-in-class driving range.
While the badge may say your new car is a Buick or a BMW, there’s an excellent chance that many of its parts, or even entire assemblies, were built by a completely different company. I’d guess that most consumers are aware that many of their car’s parts are made by outside suppliers through the relatively recent phenomena of branded audio systems. Think of some of the brands that appear on new car stereos today: Bose, Sony, and Fender to name a few.
Below are the test drive notes of Consumer Guide Automotive Editor Don Sikora. Also check out Consumer Guide Automotive’s complete review of the 2013 BMW X1.
Acceleration: X1 is rather quick from a stop, but ECO PRO really dulls the throttle dramatically. Stop-start system seems slightly better than in the new 3-Series, but that doesn’t mean it is seamless.
Fuel Economy: 27.93 mpg over 125 miles on premium. Rick Cotta drove approximately 20 miles of city, and I drove approximately 105 miles of nearly all highway.
Ride Quality: Mixed bag for this M Sport with sport suspension and 18-inch tires. It’s pretty comfortable most of the time, but at highway speed the car goes over some bumps rather than really absorbing them. It’s not really harsh, but it isn’t cushy either. Worst condition was on rippled concrete section of Edens Spur before tollbooth. There the X1 rocked front-to-back with more vertical motion than I’d like. Kinda like a 1-Series or a Fiat 500 Abarth.
Steering/Handling/Braking: Nice feel and seems reasonably sporty.
Quietness: Maybe a 7 [out of 10]? Seemed reasonably quiet on the highway for the little time I drove it when it wasn’t raining hard.
Chrysler used the 2012 Los Angeles Auto show to introduce a couple of new variants of two of the company’s best-known models.
First is the 2013 Chrysler Town & Country S. This luxury-themed version of the brand’s minivan adds specific interior and exterior styling touches, as well as some extra standard equipment.
The exterior can be painted in one of four colors: Brilliant Black, Deep Cherry Red, Stone, White, or Billet Silver. Trim includes a black-tinted chrome grille, “S” model insignias, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The interior is trimmed in black leather with cloth seat inserts and gray stitch detailing. Piano Black trim and a black headliner are also included.
The other is the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition. This special version of the off-road ready Rubicon includes steel bumpers with removable end caps, increased ground clearance, a dual-intake “Power Dome” hood, side rails, and unique trim. The interior can be finished in available red-leather upholstery.
The limited-production Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition will be available as a 2-door Wrangler and a 4-door Wrangler Unlimited. Both versions will go on sale in spring 2013.
Mitsubishi is celebrating 30 years in the U.S. auto market. To help mark the occasion, the Japanese automaker introduced a limited-edition version of the 2013 Outlander Sport compact SUV—along with an all-new 2014 Outlander compact SUV—at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The big news is the redesigned 2014 Outlander that goes on sale in July 2013. It remains a 7-passenger crossover, and the new version is about 200 pounds lighter than the model it replaces. Three powertrains will be offered. Two are conventional gasoline engines: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and a 3.0-liter V6 with a 6-speed automatic.
The third powertrain option is a plug-in hybrid electric system that’s offered in the Outlander PHEV. It joins front- and rear-mounted electric motors with a conventional gasoline engine, and it offers all-wheel drive. Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV can function in an electric-only mode or in parallel- or series-hybrid modes depending on several factors related to battery charge level and vehicle speed. More details on the Outlander PHEV will be released closer to its calendar 2014 on-sale date.