Posts from ‘Hatchbacks/Wagons’
by Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
The Renault 5 went on sale in France in 1972, but the car wasn’t available in America until 1976. The front-drive subcompact was 141.5 inches long and rode an average wheelbase of 95.2 inches. Yes, average wheelbase. The independent rear suspension used transversely mounted torsion bars, and for simplicity they were mounted one in front of the other. This resulted in the wheelbase on the left side of the car being 1.2 inches longer than on the right. Curb weight was 1819 pounds no matter what side the scale was on.
As the first mass-market electric car to be sold by a major manufacturer, the original Nissan Leaf was a landmark vehicle. And it only gets better with its 2018 redesign.
Special-edition, limited-run vehicles have long been a part of most automakers’ bag of sales-boosting tricks. Producing a limited number of specially trimmed examples of a given vehicle—unique paint, wheels, interior and exterior trim, and maybe some stripes or special emblems—is a relatively easy, cost-effective way to drum up a little excitement over a given model line without incurring the significant expenses of a serious styling update or mechanical refresh. The special-edition model is a time-honored practice that has been going on in one form or another since the Fifties.
Class: Electric Vehicle
Miles driven: 587
Fuel used: N/A
The premise underlying Cadillac’s decision to market a subcompact car in the U.S. beginning in 1982 was perfectly sound. The luxury division of General Motors was looking for a way to reach younger consumers, and a smaller, more affordable offering made sense. It would enable the brand to bring new buyers into the fold sooner rather than later, and hopefully those customers would move up to a larger, pricier Cadillac when trade-in time came.
Class: Subcompact Car
Miles driven: 517
Fuel used: 16.2 gallons