Archive for April, 2015
In 1981, a Federal jury ruled that General Motors would have to pay $550 each to 10,000 owners of 1977 Oldsmobiles. This stiff punishment was levied because the Oldsmobiles in question came not with Oldsmobile engines, but with Chevy powerplants.
At the time, it was largely understood by the non-motoring public that GM’s placement of Chevy V8s in Oldsmobiles was an attempt to defraud buyers by slyly passing along an inferior product.
Volkswagen showed off an SUV-flavored all-wheel-drive version of its recently introduced Golf wagon at the 2015 New York Auto Show, and announced that it would go on sale in the U.S. as a 2017 model. The Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen Alltrack follows the formula of other “SUV-ified” wagons such as the Audi allroad, Subaru Outback, and Volvo XC70.
Mitsubishi unveiled a significantly revamped version of its seven-passenger compact-crossover SUV at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The 2016 Outlander receives more than 100 engineering and design updates, most aimed at improving structural rigidity, ride quality, and NVH levels.
Toyota pulled the wraps off a hybrid version of its popular compact crossover SUV at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The company says the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid be available in two high-end all-wheel-drive models—XLE and Premium—and will offer more horsepower and better acceleration than the conventional gas-engine RAV4.
Just three model years after its introduction in the North American market, Chevrolet unveiled a redesigned version of its Spark minicar at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The 2016 Chevrolet Spark retains its petite 4-door hatchback layout, but is 1.6 inches lower and has a slightly longer wheelbase than the current-generation car.
Nissan took the wraps off its next-generation “4-Door Sports Car” at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima is 1.3 inches lower and 2.2 inches longer than the previous-generation model. The radical new look is highlighted by Nissan’s “V-Motion” front-end styling motif, “boomerang” taillights, unique kick-up rear roof pillars, and a floating roof appearance. The model lineup expands to include SL, SR, and top-line Platinum trim levels in addition to the existing S and SV grades.
Porsche debuted a new variant of its two-seat Boxster convertible at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder is a pure-enthusiast model that’s been stripped down for weight savings and hopped up with some special performance hardware.
Honda pulled off a quite a surprise at the 2015 New York Auto Show: it unveiled an eye-searing Civic Concept that directly previews the design of the soon-to-arrive next-generation Honda Civic lineup. For the past few years, Honda has traditionally unveiled its redesigned models in slightly altered show-vehicle form prior to revealing the true production versions. This neon-green coupe utilizes the typical show-car tricks—flashy paint, aggressive big-diameter wheels, a lowered stance, and ostentatious fascia treatments—but subtract all that stuff and you’ve got a very good idea of what the 10th-generation Civic will look like.
Kia unveiled a redesigned version of its popular midsize sedan at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The 2016 Optima is slightly longer, taller and wider than its predecessor, which gives it marginally improved passenger and cargo room. Despite the all-new body, the overall look is a fairly subtle evolution of the existing Optima’s styling.
Cadillac enters the ultra-luxury large sedan market with the 2016 CT6, which made its debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show. This cutting-edge flagship sedan is aimed at premium large-car competitors such as the BMW 7-Series, Jaguar XJ, Lexus LS, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.