The 2014 Spark EV trades the “regular” Spark’s 1.25-liter 4-cylinder engine for a 130-horsepower electric motor. Chevy says the Spark EV will accelerate from 0-60 in less than 8 seconds. Power comes from a lithium-ion battery pack that will have “more than” 20-kWh of capacity. Chevy did not announce the Spark EV’s range.
Mercedes-Benz introduced a diverse collection of vehicles at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, including a high-performance SUV, a new low-production version of the SLS AMG “gullwing” sports car, and a design study showing what a model-year 2025 version of the brand’s iconic G-Class might look like.
Where better than car-crazy California to introduce a performance car? Maybe that’s why Nissan presented the updated 2014 GT-R at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.
GT-R’s changes for 2014 include improved engine response in the mid- and upper-rpm ranges, increased body rigidity, and suspension changes that lower the car’s center of gravity. Nissan says the tweaks improve high-speed handling and offer more “refined” ride comfort. There are also interior changes, which include a new Premium interior package with hand-stitched Amber Red front-seat appointments.
Ford introduced the 2014 version of its Fiesta subcompact at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. New features include two turbocharged EcoBoost engines and a new version of the MyFord Touch system.
I grew up in the 1970s, so my earliest memories of “cool” cars are clouded by the realities of the day. Yes, I fondly recall the Road Runners, AMXs, and Z/28s of my youth. But remember, these were the 1977 versions of those legendary nameplates that were largely reduced to wearing tape stripes and white-letter tires.
Ford has announced it will introduce a redesigned Transit Connect small van for 2014. The first two versions that the company has confirmed are 5- and 7- passenger wagons. Like today’s Transit Connect, these new vans will be front-wheel drive. There is no word yet on a redesigned cargo version.
The recent news that Hyundai and Kia had to reduce the fuel-economy estimates for many 2011, 2012, and 2013 models has been discussed at length in the Consumer Guide office.
Last year, Chevrolet and Mattel teamed up for a wild-green Camaro Hot Wheels concept car. The idea was to take a full-size Camaro and make it look like one of Mattel’s Hot Wheels toy cars. You know, the little cars you can buy on a blister card at the local MegaLoMart.
A new logo was part of the deal when Chevrolet rolled out the all-new “C7” Corvette for 2014. The Logo (above) appears both new, and very familiar.
More and more, airbags are protecting occupants from contacting the perimeter of a vehicle’s interior in the event of a collision. Now GM is taking that a step further with a front-center airbag that’s available in the updated 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave. How Center Airbags Work.