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Friday
Jul172015

2015 Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Refining the Recipe

By Christopher A. Sawyer

At the very last minute I had to run home and take clipping off one of the arbor vitae in the backyard, and bring it to the garden center. Ravaged by two winter’s of bone-chilling cold and snow, the shrubs were looking dreadful. Putting the clipping into the cupholder, I buckled up and got ready for the return run. That’s when I noticed it. The cupholders felt slightly flimsy and were missing the rubber liner found in every VW. Had VW cheapened the latest Jetta GLI?

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Friday
Jul172015

Cars of the Future (1948)

I ran across this gen while trolling YouTube looking for something else. If anything, it shows how sad our modern concept cars are in comparison. — CAS

Friday
Jul172015

Preview: 2016 Hyundai Tucson

By Christopher A. Sawyer

The 2016 Hyundai Tucson crossover takes a leaf out of the Sonata’s book and adapts the styling themes initiated on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis to create a more mature and upscale look. Known as Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, the new detailing updates styling that, in the past, all too easily could be mistaken for Ford’s Escape small SUV, and moves it in a direction that is more Hyundai and less Ford. Unfortunately for the Tucson, Ford’s latest Edge copied the sharp-edged hexagonal grille found on the Genesis and Sonata before the Tucson could hit the market. Nevertheless, the Tucson’s design is crisp, clean and nicely detailed. And, unlike the Fords, the Tucson offers the option of twin-projector LED headlamps.

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Friday
Jul172015

Is Renault’s Talisman Nissan’s Amulet?

By Christopher A. Sawyer

Though it looks a bit like one of the designs that did not make the cut for VW’s  new-generation Euro Passat sedan, this is a Renault. Called the Talisman, it’s built off the largest version of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s Common Module Family, the CMF-C/D. Launched in 2013 with the Nissan Rogue and X-Trial, the CMF-C/D platform also underpins the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar crossover and the latest Renault Espace MPV.

The CMF is made up of four large modules: front and rear sub-frames, cockpit, engine compartment, electric architecture and electronics. There are two or three version of these modules available, each of which is built around a standard component architecture. This is what allows them to be combined to create different vehicles in different segments while cutting costs through economies of scale. It’s more of a mix-and-match approach than VW’s MQB structure, but accomplishes many of the same things. Renault-Nissan claims the CMF structure not only simplifies engineering, it cuts engineering costs 40% due to shared product and process engineering, and purchasing costs drop 30% through volume purchasing and other economies of scale. There are three platform families: CMF-A for the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicles, CMF-B for mid-sized sedans and SUVs, and the CMF-C/D that covers the upper end of the mid-size segment as well as large cars and SUVs.

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