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Thursday
Jun142012

April 2012

April 27, 2012: The Editor had a tough time with this one. After a week or so of what can only be described as insanity, the word leaked out that DRB-Hicom, which got Lotus when it purchased Malaysian car maker Proton, denied it had made any plans to sell the seminal British sports car maker. Yet KPMG reportedly was retained to find a Chinese buyer for the company. After many late hours scouring the Internet, speaking with friends and former colleagues, tracking down leads and working with the folks at AROnline, he wrote a lengthy piece synopsizing the current situation. You won’t want to miss it. (NOTE: The fluidity of the situation at Lotus has required addendums as things change and become more clear. Please keep returning to this story for updates.) On a brighter note, Jaguar introduced two new boosted engines at China Auto 2012 in Beijing. These modular designs — which include a four-cylinder — produce plenty of horsepower, offer greater fuel efficiency, and — joy of joys — supplement the current 5.0-liter V8. Hyundai’s Accent may be the entry-level vehicle in the Hyundai brand, but is it also the one closest to the heart and soul of the Korean automaker? It just might be. Read what we have to say about the littlest Hyundai sold in America. When you’re finished with that, see what our Al Vinikour has to say about the 2013 Ford Escape. Is it a significant step forward, and will traditional buyers like its new Focus-like styling? You be the judge, but don’t forget to follow along to the Hokey Pokey… really. Speaking of judging, Al takes a walk down memory lane, reminiscing about some of the nameplates that have gone to car heaven. See if you agree with his choices.

 

April 20, 2012: Late April is the perfect time for Spring cleaning, and what better time to take a look at improving your automotive lifestyle? For example, if your furniture is getting old, why not replace it withSwitchCars.com photo chairs, tables, sofas, etc. designed by Mercedes-Benz, and built by an Italian luxury furniture maker? Or maybe you have a strong hankering for a hot rod and an E-Type Jaguar, but can’t afford both. What do you do? Check out our Lifestyle page for a restomod Series I E-Type that fits the bill. On a more serious note, we speak with the folks from interior supplier Johnson Controls to get an inside look at what changes you can expect in in-car interactivity, and how this is tied to consumer electronics and the technical savvy of the car buyer. Which brings us to a new touch pad device from TRW that brings this technology into more cars, with more functionality. And Al? He takes a look at the new naming convention that replaces vehicle names with letters. Confusing? Yes, but he also thinks it borders on criminally stupid. We wouldn’t expect anything less from Mr. Vinikour.

 

April 13, 2012: For all you enjoying the warm Spring weather, but wondering which two-wheeler should adorn your garage, we welcome back Scott Bowles, The Virtual Rider, to review the Harley-Davidson Switchback. Read his review for the answer to whether a Harley can be considered “practical”. Impracticality is part of the sport coupe ownership experience, but Hyundai’s Veloster marries edgy styling and a tight package with the practicality of three doors and a hatch. And while this sounds like the title for a British comedy starring Hugh Grant, is it enough to make the Veloster more practical without losing any sportiness? Finally, two from Al Vinikour. First his review of Bryce Hoffman’s book on Ford and how it came through the industry meltdown relatively unscathed. This is followed by his Tirade on seat belt design, and the difficulties poorly designed latches can bring. But there’s a surprise: TRW has just introduced a modification to the standard latch unit that could make Al a happy man… Oh what am I thinking. He’ll never be happy!


April 6, 2012: We're taking the week off to celebrate the Easter holiday. Enjoy the time off, and we'll see you back here Friday the 13th!