March 25, 2016: This week’s New York Auto Show saw the debut of a number of new vehicles, and showed that automakers are expanding beyond the Detroit show for their new car introductions. Among the new models on display were the: Subaru Impreza, Miata RF, Lincoln Navigator Concept, Honda Civic Hatchback, Chevy Sonic, Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth, and VW Golf Alltrack.
Elsewhere, Audi introduced its latest R18 e-tron for Le Mans. Lighter, more aerodynamic, and using a new energy recovery system, it promises to being the fight to Porsche and Toyota. Forgeline showed its new company car, a 1970 Chevy Camaro that is being modified to Pro-Touring spec., and is built using some of the best parts available. On a different front, Kia and Hyundai have steadily improved their vehicles, but have often fall short of full competitiveness, especially in terms of ride and handling. However, two recent test vehicles, the Kia Sedona SXL and Hyundai Tucson Eco show just how far these companies have come. The Sedona brings real luxury to the minivan segment, while the much less expensive Tucson charms with its honesty. If that’s not enough, we test the Lexus NX 300h, a hybrid version of the little Lexus crossover. Is it worth the price premium, despite its greater efficiency? Finally, GM Parts Center put together a top 10 list of the largest GM engines ever put into production, and we review a fast-paced book that puts the lands speed record drama of the 1960s into context.
March 11, 2016: After months of waiting, we finally got our hands on the latest Toyota Prius for a week-long test. In this past, the thought of driving a Prius for that long would have been as exciting as pulling the skin off the surface of pudding. We venture out into the snow in our white test car, and see if the new Prius lives up to the hype or fades into the background. Speaking of hype, at the Geneva Motor Show Alfa Romeo put its Giulia Quadrifoglio to one side and pulled the wraps off the models that will make or break Alfa’s latest sedan, while Aston Martin debuted the DB11. Will a partnership with Daimler and poaching the chief chassis guru from Lotus make the DB11 the high-tech performance grand tourer Aston has dreamed of but never built? Audi, meanwhile, introduced the SQ7, a high performance turbo diesel sport utility that, due to customer demand, may make it to U.S. shores despite VW’s diesel woes. Speaking of VW, it modified its Golf SportWagen lineup with the addition of a Limited Edition model that bridges the chasm between the bottom and top of the lineup economically. And while this addition shows a willingness to listen and react, the man in charge of VW’s U.S. operations has left the company. We take a look at how VW and Fiat Chrysler continue to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.