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Muscle Car Wars

Horsepower getting as much attention as mileage.

by on Apr.01, 2013

Chevrolet's new 2014 Camaro Z28 is attracting big crowds at New York Auto Show.

“Where’s the Z/28?” asked 16-year-old Michael Kimberly as he wandered through the Jacob Javits convention center in New York on Saturday morning, tagging along on a tour his parents had signed up for at the New York International Auto Show.

The two older Kimberlys were there to check out all the “green cars,” including the new Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid and Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid models making their debuts at the annual show. But younger Michael, about to get his driver’s license, had something decidedly different in mind – the super-high-performance version of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro that was the biggest surprise introduction at the 2013 NYIAS.

Be in the Know!

The 550-horsepower “pony car” has been drawing deep crowds to the Javits Center’s somewhat-isolated North Hall since the show opened its doors to the public last week. But it’s not alone.


Shelby Bulks Up Ford’s F-150 Raptor

Bad, badder, baddest.

by on Apr.01, 2013

Shelby American's version of the Ford F-150 Raptor boasts 575 horsepower.

There are just some jobs for which 411 horsepower isn’t enough, it seems.

These days, something in the 400 horsepower range seems positively pedestrian, not much more than you might need for a minivan or econocar. Even some hybrids deliver more power – as long as they’re badged Ferrari or McLaren, anyway. So what’s a self-respecting full-size truck buyer supposed to do? Not a problem.

Your High Horsepower Source!

A year after the death of its legendary founder Carroll Shelby, his Las Vegas-based tuner firm Shelby American lives on and has brought an assortment of new high-performance products out for the 2013 New York Auto Show – including a special version of the Ford F-150 Raptor.


Might Millennials Diss Boomer Parents and Revive Station Wagons?

Estates, shooting brakes and sportbacks.

by on Mar.29, 2013

Station wagons like Volvo's V60 may lead a revival of the segment.

Like a lot of folks in New York trade unions, Terry Keegan got his in through his family, but’s not always “like-father-like-son.” Baby Boomer Terry Sr. grew up in the back of a station wagon, often relegated to watching the world go by out the back window, his older siblings getting to ride up front. But when it was time to start his own family, Keegan opted first for a minivan and then a “cooler” SUV.

Now it’s junior’s time to express his individuality, the Millennial pausing for a moment as he dashed through the Jacob Javits convention center to check out the new Volvo V60 R-Design wagon.

“That’s not like the wagons my dad used to hate,” he laughs. “I don’t see the wood panels. This thing is really hot. I could see myself driving it.”

Your Global Auto Resource!

Maybe it’s simply a classic case of generational revolt, but industry planners are watching closely to see whether the long-dismissed station wagon is finally – after several false starts – ready for a revival.


Cadillac Expects Sales Increase in 2013

Strength of compact luxury segment makes ATS a leader.

by on Mar.29, 2013

2014 Cadillac CTS

Cadillac expects to chalk up big sales gains this year thanks to the growing popularity of the new Cadillac ATS and the arrival of the new Cadillac CTS this fall, which was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show.

Bob Ferguson, the head of General Motors’ luxury car unit, noted after the unveiling of the 2014 CTS that Cadillac sales are up 30 percent through the first two months of 2013. “I see that continuing,” said Ferguson. In addition, 70 percent of the sales of new ATS, which was named North American Car of The Year in January, are to buyers new to the Cadillac brand, he said.

The Last Word!

In addition, the third generation of the CTS is due this fall and serves to underscore Cadillac’s determination to challenge the trio of German brands, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, that have come to define the luxury segment, he said.


New Mitsubishi’s Mileage No Mirage

With new 3-cylinder engine, maker targeting 44 mpg.

by on Mar.29, 2013

Mitsubishi looks to make inroads into the U.S. market with the 2014 Mirage.

Struggling Mitsubishi has had a hard time getting onto consumer radar screens in recent years, but it’s betting that potential buyers will pay attention to the news that its new small car is rated at 44 miles per gallon.

And that’s no mirage. Or, wait a second, yes it is, the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage. Targeting subcompact competitors like the Ford Fiesta, the new Japanese offering is making its debut at the New York International Auto Show this week.

The Last Word!

The Mitsubishi Mirage will offer a new 74-horsepower 1.2-liter inline-three engine paired with a five-speed manual engine. There’s also an optional CVT. And, yes, that’s three cylinders – a layout we haven’t seen much of in the U.S. market in recent years.


Subaru Plans More Hybrids, Battery Cars – Eventually

Despite first HEV, don’t expect more electric power anytime soon.

by on Mar.29, 2013

Subaru debuted its XV Crosstrek Hybrid at the New York Auto Show.

After a series of false starts, Subaru finally has its first gas-electric model, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, making its formal debut at this week’s New York International Auto Show. Expect to see more hybrids, as well as an all-electric model, possibly even a plug-in hybrid model, the Japanese maker’s top U.S. executive told TheDetroitBureau.com – but not anytime soon.

Between consumer demand and regulatory requirements, Subaru is being pressed to expand its “electrification” effort, said Tom Doll, recently promoted to president of Subaru of America. But as with the effort that finally brought the Crosstrek to market, Subaru isn’t in a rush.

Powering your Hybrid Knowledge!

“You probably won’t see more from us until around 2016 or 2017,” Doll explained, following the official roll out of the XV Crosstrek Hybrid.


Chevy Rolls Out Updated Camaro

Detroit maker hopes to maintain its pony car lead.

by on Mar.28, 2013

The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro gets updates to keep it ahead of the competition.

It was supposed to be the shining moment for the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro, but the mainstream version of the Detroit pony car was upstaged by this week’s unexpected revival of the track-ready Z28.

While the Z28 will certainly place a spotlight on the broader Camaro range, it’s almost a bit disappointing that the “regular” version had to slip from the spotlight because the tweaks it is getting for 2014 are aimed at helping Camaro maintain the upper hand in the fierce and ongoing battle with its long-time competitor, the Ford Mustang.

Powering your Auto Knowledge!

The 2014 re-skin is modest enough that those not familiar with the current Chevrolet Camaro might not even realize what’s changed. But for aficionados, the update is significant.


Designing Wagons: Volvo V60 R-Design Debuts in NY

Volvo struggles to make wagons sexy.

by on Mar.28, 2013

Volvo is bringing sexy back when it comes to wagons with the new V60 R-Design.

Volvo has had a habit of doing things its own way, which includes selling wagons when those so-called two-box designs didn’t work for just about anyone else.

Even Volvo has had to accept market trends in recent years, and shift to more contemporary crossovers. But with the launch of the sporty new V60 R-Design, Swedish brand is hoping to make wagons, well, almost sexy.

Your Auto Show News Source!

Making its debut at the New York Auto Show, the V60-R isn’t the sort of wood-covered wagon one might have expected from decades past. The show car has a fire red paint job covering its almost coupe-like roofline and long, aggressive nose. But what could provide particular appeal is what’s under the hood, a 329-horsepower version of Volvo’s 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine.


VW Golf Named World Car of the Year

Porsche, Jaguar and Tesla also capture honors.

by on Mar.28, 2013

Volkswagen Group’s Global Design Director Walter da Silva celebrates the Golf's World Car of the Year Award in New York.

Capping a rapidly expanding string of honors, the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf was named the World Car of the Year during a well-attended ceremony at the New York International Auto Show this morning.

The award comes just weeks after the compact hatchback was declared European Car of the Year at the annual Geneva Motor Show. But both honors landed a year before the latest update of Volkswagen’s best-selling model finally goes on sale in the U.S.

Geared Up for News!

The 66 members of the World Car jury also paid homage to three other manufacturers – Jaguar, Porsche and upstart battery-car maker Tesla Motors – during the ceremony.


Subaru Delivers Surprise with New WRX Concept

Lower, wider, lighter. But engine details are on hold.

by on Mar.28, 2013

Subaru hints at what's to come with the WRX Concept.

For now, Subaru is calling the little sports coupe on display at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center a “concept,’ but what you see is almost certain to be what you get – with only the most subtle tweaks – once the next-generation Subaru WRX goes into production for 2014.

The WRX is not only the halo car for the Subaru brand but a benchmark for the “rice-burner” market that includes such competitors as the Honda Civic Si and Mitsubishi Evo, so Subaru has a lot riding on the new model.

Your Performance News Source!

The Subaru WRX Concept’s design is meant to emphasize the show car’s turbocharged power and all-wheel-drive grip while adopting a more agile and athletic form.  But some of the biggest changes aren’t immediately visible, Subaru putting an emphasis on reducing the performance coupe’s overall weight and lowering its center of gravity.