Is BMW looking to possibly revive the Triumph brand for another run? Rumors about such a possibility have festered for well over a decade, but if a recent report out of the United Kingdom is to be believed, The Bavarian automaker could perhaps be exploring this option once again.
It is amazing how a seemingly minor change can impact the personality of a car. I have had a crush on the Suzuki Kizashi since I first laid my eyes on one at a press event years ago. I couldn’t believe that Suzuki had made something so handsome and well equipped. The first time I saw one, I was not allowed to drive it, but I did get a chance to sit inside and get talked through the interior. My amazement continued when I found a nice looking layout, a strong stereo, and an extensive list of potential options. Options that, at the time, had out-ranked most everything in its class. Last week I had the chance to spend a week with one and I did not get quite what I expected. Read on to find out why.
I just spent a week in a car of the future. The 2013 Malibu Eco, to be precise. While still recognizably a Malibu, it’s a sleeker version of today’s family sedan. It joins the Opel Insignia, Buick LaCrosse and Buick Regal on GM’s global Epsilon II platform, and represents the face of the new Chevrolet, which seems to be intent on remaking itself into a kind of American Toyota–no bad ambition. Indeed, despite the esthetic borrowings from cousin Camaro, notably the tail lights and instrument panel, the new Malibu owes something more to the redesigned Toyota Camry, clearly the principal rival in GM’s crosshairs.
Among the automotive elite, Detroit’s Cobo Hall is well-known as the home of the North American International Auto Show, one of the premier events on the annual auto show circuit. Yet perhaps only the true Auto Savant realizes that, each year, a little more than a month after NAIAS, Cobo is the site of a similarly world-class automotive exhibition that holds the same position in its part of the universe that the other Detroit auto show maintains for the new-vehicle industry. I’m writing, of course, about Autorama, the long-running hot-rod fest that’s now in its 60th year and wrapped up this past weekend.
When this car was dropped off for me, I walked around it and thought, “Hmm, some Jaguar, some Lexus, and some of their own styling all blended together. Not a knockout, but definitely okay.”
I got in the car and thought the same thing, except with the addition of Audi.
Ten years ago, the average age of a Buick purchaser was somewhere in the seventies, and now its in the fifties. GM moved it down 20 years in 10 years. That’s still not where you want to be if you’re a car manufacturer, but it is progress.
I have rage issues. There I said it. Fortunately, I take out most of my aggression on inanimate objects (I’m great at patching drywall) and the rest gets spent at the gym. After spending a week in the Hyundai Veloster I couldn’t figure out why I was so angry about it. I really, really like the car. After reflecting on the subject for a while I realized it was not because of the car in any way. I was pissed at all of the other journalists that spent so much time complaining about how “limped” this car was by its lack of horsepower. Read on to find out why.
Reading a story on Jalopnik this morning about how a 1985 Pontiac Fiero was removed from a Houston reservoir after 22 years underwater caused my mind to wander to the last rusty submerged car that I remember seeing in the news. Of course, that car is the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that the city fathers of Tulsa, Oklahoma buried in front of their city hall in 1957, to be unearthed in 2007 and awarded to the person who most closely guessed Tulsa’s 2007 population.
My test vehicle for the past week was the first Cadillac SRX I’d ever driven, and judging by the comments of automotive pundits gleaned hither and yon, the 2012 model is the one the General finally got right. Notably, the SRX now boasts a new 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 308 horses on tap, 16% more than the old 3.0-liter (a 2.8-liter V6 turbo was also available but much sneered at). It is, indeed, a superb engine, capable of hauling this beauty to 60 from a standstill in (per dependable Swiss chronometry) 6.8 seconds, with a nice satisfying snarl under the hood. I ascertained this important fact as early into my stewardship of the thing as possible. So far so good, I thought.