When Ford revealed the 2015 Mustang to the world last month, designers retained its fastback shape that enthusiasts love about the car. But, other than the familiar body, the things that have made the Mustang such an icon in the first place are gone.
The heavy and efficient rear axle is replaced by an independent rear suspension, which greatly improves the ride but alters the driving experience. An optional turbocharged engine is included with the traditional V-6 and V-8. The Eco-boost engine is a definite plus when it comes to fuel efficiency, but diminishes the feel of a Mustang charger.
Automakers try their best to balance new technology with classic style. When asked whether Mustang is losing its distinctiveness beyond the look of the body,Mustang Communication Manager Alan Hall said no.
Other than the shape and power of the vehicle, the new model will still sound like the Mustang of the 1960s. “You know it when you hear it anywhere. Nobody can match it.”
Stingray, Cadillac CTS, and the Mazda 3 were all named finalists for Car of the Year, while Cherokee, Silverado, and the Acura MDX are the top trucks.
The 2014 North American Car of the Year winner will be announced on January 13 during the Detroit auto-show press days. The finalists were revealed at the Detroit Athletic Club.
An independent jury of 48 automotive journalists judged the finalists. The entries included 11 cars and 12 utility trucks.
Six car manufacturers had multiple nominees with GM leading the way with six nominations. GM was nominated for its Cadillac CTS, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the 2013 Impala and Silverado, and the 2013 GMC Sierra and Buick Encore.
Hyundai-Kia was nominated for the Kia Cadenza and Sorento, and the Hyundai Santa Fe LWB. Toyota was nominated for the Toyota Corolla, Tundra, and the Lexus IS.
Nissan has the Rogue and the Infiniti Q50. BMW has the 4 series, and X5. Jaguar-Land Rover has the Jaguar F-Type, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and the Mazda 3 and 6.
American Honda has the Acura MDX, Mercedes-Benz has the CLA, Chrysler has the Jeep Cherokee, and Subaru has the Forester.
The 2013 North American Car of the Year award went to the Cadillac ATS, and the Ram 1500 was the 2013 North American Truck of the Year.
Venturi Automobiles has teamed up with Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio to form a motor racing team to compete in the new all-electric Formula E.
‘Embrace fuel-efficient’ cars
DiCaprio has co-founded a Monaco-based team, known as Venturi Grand Prix, with Gildo Pallanca Pastor.
The award winning actor and environmentalist said, “The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean energy vehicles.”
The racing event will happen in 10 of the world’s leading cities, Beijing, Miami, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, London, and Berlin.
The championship is aiming to highlight electric car technology and speed up production and innovation amongst automakers.
Interest in electric cars
Formula E series is a new FIA championship and will use electric race cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph.
Venturi Automobiles has the support of motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, and also the European Commission, which has pressed the motorsport industry to develop more electric vehicles.
In the first year, the teams will compete in vehicles with the same specifications.
General Motors says it’s still committed to Japan despite disappointing sales of Cadillac and Chevrolet, barely exceeding 1,000 cars every year.
Because there has never been much appeal in Japan for left-hand drive gas US cars, there are many informal barriers to international car manufacturers making it in the country.
GM officials, however, still sees hope in sales of its luxury models, which have doubled in the past three years.
The carmaker is trying to lure Japanese consumers with the new Cadillac CTS and Chevrolet Corvetter, which boast better quality and mileage.
Worth risk taking
GM has began to offer vehicles with the steering wheel on the right, which is the standard in Japan.
Sales and marketing directors Ishii and Gregg Sedewitz said the new models represent American luxury and are synonymous with coolness and Hollywood celebrities.
The Cadillac CTS features the latest technology, such as lightweight structure and a direct injection turbo engine.
The Corvette and Cadillac CTS will go on sale in Japan from April to May 2014.
American car buyers flocked to dealerships over the holiday weekend, beating expectations by increasing new car sales by almost 9%.
Holiday weekend sales
Americans proved they wanted to buy more than just video games consoles and flat-screen televisions.
November car sales leaped 9% above last year, with a solid piece of the earnings over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Sales ran at a yearly pace of 16.4 million vehicles and trucks last month, the best in nearly seven years.
Sign of improving conditions for consumers
Ford’s top sales analyst Eich Merkle said the small SUVs earned two percentage points of market share in November compared in 2012, while small and midsized cars lost two points combined.
Toyota, on the other hand, earned more than 25% of its sales over the holiday weekend.
Dealers said sales in November started slowly, but jumped after Thanksgiving.
American’s willingness to spend on huge price items, even with deals, could signify that conditions are improving for buyers.
Porsche has introduced the Cayenne Platinum Edition, which will be available for a limited time only.
Pure style and exclusivity
The Platinum Edition range stretches across the six-cylinder and diesel SUVs, which includes engine modifications and few visual tweaks.
Designed to combine style and exclusively, new versions offer more than just a shiny paint, with a range of choices, innovative technologies, and creature comforts included as standard.
The model features a Platinum Silver Metallic exterior, but it can also be ordered in a selection of unique colors.
The new models boast an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission, Park Assist system, privacy glazing, and the Porsche Communication Management in car infotainment system.
It‘s also equipped with seven-inch HD touch screen and 11-speaker stereo, all as standard.
In addition to toys, the special edition features a two-tone interior that boasts leather seats exclusively for the model.
The six-cylinder petrol-powered units will cost €66,379. At €67,212, the diesel-powered version will cost a little more when it becomes available for order early next year.
As car shoppers converge on the annual Guangzhou auto show, only few had expected to see a shiny new set of wheels.
Cars are used, the market is new
Rapid growth that transformed China into the world’s biggest car market is now giving life to a new industry: used cars.
Chinese began buying new cars in huge numbers four years ago, about the average length of time analysts claim drivers will stick with a car before trading it for new.
Now, the second hand market is already booming, with sales growth last year exceeding that for new cars.
By volume, though, it’s still dwarfed by new vehicles, which outsold used cars three to one.
Affordable car ownership
In the United States, that ratio is reversed, highlighting the pre-owned market’s vast potential to make car ownership affordable for millions more Chinese.
The challenge now in China is to produce a modern market for second hand cars. It is dominated by thousands of small trading companies that run big trading halls or public markets on city outskirts.