2014 Buick Regal receives mid-cycle and style updates

Buick's Regal is a looker and the popular sedan gets some tweaks for 2014 including revised front and rear fascia (Regal GS in red above). The engine line-up remains pretty much unchanged with the 2.4-liter four with eAssist (182 hp, 172 lb.ft. of torque) and the 2.0-liter turbo (259 hp, 295 lb.ft. of torque) that is now available in the Regal Turbo and the Regal GS. The interior has been revised with more luxury and detailing. New tech has been added including adaptive cruise control and new LED lighting and an all-wheel-drive system from Haldex is added for the first time. The GS model is the top of the line (red car in the pics) and includes the whole kit and kaboodle including drive control and the latest IntelliLink infotainment system. For more info, check out the press release, spec charts, and videos after the jump. Buick's good thing just got better. The 2014 Buick Regal will be at your local dealer this fall.

Source: Buick - Press release and videos (2) after the jump.

Audi debuts new A3 Sedan

The Audi A3 has been one of the few missteps the German marque has made in the US market with an attractive and sporty entry that was a five-door hatchback only model. For 2014, that misstep has been addressed with the model you see here, the new A3 Sedan. Compact sedans can be lumpy, glandular things, but this newest Audi is svelte and sporty, especially with the large wheels. The lines are clean, but not boring with attractive sculpting breaking up the door panels leading to the Audi-family front and rear fascia. If you're going to have a familiar look to your cars, at least make them attractive like Audi has (we're looking at you Acura, Mazda, and others that seem to hang on to styling cues that weren't attractive in the first place...in my opinion) and don't make them exactly alike. You know the A3 Sedan is an Audi when you see it, but you know it's not an A4, or even an A6. In Europe, the new A3 (including the five-door) will be available with three engines, but the US should only see the larger entries, the 1.8-liter four (180 hp, 185 lb.ft. of torque) and the 2.0-liter diesel (159 hp, 235 lb.ft. of  torque) mated to either a six-speed manual or S-Tronic dual-clutch automanual. Expect excellent fuel efficiency especially with the diesel. Equipment will include leathers and full power with options including Audi's MMI infotainment system and a Bang & Olufsen sound system (705 watt amplifier, 14 loudspeakers in 5.1 surround sound) and much more. Exact models and specifications will be released closer to the new A3 Sedan's intro late this year. In 2014, Audi will take the wraps off of an S3 Sedan that will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that will produce almost 300 hp. The five-door A3 will still be available and a new five-door e-tron hybrid will also join the line-up. For more information, check out the press release and intro video after the jump.

Source: Audi - Press release and video after the jump.

All-new Cadillac CTS makes Big Apple debut

Cadillac has taken the wraps off of the all-new 2014 CTS sports sedan that has grown in size, but manages to be lighter than its predecessor. In some ways the CTS has been enigma. It is priced like the BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-Class sedans but sized more like the larger 5-Series and E-Class. Since the new ATS is now the designated 3-Series fighter, the CTS can now grow in size (and price) to match its perceived market niche and here it is folks...your bigger, better, and lighter CTS, The previous CTS re-established Cadillac as a luxury automaker and the new model will only further the marque's reputation. On the style front, the CTS is a more svelte conveyance with numerous Cadillac design cues (especially in the rear) and new interpretations of Cadillac's style philosophy. I even see a little XTS in the new CTS. The interior is a major step up in accommodation and luxury with just about every option and feature in the Cadillac arsenal available. Three engines will be available: a 2.0-liter Turbo four (272 hp, 295 lb-ft. of torque), a 3.6-liter V6 (321 hp, 275 lb.ft. of torque), and the CTS-V exclusive 3.6-liter Twin-Turbo V6 (420 hp, 430 lb.ft. of torque). Transmissions include either a six-speed or an eight-speed automatic (availability not announced). Light-weight materials are used throughout the new sedan including the first use (for Cadillac) of aluminum doors. Rear-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive available. The 2014 Cadillac CTS will hit dealer lots this fall with the CTS-V launch expected later. It looks like Cadillac has a winner on its hands with the new CTS. For lots of preliminary  information, specs, and a video, hit the "Read More" link.

Source: Cadillac - Extensive press releases (2), video, and preliminary specifications after the jump.

2014 Lexus IS models officially debut

The time has come and Lexus has taken the wraps off of the third generation IS series for 2014. The styling is more cohesive with side accents and Lexus' catfish spindle grille the most obvious change with a revised interior that fits the model's entry luxury mission. The new IS also seems wider and doesn't have the cropped visage of the previous generation which should make it more competitive with the Audi A3, BMW 1-Series, and Acura's ILX. Where the Lexus tromps all over the ILX is in the area of performance and subsequent drive train options. The !S250 features Lexus' 2.5-liter V6 (204 hp, 185 lb.ft  of torque) that puts the power to the road through a six-speed automatic. The IS250 will hit 50 from a standstill in 7.7 seconds while returning an estimated 21 city/30 highway/24 combined fuel economy numbers. Jump up to the IS350 and you get the 3.5-liter V6 (306 hp, 277 lb. ft. of torque) that's matched to an eight-speed automatic with numbers of 50 reached in 5.6 seconds and EPA estimates of 19 city/28 highway/22 combined. Last year's F Sport model has been discontinued and relaced with an F-Sport package that gets you the F-Sport goodies (revised grille [see pic after jump], sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, special colors inside and out, and much more) with either engine. All-wheel drive is available with both engines. The Lexus IS models should be hitting your local dealer soon (check for availability) giving (at least) your local Acura dealer a few sleepless nights. For lots more information, check out the press release and spec sheets after the jump.

Source: Lexus - Press release, video, and spec charts after the jump.

Opel's newest crossover - the Adam Rocks Concept

Opel's Adam is the European carmaker's urban small car that can be configured for just about any need. At this year's Geneva Motor Show, Opel took the wraps off of the Rocks Concept to show a possible direction that Opel (and Vauxhall) could take their little runabout. The Adam Rocks (I know too cute, but I kinda like it) is a butched up Adam with a raised suspension, body cladding, large wheels, custom interior, unique trim, and a folding top to make their littlest (possible) crossover (their words) more fun and distinctive. If you like the Adam, you'll like the Rocks Concept with the flank accents, rear hatch, and unique roofline. No specific details about possible engines, transmissions, or drivetrain were given but click on the previous post for info regarding the regular Adam. If you like it, let GM know. More to come...

Source: Opel - Press release and video after the jump. Previous post.

Honda Civic Tourer Concept - A Civic with high style

More pics of the Honda Civic Tourer Concept have been released and the concept just keeps getting better and better looking. Who says Honda can't design an attractive car? Well, many US consumers for one. Honda has a habit of making these great concepts, but when the production versions appear, the designs are so diluted that they're hard to believe that it is the same design. Our US Insight is just one example. This would make a great addition to the US line up and Honda could actually make a new model out of it and offer various gas and hybrid powertrains to take on the Prius family. One can hope. Very little info is available to those not lucky enough to get to Switzerland, so I'm sure that there will be more to come, especially if the Civic Tourer sees production in some form. Until then, enjoy the pics (brief release and 3 pics after the jump). Come on Honda. This one looks ready to go, so go for it already.

Source: Honda - Brief press release after the jump.

Citroen Technospace Concept foreshadows future people mover

Citroen took the wraps off of the Technospce Concept that is said to foreshadow the upcoming production C4 Picasso model. The Technospace uses Citroen's new modular platform and should set new standards for European MPVs (minivans) in terms of space utiliaztion, efficiency, and low CO2 emissions. The Technospcae includes a 12"inch screen on the dash and has a complete suite of nre technologies and luxury materials. There is practically no chance that this latest Citroen will be seen on this side of the pond, but with today's penchant for coroporate "hook-ups," you never know. The production version of the new C4 Picasso Technospace will hit Euro dealers this summer. Brief release after the jump.

Source: Citroen - Press release after the jump.

LaFerrari supercar unleashes the horsepower at the Geneva Motor Show

Ferrari has been working on its latest supercar for some time since the Enzo super Ferrari stopped production. And what a super car it is. The Enzo was nice, but the LaFerrari is lustfully beautiful. With its arrow-like profile (pic after the jump) and muscular flanks and fenders, the LaFerrari is one of the cleanest designs from Ferrari in some time. Aerodynamic aids abound like the front diffusers and guide vane on the underbody and the rear diffusers and spoiler. The twelve-cylinder powerplant has a combined rating of almost 950 hp pushing the car to a top speed of almost 220 mph through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sixty jets by in less than three seconds from a standstill. Only 449 units of this limited-edition wundercar will be built, and sorry, they're all spoken for (Ferrari owners get the first shot and they said yes). For lots more info and additional pics, check out the press release after the jump. Click on the pics and enjoy!

Source: Ferrari: via NewsPress - Press release after the jump.

Kia provo concept - New take on the hot hatch

Auto shows are all about what's new and what's fun and Kia rolled out a bit of the fun with their new provo concept (lower case their idea). The provo is a hot little hatch that looks like the smaller sibling to Hyundai's Veloster. provo uses dynamic styling with modern touches like headlights that utilize 850 tiny LEDs, Kia "Tiger Nose" grille behind glass, muscular flanks, large wheels, and a unique paint treatment that gives provo presence. provo uses lightweight materials throughout such as a one-piece carbon-fiber dash, and extensive use of aluminum in the swing-up doors and body. A 1.6-liter gas engine creates about 200 hp with another 40+ hp available through provo's regenerative electric motors to create what Kia calls a "smart hybrid." A seven-speed dual-clutch automanual transmission puts the power to the pavement through Kia's SMART 4WD Hybrid system. Kia has created an attractive entry for the "hot Hatch" segment. Click on the pic and check out the unique interior. The press release has more details and info. Kia has no production plans for provo, but hopes to expand in the B-segment marketplace. In other words, if you want one, let Kia know. The car seems ready for production (mostly) so who knows? Interesting car with more to come I'm sure...

Source: Kia - Press release after the jump.

Euro Ford Ecosport compact SUV gets Alpine debut

Ford has taken the wraps off of the Europe-only Ecosport crossover/SUV/CUV that has had success in other world markets. Upon first viewing, the Ecosport reminds me of a Bulldog with its gruff front fascia and thick proportions. As it stands, the Fiesta-sized Ecosport will not be coming to the US at least in this iteration. With regular bumpers front and rear (especially rear) and a hidden spare, the Ecosport might tickle the fancies of many US consumers. (Buick's similarly sized Encore is doing well here.) Maybe the next generation Ecosport will cross the pond. The Ecosport features two gas engines and one diesel and will include Ford's SYNC system along with many premium features and a plethora of options. The Ecosport is Ford's second SUV to enter the European market after the recently introduced all-new Kuga (Escape in the US). The next generation Edge will also join Ford of Europe's cast of characters and the seven-passenger Explorer will begin production in Russia very soon. If you have interest in a US version of the new Ecosport, let Ford know.

Source: Ford - Press release after the jump.

Alfa Romeo shows production 4C Launch Edition

Alfa Romeo is showing the production version of the new 4C compact super sportster (think Tesla Roadster or Lotus size) at the Geneva Motor Show. A special "Launch Edition" model (the white car) will be among the first 4Cs available when the car hits dealers later this year with prices starting at 60,000 Euros (which includes their VAT - value-added tax) or about $78,000 at today's exchange rates. The launch Edition 4C will have production limited to 400 cars for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; 500 cars for the US; and 100 cars for the rest of the world. Launch Edition models will come in Carrara White or Alfa Red, feature a body kit with carbon-fiber accents, and include special badges that are even visible in the paint. The 4C will roar on the road with a racy 1.75-liter four that will produce 240 hp with help from turbocharging and direct injection. Transmission duties are handled by Alfa's TCT twin dry clutch transmission with the run to sixty taking less than 4.5 seconds. High-strength, lightweight materials help to create a stiff body/chassis that is the basis for the car's high-performance levels. The 4C's curvaceous body and prominent Alfa grille announce this as the latest from this famous Italian marque and be the basis for the company's return to the US market (no timeline or dealer specifics provided at this time). Check out the fairly extensive press release and additional pics after the jump.

Source: Alfa Romeo - Press release after the jump.

Lamboghini creates the limited-edition Veneno supercar to commemorate their 50th Anniversary

Lamborghini debuted their all-new, extremely limited-edition supercar, the Venano, at the Geneva Motor Show in celebration of their 50th Anniversary. Only three Veneno super sportsters will be made and I'm sorry to say (for those of you that have the almost $4,000,000 price of entry) that they are all spoken for. From the looks of the car, I expect to see Bruce Wayne leaning on the roof (yes, a Batman reference), but the car is striking even if the name calls to mind a certain Buick compact. The twelve-cylinder power unit (their words) generates 750 hp and hits sixty in 2.8 seconds utilizing a seven-speed ISR transmission with five driving modes. The lightweight body uses carbon-fiber and forged composites extensively with a particular emphasis on aerodynamics and functionality. The rear wing is adjustable and the suspension utilizes the latest racing technology. As with all Lambos, the Veneno is named after a storied fighting bull and Veneno was considered one of the fastest and most aggressive bulls to fight in Andalusia, Spain in the early 1900s. This is a jaw-dropping super sports car that won't be confused with anything else on the road and you'll know it IF you see one. Happy 50th Lamborghini! Press release and two additional pics after the jump.

Source: Lamborghini - Press Release after the jump.on the

Rolls-Royce Wraith takes the stage in Geneva

Rolls-Royce revealed its more expensive counterpart to Bentley's Continental GT, the Wraith, at the Geneva Motor Show. Your $320,000 (base price at current exchange rates) will get you the latest grand touring machine on the planet with excellent performance and supreme luxury. This Ghost-based coupe will hit sixty mph from a standstill in just 4.4 seconds with a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic sending the V12's 624 hp to the road. The interior features Rolls-Royce fine leathers and woods along with expected features like navigation, an "On-Board Valet" voice-recognition system, infotainment, premium audio, the new Starlight Headliner (that gives the interior the appearance of stars overhead through the use of more than 1,300 LED lights - see pic after the jump), and much, much more. The fastback roofline is the most striking element of the Wraith design that mirrors the Ghost sedan but with a wider stance and shorter wheelbase and oh yea, two less doors that open from the front near the windshield supports. (Check out the side view pic after the jump.) On continued viewing, the Rolls-Royce Wraith coupe is an attractive conveyance that will take four cossetted occupants to their destination in style and comfort. The Rolls-Royce Wraith will be available in the fall to lucky drivers with the wherewithal to make the deal. Bring a large checkbook. More after the jump...

Source: Rolls-Royce - Press release, pics (4) and video after the jump.

Let's Talk About Fuel Economy and the EPA

Well, you know what they say about opinions, everybody's got one just like a certain anatomical part. Well this piece is one of mine. First off let's address the pic at the right. This is the Honda Civic Tourer Concept that will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in a few days (pics were leaked online by a Euro mag). Honda makes decent conveyances, but their styling (at least in the US) leaves a lot to be desired (desire being the key word). Even the new Acura NSX gets stuck with that ridiculous family grille (really, a smiley face supercar?). The Tourer Concept will go into production, somewhat watered down if history repeats, for the European market. Why not here? Wouldn't this car at least make a nice hybrid tourer (no word yet on available engines) to compete with the Prius V and the Ford C-Max? They would finally have a car that would more than compete, at least in the styling area. Honda's hybrid system feels the most coarse when driven and is under powered when compared to the Toyota and the Ford, especially the Ford, but that could be fixed. I know that differing regulations in each market can make things difficult, but if Toyota, Ford, and GM can do it, why not Honda? Let Honda know that you want (styling) change either online or by email to their offices in Torrance, CA; New York City; Marysville, OH; etc.

Let's talk about the EPA mileage estimates on cars. Yes folks they are estimates! The EPA numbers are created to allow manufacturers to meet fuel economy regulations. They are not real world numbers. To be fair, if they tested them in the "real" world, all cars would need to be tested at the same time in the same place. Ain't gonna happen. So testing is done under EPA guidelines by the manufacturers in a laboratory environment using machinery that simulates real-world driving. Which of course it doesn't, but the system is in place to give consumers a guideline for comparison. The EPA (supposedly) does spot checks to verify economy claims, but with the cutbacks to the EPA budget, that is happening less and less. I tell friends that are car shopping to expect at least 20 to 25 percent less than what is on the sticker, especially if they have a lead right foot. Then your mileage can be even lower. I live in the Los Angeles area where there are lots of hybrids and many drivers act like they're behind and need to

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible breaks cover ahead of Geneva debut

Corvette has released the first pic of the 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible that will debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The first production model will be auctioned off by Chevrolet to benefit the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach collector car auction that will be held April 4-6. Check out the brief press release after the jump that includes links to the Chevrolet and Barrett-Jackson sites. More to come...

Source: Chevrolet - Press release and links after the jump.

Quick Look: VW Beetle Convertible hits dealers

I saw one at my local dealer today (an all black Turbo model), so yea they are available now. The Beetle Convertible comes in various trim levels like the standard model, Turbo, the decade models (50s, 60s, 70s) and the Fender edition with sound by, who else, Fender. Three engines are available - the standard 2.5-liter (170 hp, 177 lb.-ft. of torque), the 2.0-liter Turbo (200 hp, 201 lb.-ft. of torque) and the TDI clean turbo diesel (140 hp, 236 lb.-ft. of torque) that can get 41 mpg/hwy. The base engine gets a six-speed automatic and the diesel and Turbo models can be fitted with either a six-speed manual, or the optional six-speed DSG auto-manual transmission. Leather and VW's suedo-leather are available. The soft top drops in under ten seconds and was redesigned to minimize the intrusion on rear visibility. You know if you are a convertible person or a Beetle person. But those of you that want a fun open-air driving experience and hadn't considered this VW, you might be surprised. Plus you can tailor the car to your needs and wants (and budget) and have a good-looking 2+2 ride to boot. Check out the link to visit the Beetle Convertible site. There are six Euro-centric press releases after the jump, as well as my fave Beetle Convertible commercial. Enjoy. Prices start around $25k and can reach into the low $30k range.

Source: Volkswagen - Press releases (6), pics, and video after the jump.

Nissan Taxi of Tomorrow hits NYC streets

Just for fun...Nissan has released a video report on the progress of their Taxi of Tomorrow as it prepares to make its debut in the Big Apple this fall. Enjoy. Previous post.

Source: Nissan - Press release after the jump.

Audi A3 Sportback g-tron to debut in Geneva

Audi will take the wraps off of a new kind of flex-fuel vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show. The new A3 g-tron features a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine (110hp) that runs on regular gas and CNG (compressed natural gas) for a combined range of more than 800 miles. I think your bladder will give out before you exhaust this vehicle's range. The g-tron engine provides similar performance and economy with either fuel, but offers lower CO2 emissions in CNG mode. Audi has even developed a new CNG-creation station that uses water and CO2 to make a non-fossil fuel "natural" gas (the Audi gas will be available in Germany). The CNG is stored in tanks below the rear floor and can be fueled at any CNG station. The Audi A3 g-tron will see limited production starting later this year. No word on US importation. What Audi has created is a low-CO2 emitting vehicle that doesn't suffer from CNG-range anxiety. Run out of CNG and the car switches to regular gas automatically. The Audi A3 g-tron should return economy numbers similar to Audi's diesel-powered A3s. For more info, check out the press release after the jump. Interesting.

Source: Audi - Press release after the jump.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT thunders ahead

Jeep has refreshed the Grand Cherokee for 2014 and the high-performance SRT (formerly SRT8) model is no exception. The SRT GC gets the interior mods and front and rear fascia tweeks like the base  Grand Cherokees with some slight differences. I know that football players place black paint under their eyes to cut glare, but does the Grand Cherokee SRT need the same affectation? All of the good stuff is here like the lowered sport suspension, 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 (470 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque), Brembo brakes, UConnect, leather, carbon-fiber accents, and new items like the launch control system, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and more. The Grand Cherokee is one of the best-looking SUV/CUVs on the planet and the SRT mods only accentuate the positive. If you want good looks and high performance in a conveyance that seats five, the Grand Cherokee SRT may just be the ticket (pun intended).

Source: Jeep/SRT - Press release, pics, and video after the jump.