Porsche offers limited-edition Cayenne Platinum models

The Porsche Cayenne is about due for an update, so it must be special-edition time! That's not really a knock since Porsche's Cayenne is a pretty amazing vehicle that most would be proud to own. (I know. Coming up with the big check can be a problem.) But the new Platinum Edition Cayenne puts a lot of the good stuff people want under one nameplate. You start with the "base" Cayenne or Cayenne S E-Hybrid and add loads of extras like special 20-inch RS Spyder wheels, Bi-Xenon™ headlights with the Porsche Dynamic Light System, automatic anti-glare mirrors, eight-way electrically adjustable sport seats with Alcantara® center panels, Porsche crest on the head rests, stainless steel door sills with illuminated "Platinum Edition" lettering,  the latest generation Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system, a BOSE® Surround Sound system, a high-gloss black exterior trim package, and more. Solid black and white paint finishes are standard, with Jet Black, Purpurite, Mahogany, Carrara White, or Rhodium Silver metallic paints optionally available. The wheel arch extensions are also available in body color. A very nice way to easily equip one of the best (and first) performance crossovers available. Prices were not announced, but if you have to ask... The Cayenne Platinum Editions will be available later this year. I'd go order mine now if I were you.

Source: Porsche - Brief press release after the "read more" jump.

Volkswagen previews new full-size crossover with T-Prime Concept GTE - w/videos

Like many automakers, Volkswagen uses concepts to test public reaction to possible new models and/or styling direction, content, etc. What we have here is VW's rumored new full-size crossover/SUV. Could this be the new Toureg? Dunno, but the T-Prime Concept GTE is an attractive people and stuff mover that could get a few full-size crossover buyers into VW showrooms. Besides the attractive styling and clean interior, the T-Prime GTE is a plug-in hybrid that creates 375 hp and 516 lb. ft. of torque (total system) for a 0 to 60 time of just 6.0 seconds with exemplary fuel efficiency. The 4Motion all-wheel drive is handled by the turbo four (248 hp and 273 lb-ft. of torque) up front and the electrical components (134 hp and a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft.) handling the rear drive (see pic after the jump). An eight-speed automatic does the shifting. If I have a criticism, it's the fact that this concept looks ready to go, and it could be out-dated by the time VW gets the T-Prime GTE to market. The T-Prime Concept GTE is a good-looking, luxurious, full-size crossover that would sell well in China, the US, Europe,...you know, all over. The excellent fuel economy would be icing on the proverbial cake. For more info, check out the informative press release and two videos after the jump.

Source: Volkswagen - Press release and videos after the "read more" jump.

Acura intros CDX compact crossover in China

Crossovers are big business around the globe and Acura has introduced its latest, the CDX, at the Beijing Motor Show. The compact (sub-compact?)  CDX is an attractive mini ute that is only for the Chinese market at the present time. The CDX looks ready to go, but it may not be US ready. For one thing, some recent small Acuras (and Hondas) for the US market have been underpowered and the CDX's 1.5-liter turbo motor (mated to a new eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic) might need more oomph. Engine ratings, vehicle weight, and other specs have not been released. But Acura can't avoid the compact and sub-compact crossover market in the US for very long. It took them a while to bring out the MDX and the RDX has been a decent seller as well, so the CDX should come here...soon. Unless this is an early look at the next RDX, the CDX seems to be smaller than the current RDX possibly sharing a platform with the Fit-based, sub-compact Honda HR-V. The CDX is a nice design that should do well in the US, if Acura sees fit to bring it here. If not this version, maybe when the model gets its next re-do, you know with the latest regs, etc. If you like what you see, let Acura know.

Source: Acura - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Lexus IS gets mid-cycle refresh for 2017 - w/video

It's funny. When I got the email from Lexus announcing the new '17 IS, I was intrigued. When I saw the pics, I thought the new IS was an improvement, but then I was curious. When checking the changes, I can tell you that they are few, but the changes make for a cleaner visage. On the front, the side scoops surrounding the raised "cow-catcher" grille (Google it) are larger and more pronounced giving the bumper-top swooshes more room to be better aligned with the headlight clusters. The lower side accents seem deeper, but probably aren't and the trunk lid seems more pronounced (again probably not). The rear lights are the same shape, but have LED light guides. Small changes, but a nicer, new look. Inside the major change is a larger, high-def infotainment screen (now 10.3 inches) in the dash center. Lexus has added their full Lexus Safety System + that combines Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beam (AHB) and Radar Cruise Control to the already long safety feature list. Also, the 2.0-liter, twin-turbo four from the new NX has been added to the IS movers list that comes mated to an eight-speed automatic in rear-wheel drive only. Oh yeah, there are two new colors, Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black Glass Flake as well. For more info, check out the press release and intro video after the jump.

Source: Lexus - Press release and video after the "read more" jump.

GMC debuts 2017 Acadia with all-new look, all-new size, and less weight - w/videos

Some would call it "right-sizing," the all-new mid-size GMC Acadia that is inches and hundreds of pounds (700+) smaller than the current crossover (which will remain in production for a while as the Acadia Classic reportedly). The new Acadia will be available in three trim levels, Acadia, Acadia All Terrain (shown), and the "blingtastic" Acadia Denali (red car after the jump) with either a 2.5-liter inline-four (194 hp, 190 lb.-ft. of torque) or an available 3.6-liter V6 (310 hp, 271 lb.-ft. of torque) both mated to a six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive, numerous active safety features, and continuously-variable ride control are available or standard depending on the model chosen. I think the All Terrain model is an attractive, clean design that will wear well with time and provides the Acadia with a more upscale look. The Denali version is also nice but bordering on too much. GM's IntelliLink infotainment system, OnStar, and 4G LTE and Wi-fi connections are on hand as well. The new Acadia won't be cheap (prices haven't been announced), but you can expect a well-equipped model to be around $40k. EPA mpg numbers are expected in the mid-to-high 20s for the four-cylinder model, with improvements for the new V6. The 2016 GMC Acadia will be available later this year. Read the press release, charts, and watch the videos after the jump for all the info.

Source: GMC - Press release and videos after the "read more" jump.

50th Anniversary Special Edition model previews the new 2017 Toyota Corolla - w/video

Why Corolla, you look great for fifty. It has been fifty years since the first Corolla rolled out of a Toyota factory in Japan. Today, Toyota builds Corollas in 16 different locations around the globe selling almost 1.5 million Corollas every year. Sales in the US alone are almost 1.000 per day. What you see here, is the revised 2017 Corolla in 50th Anniversary Edition fitment. Mechanically, little is different with the Toyota compact but the exterior has received embellishments. The 50th Anniversary Corolla will feature 17-inch alloy wheels with Dark Gray inserts and machine finish, a center dash 7-inch High-Resolution Touch-Screen, Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation (Scout® GPS Link App), a color 4.2-inch TFT Multi-Information Display, Smart Key system with push button start, complex-LED Headlamps, Black mixed media seats with Black Cherry contrast stitching, Black interior with Black Cherry contrast stitching (on steering wheel, shift boot and center armrest), Black cherry accented dash panel and door trim, 50th Anniversary Edition floor mats, 50th Anniversary Edition exterior badge, an available moonroof, and three exterior colors – exclusive color Black Cherry (shown), Classic Silver, and Blizzard Pearl. The rather busy-looking 2017 Corolla will be available later this year. More info will be available closer to the new car's intro date. (In fact the dash pic above is not of any special edition and states that changes will be made prior to production. I mean, where are the Black Cherry interior accents?) While it isn't my thing, I'm sure Toyota will sell hundreds of thousands of this new Corolla. If you like the Black Cherry paint, it is available only on the 50th Anniversary Edition Corolla and only 8.000 of these "specials" will be coming to the US, so get thee to your dealer and order early (if you can). Happy 50th Birthday Corolla. The video and press release after the jump are for the 50th Anniversary celebration. click on the pics for a closer look.

Source: Toyota - Press release and video after the "read more" jump.

Quick Look: Mini John Cooper Works Convertible

For the uninitiated, the JCW or John Cooper Works Mini models are the "performance" variants of Mini's premium compacts (sub-compacts?). JCW variants are not guaranteed when a model is re-engineered. For example, when the new Mini Hardtop got the JCW treatment, there was no guarantee that the go-fast bits would show up on other Mini models. But here is the latest JCW Mini, the new JCW Convertible. Adding JCW to your new Mini Cooper S gets you a high(er)-quality interior, a more rigid convertible structure, and almost 40 more horsepower from the 2.0-liter four mated to a six-speed manual or available six-speed Steptronic automatic. The suspension is geared specifically to the vehicle and engine performance characteristics and includes Brembo sports braking system, 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels (Track Spoke silver), and speed-related Servotronic steering support, Dynamic Damper Control (available as an option). and more. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is standard and includes DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control), and Performance Control. Other standard bits include fully automatic soft top operation, air conditioning, MINI Driving Modes, Radio MINI Boost with AUX-IN and USB socket, as well as Park Distance Control. Options include the MINI Head-Up Display with John Cooper Works specific display content, MINI Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, rear view camera, 2-zone automatic air conditioning with convertible mode, Always Open Timer with new display content, new wind deflector with reduced weight and simplified attachment, rain sensor with automatic driving lights control, MINI Excitement Package (including MINI Logo projection from the exterior mirror onto the ground in front of the door on the driver's side), exterior mirror caps in Chili Red; 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels (CupSpoke 2-tone), John Cooper Works bonnet stripes as well as exterior and interior components from the John Cooper Works Pro design line, to name a few. And let's not forget the convertible top with the Union Jack "woven" in. The point with Mini is that you can spend as much as your heart and budget will allow. Remember that the JCW models are the "top-of-the-line" Minis so expect it to set you back... More info after the jump.

Source: Mini - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Fiat announces the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth performance sports car

You could dismiss the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth as an appearance package, but you'd be off a bit. Yes, the front and rear fascia have been revised and the hood and rear deck get the flat (matte?) black treatment to reduce glare (bet you didn't know that's why they do that...okay if you're reading about cars you probably did know that). The 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels are on board as well as gun-metal accents instead of shiny (er) bits. The interior is accented with Rosso (red) stitching throughout and Alcantara Recaro seats are available in Nero (black). But in relation to the mechanical bits, "the Elaborazione Abarth-exclusive Sport Mode changes the calibrations of the engine, automatic transmission, electric power steering, and dynamic stability control system to ensure a sporty, responsive and performance-oriented driving experience. A mechanical limited-slip differential, provides improved traction and handling, as well as improved launch performance and power delivery during cornering. The Elaborazione Abarth’s unique sport suspension includes mono-tube Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers for increased traction and more precise handling. The available Brembo braking system with 17-inch alloy wheels offers monoblock aluminum calipers with four pistons, allowing for improved braking." If there is any area that disappoints, it's that the 124 Spider Elaborazion Abarth engine is the same 1.4-liter turbo four (160 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque) from the standard 124 Spider mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Most folks would have expected at least an additional 20 hp or so. But then "true" sports cars are not about straight-line performace, but about the "twisties" and the 124 Spider Abarth should deliver impressively. For more info, check out the press release after the jump or visit the previous post (click below) to view the videos of the regular 124 Spider. Still 10 or 15 horsepower wouldn't be bad, right? The MX-5 based (platform sharing at its best) 124 Spider will hit Fiat Studios this summer.

Source: Fiat - Press release after the "read more" jump. Previous post.

Dodge pares the Dart line-up and drops prices

Normally, sweeping changes to a car model's line-up happen with model-year changeovers, but FCA decided that Dart needed help NOW so these changes are effective immediately for new Darts built moving forward. If you really have to have a Dart Limited (rear photo below), your dealer might have one, but no more Limited Darts from here on. Dodge's attractive compact, the Dart, will now be available in three trim levels, SXT Sport ($17,995 plus taxes, licence, fees, options and destination), Turbo ($19,495 +), and GT Sport ($20,995 +). Prices for the new line-up are reduced and include newly added equipment further increasing the value proposition. Your engine choice basically determines which Dart you buy. The SXT Sport comes with the 2.0-liter Tigershark four (160 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque) and a six-speed manual as standard with a Powertech six-speed automatic transmission available as an option. Standard equipment includes: 10 standard air bags, air conditioning, active grille shutters, Uconnect Bluetooth hands-free calling, SiriusXM satellite radio with one-year free subscription, electric power steering, electronic brake assist, electronic stability control, Hill-Start Assist (HSA) all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation, four-wheel anti-lock power disc brakes, black Sedoso cloth seats with mesh inserts, six-way manual adjust driver and front passenger seat, driver seat height adjuster, Uconnect AM/FM/CD, four speakers, remote USB port, power windows with driver one-touch, solar control glass, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and much more. Value indeed.

Step up to the Dart Turbo and you get the 1.4-liter MultiAir 2 turbo four (160 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque) mated to a six-speed manual for an enthusiast driving experience and improved fuel economy with an EPA highway rating of 41 mpg. Standard equipment includes a sport appearance hood, integrated dual exhaust and Rallye Appearance, which includes black headlamp bezels, a black grille surround with black crosshair and 17-inch Granite Crystal aluminum wheels.

Top out at the Dart GT Sport and you get the 2.4-liter, 184-horsepower Tigershark four-cylinder engine mated to the standard six-speed manual transmission or optional Powertech six-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes the sport appearance hood, performance gear ratios, unique engine calibration, Keyless Enter ’n Go with push-button start, 17-inch Granite Crystal aluminum wheels, integrated dual exhaust with bright tips, black fascia with Hyper Black grille, dark-tinted automatic headlamps, projector fog lamps, power heated exterior mirrors with courtesy lamps and supplemental signals, 10-way power driver seat, Uconnect 8.4 AM/FM/MP3 radio with 8.4-inch touchscreen display, 7-inch full-color reconfigurable digital gauge cluster display, ParkView rear backup camera, dual-zone automatic temperature control, tire-pressure monitoring display and SiriusXM Radio... The popular Rallye and Blacktop (pic above and after the jump) packages are joined by the new Chrome package which includes a unique bright grille, bright automatic headlamps, bright door handles, fog lamps, and 17-inch polished Silver aluminum wheels. For more information about the packages and other features, check out the press release after the jump. Dodge's new Dart pricing and simpler line-up should help get more buyer butts in Dart seats.

Source: Dodge: Press release after the "read more" jump.

The shield is gone: Long live the 2017 Acura MDX - w/videos

Big things are happening at Acura. Firstly, the design honchos got the memo that the "shield grille" was unpopular. It took a while, but the shield grille is history (and should disappear on other Acuras soon we hope) and has been replaced with the "Diamond Pentagon Grille" first seen on Acura's recent Precision Concept. The front fascia looks more cohesive and just plain better. The rest of the MDX exterior sheetmetal has been massaged, but not much, keeping the parts of the MDX design that consumers like. Sales are gonna go up. If I was going to pick nits, I would say that there is a bit too much chrome embellishment on the white Sport Hybrid model shown in pics. Chrome strips everywhere. Not to mention the giant Acura logo in the grille. Yes, we know this is an Acura, but like I said nitpicking. The changes for 2017 are just enough to make the MDX stand out in a very similar-looking crowd. The MDX gets all of Acura's safety, technology, and infotainment options including AcuraWatch (not for your wrist) which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), and more. Increased standard luxury and technology features include an Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, Auto High Beam headlights, SiriusXM Radio® 2.0, and four 2.5-amp USB charging ports. The Technology and Advance packages add Bi-Directional Keyless Remote Engine Start, two new 20-inch wheel and tire options, power folding side mirrors, and HD Traffic. In addition to these features, Advance grades add LED fog lights, genuine Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood interior trim, a heated steering wheel and Surround-View Camera System with six selectable viewing angles. Advance models can also be equipped with two second-row captain's chairs and a center console (pic after the jump) with two additional USB ports, replacing the three-person second-row seating found on lower grades. An ultra-widescreen Rear Entertainment System is also available on models with the Advance ENT Package.

But the bigger news is the new Sport Hybrid model that uses the 3.0-liter V6 and adds the three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain (an integrated electric motor powering the front wheels, and a Twin Motor Unit with two electric motors providing power to the rear wheels) that is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT). Green (ish) all-wheel drive all the way. Total system power is up to 325 hp for the Sport Hybrid with anticipated EPA numbers of 25/26/26 (city/highway/combined) which is an almost 7 mpg improvement over the standard V6 SH-AWD model. Not earth shattering, but quite an improvement and the Sport Hybrid model is a bit quicker as well. The 2017 Acura MDX is due at your local dealer this summer, with the Sport Hybrid appearing late this year. For more info, check out the press release and two videos after the jump. Enjoy!

Source: Acura - Press release and videos after the "read more" jump.

Chevrolet highlights 2016 Silverado special editions including new Rally Edition

Chevrolet held a special event to highlight the special-edition Silverado trucks at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Silverado special edition packages have been good for Chevrolet selling in about one-third the time of a "normal" truck and bringing in younger and more affluent buyers to the Silverado fold. The new Rally Edition truck (above) is basically an appearance group (that can be added to just about any Silverado) that includes a monochromatic exterior with black accents, hood and body-side stripes, and black wheels in 20- or 22-inch sizes. The Midnight Edition trucks (right and after the jump) start with a Z71 Silverado or 2500 HD truck that gets the full "blacked-out" treatment with black wheels, black body-cladding, black front and rear fascias, and a black interior. Even the tow hooks and Chevy bowtie are black. Midnight Editions also include aggressive Goodyear DuraTrac all-terrain tires for enhanced off-road performance. The third special edition is the Realtree Edition (below) that again starts with the Z71 truck and adds special Realtree camouflage accents on exterior and interior surfaces designating this Silverado as the one for the outdoor enthusiast. The Rally Edition will be available soon and the other two "specials" are now on the menu. For more information, check out the press release after the jump or go to www.chevrolet.com. Choices, choices...

Source: Chevrolet - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Jeep adds two new trim levels to the Grand Cherokee for 2017 - w/video

Okay, that's not really true since the Summit trim has been available before, but the "mountain-top" trim has been completely reconfigured making it essentially new. The Grand Cherokee now comes in six flavors: Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit, SRT, and Trailhawk (and a rumored Trailcat model with the 707 hp Hellcat V8).

Firstly, let's discuss the new Grand Cherokee Trailhawk (silver SUV in pics). Yes just like the Cherokee and Renegade, the Grand Cherokee gets the Trailhawk treatment with all the go-anywhere stuff in one package. The TrailHawk gets a bunch of standard off-road capability features, including Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system with rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD) for all powertrains, a unique version of Grand Cherokee’s Quadra-Lift air suspension – developed for Trailhawk – that offers improved articulation and total suspension travel, as well as Selec-Speed Control with Hill Ascent Control. Skid plates, and a Trailhawk-specific anti-glare hood decal are also standard. The Trailhawk lower front fascia is even removable to improve approach angles.  Trailhawk models feature a black interior with leather and suede performance seats, red accent stitching, brushed Piano Black appliques, gun-metal finish on all painted interior parts, a Trailhawk badge on the steering wheel, and red accent stitching on the seats, doors and console. A standard 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen includes updated off-road pages showing wheel articulation and other vehicle 4x4 capability features, such as suspension height and 4x4 and Selec-Terrain modes. A very capable Jeep indeed.

The Summit trim level (white SUV) gets numerous updates for 2017 to make Summit your luxury Jeep. Outside, Summit’s exterior boasts an updated front fascia, grille and LED fog lamps, with new 20-inch polished aluminum wheels. The full leather interior boasts a Nappa leather-wrapped dashboard, center console, and door panels, and Laguna leather seats with edge welting. All Summit models come equipped with a suede headliner, lighted door sills, acoustic windshield and full side glass, Active Noise Cancellation, premium Berber carpet mats and a Harmon/Kardon 19-speaker, 825 watt audio system with three subwoofers. Other Summit features include auto-folding power mirrors, headlamp washers, Blind Spot Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Warning, and Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist. Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system is standard on all Summit models, as is Grand Cherokee’s Quadra-Lift air suspension and Selec-Speed Control. Luxury, yes, but still a Jeep. Engine choices include a V6, Hemi V8s, and the Ecodiesel V6. An eight-speed automatic is the transmission of choice. The 2017 Jeep Trailhawk and Summit models will arrive at Jeep dealers in the late Summer. For more info, check out the press release and intro video after the jump.

Source: Jeep - Press release and video after the "read more" jump.

Chevy Sonic updated for 2017

Chevy isn't laurel-resting with the 2017 Sonic. The new Sonic hatchback and sedan get numerous updates for '17 including new tech and new looks. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are now available added to Chevy's MyLink infotainment system (including a standard 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen for the new MyLink system). The new Sonic is good-looking, but less distinctive than the last model. Maybe the Sonic's more mainstream looks will transfer into more sales. The '17 Sonic will be available in LS, LT and Premier trims on sedan models. Hatchbacks get RS (sport), LT, and Premier flavors with an RS sedan available later (see photo above). Additionally, Keyless Open and Start, available heated cloth seats with new heated steering wheel, LED daytime running lamps, available Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning, back-up camera, and much more fill out the features checklist. The RS trim includes RS-logo floor mats, piano black d├ęcor, RS-badged flat-bottom steering wheel – with new, red cloth seating available. Engine choices remain the same in the new model year with the standard 1.8-liter four or the available Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine, backed by a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Pricing and EPA numbers are expected to remain close to 2016 models. For more info, check out the press release and pics after the jump. Check out the 2017 Chevy Sonic sub-compact. Style, features, and low-of-cost ownership could make this your affordable car. “The new styling and features of the 2017 Sonic reinforce its position as a fun, efficient small car with leading technology – all at an affordable price,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. Click on the pics for a closer look.

Source: Chevrolet - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Quick Look: 2016 Honda Civic Coupe - w/videos and pricing

Honda's all-new 2016 Civic line-up is a major improvement over this last generation of Honda's best-selling compact. The new Civic Coupe is the latest model to be thrust upon a waiting public (should be at your local dealer now or very soon) with the new five-door hatchback hiding behind the curtains. The Civic Coupe is a true two-door sporty iteration of the more mainstream sedan and it is a looker. The new Civic is as attractive as the last-gen was homely (even after the two-year refresh). The flanks are nicely sculpted and the rear lights are very nice. The grille is a bit heavy looking, but better than many late Hondas. All of Honda's latest tech and features are either standard or available on the five trim levels, LX ($19,050, $19,850 with CVT), LX-P ($20,850 +), EX ($22,300 +), EX-L ($23,425 +), and the new top-of-the-line Touring ($26,125 +), like the Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive tech, available LED lighting, and more. To say that the list of standard and available features is long, is an understatement. Well done Honda, especially at this price point. A 2.0-liter I-4 with i-VTEC™ (158 hp and 138 lb-ft. of torque) is standard mated to the six-speed manual or CVT transmission on LX models. The 1.5-liter turbo four (174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque) is standard on other models (EX and above) mated to the CVT which returns the best Civic Coupe EPA numbers (31 city/41 hwy/35 combined). No Type R version of the new Coupe has been announced, but the rumors persist. Honda's new Civic Coupe is a good-looking sporty compact that is quick, fun, and economical. I know two-door coupes are not as popular as they once were, but you could do a lot worse, really and as long as you are judicious with the option, trim, and feature choices, your new Civic Coupe won't break the bank. For lots of info, check out the extensive press release, spec charts, pricing, and videos (3) after the jump. Enjoy!

Source: Extensive press release, specs, and videos after the "read more" jump.

Volkswagen wants to make friends with the BUDD-e EV concept - w/video

Volkswagen debuted the new BUDD-e concept at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, but showed the EV at the New York International Auto Show for the first time to auto enthusiasts. Early rumors surrounding the BUDD-e said that the EV was a spiritual successor to the Volkswagen Vans of yore (had one, loved it) but when compared to previous concepts, the BUDD-e seems more like a Germanic Kia Soul than a microvan successor. The name is kinda "unique" but makes sense when you consider that the previous van that we called well, van, was called Bulli in Europe. The BUDD-e is no small potato riding on a 124-inch wheelbase that puts the concept closer to mid-size than compact. The BUDD-e is built on Volkswagen's new MEB modular electric platform that will underpin many upcoming vehicles. The BUDD-e has a 101 kWh battery pack this is good for about 230 miles (EPA cycle) per charge. The BUDD-e has large sliding rear-passenger doors like a good van should which could be swapped out for regular hinged doors if (when) the EV makes it to production. The style is nice but the LED strip lighting everywhere could be overkill, especially for a production EV (battery drain?). The concept is also a platform for many of the new technologies that VW is working on for all of its cars like Gesture Control, Smart Link tech, etc. The BUDD-e is a good-looking proposition that VW needs now, not two or three years from now. As part of its settlement with the US Government over Dieselgate, Volkswagen has been asked to make more electric or zero-emissions vehicles to offset the extra pollution generated by their "clean-diesel" engines. Maybe we'll see a production BUDD-e sooner than expected. For lots more info, check out the extensive press release, with details on the tech., and a video after the jump. More to come...

Source: Volkswagen - Press release after the "read more" jump.

2017 Subaru Impreza arrives in sedan and five-door forms with new Sport model - w/video

Subaru has been "on a roll" lately with good-looking concepts that morph into slightly more conservatively styled production cars. The new 2017 Impreza is no different. But don't knock the new Impreza because it is not as exciting as its concept forbear. The Impreza, in sedan and five-door hatchback forms, is a looker. With most things you might disagree, but I even like the almost over-styled flanks. The giant wheels of the new Sport model help too. The made-in-the-USA 2017 Impreza will be available in four flavors: 2.0i base, Premium, Sport, and Limited. Each increase in trim level gets you more stuff, natch, but the basic car gets the upgraded 2.0-liter Boxer engine (152 hp), all-wheel drive, a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen, Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, power windows, 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, power door locks and side mirrors, multi-function display with fuel economy information, tilt and telescoping steering column, security system with engine immobilizer, and more. The Sport model adds 18-inch machine-finish alloy wheels, Active Torque Vectoring, LED daytime running lights (DRL), black-finish front grille, body-color rocker panels and turn signal side mirrors, gloss black rear gate trim (five-door), a rear trunk spoiler (sedan), unique black cloth upholstery trimmed with red stitching, Sport gauges on the dash, a Multi-Function Display, STARLINK™ 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, a newly available Harman/Kardon® premium audio system, and more. Step up to the Limited trim line and you get just about everything in the grab bag (interior pic above is of a Limited model). Unfortunately, Subaru's CVT (continously-variable transmission) does transmission duty. Couldn't they buy a good dual-clutch automatic from someone else (better mpgs, normal shifting patterns, better driving feel)? Anyway, the 2017 Impreza deserves to be on your new car shortlist. For more info, check out the extensive press release and video after the jump. Prices and EPA numbers will be announced closer to the car's arrival at dealers later this year.

Source: Subaru - Extensive press release and video after the "read more" jump.

Did you see these? Early 2016 edition - w/videos

Jeep brings seven new concepts to the 2016 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab - w/videos
Concept is kind of a misnomer for some of these vehicles cause if you've got the cash and the drive, you can come real close to putting one of these beasties in your garage. What's...

Individual Moab concept posts:

Buick updates the Encore for 2017 - w/videos
When Buick introduced the sub-compact Encore crossover for 2013, many pundits questioned the decision to bring the little 'ute (utelet?) to the US. Four short years later, a model freshening is in store for Buick's most popular vehicle. Yes, most popular. Now, sub-compact crossovers are everywhere and there are more...

2017 Volkswagen Golf AllTrack debuts ahead of New York show
Looking to seduce Subaru Outback customers, Volkswagen is bringing the all-wheel drive Golf AllTrack to US showrooms for the 2017 model year. The new...

Quick Look: 2017 Audi A4 w/pricing info
Audi's A4 competes with the Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS series, Acura TLX, and BMW's 3-Series in the luxury, sport compact sedan that is mostly dominated by the German marques. For 2017, the all-new Audi A4 is...

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