From the Automotive Headlines

Motor Trend gives us the first peeks of the newest American and Japanese cars from the North American International Auto Show… the future looks good!                

Focus In…          

MotorTrend.com

 

 The most exciting news (in my opinion) is the return of a proper Ford Focus. In other words, a Focus based on the European version, much like the beloved first-generation Focus that Ford blessed us with back in 2000.  Likewise, the newest Focus will be a global car, sharing much of its underpinnings and drivetrain with the rest of the world’s Focuses (or Foci?). Subtle differences will separate the American version from the ones available in other countries. In our case, it’s a good-looking and clean design. Expect a great line of engines including an Ecoboost 4 banger. Could this give us our own version of the European Focus RS? Check out this link to see the current Euro-Focus: http://www.topgear.com/uk/ford/focus-rs. However, don’t expect that Focus’ straight five from Volvo.                 

One neat feature  is a dual clutch automatic, one of best versions of an automatic we could ever hope for. Sadly, and I mean very sadly, Ford sees no point in offering a manual transmission. I guess that is what America is coming to. Most people are barely competent enough to drive much less try to shift gears while texting, playing with the iPod, smoking, beating their kids, eating an entire bucket of fried chicken or sleeping. I realize that the dual clutch auto can shift faster than a human could ever shift a manual (thus resulting in faster acceleration times), but I would still take a manual transmission any day. What a shame.         

Regardless, the new Focus will be a huge improvement over the current, second generation Focus. Ford could have brought America the second generation European Focus, but instead, we were given a car-shaped turd stuck on top of a soften, recycled version of the old Focus platform. I guess that is what Ford thinks of its home country. Europe got a hotter, more talented version and we got reintroduced to the Ford Tempo. Then again, there were people in our country tasteless (and stupid) enough to buy the thing. Go figure.         

A Smaller Party         

If you like idea of the new Focus, but would prefer something smaller and more affordable, Ford has a car for you. The Fiesta makes its comeback to the US nearly 30 years after its departure (think small German hatchback of the 70’s, not the Korean derived Festivas of the 90’s). In the spirit of the original, the new Festiva will be tiny in stature, but large in value and quality. Ecoboost makes it to this car also but in the form of  three cylinder engines ranging from 0.9-liters to 1.2-lityers. Power should be the same as a larger four-cylinder engine. Add that to the lite weight platform and this little hot hatch will be as much fun as a cheap date… or so I’ve heard.             

Return of the GS       

      

MotorTrend.com

 

Buick and muscle car fans alike should be excited to learn that the legendary GS badge may be returning. But don’t expect V8s or large, smokey rear-drive burn-outs. Instead, expect a turbocharged four-cylinder hooked to a sophisticated all-wheel drive system.         According to Motor Trend, this hotted-up version of the Regal will be based on an Opel platform. That being said, the body design will be clean and crisp (and uninspiring) with bits and pieces of spoilers, ground effects, gills and vents plus a large set of wheels to make for an overall more aggressive look. 

Oddly enough, the European version has a turbo V6 putting out well over 300 hp. It was Buick’s idea to use a turbo I-4 that’ll put out over 255 hp. Obviously it will be better on gas than a 6 or 8 cylinder, yet it should still get to 60 mph in the 5 second range. Not bad at all.        

I would have loved a V8, rear-drive GS. It could have picked up the Aussie platform that was under the, now dead and gone, Pontiac G8. But I think this car is a smart idea. It’ll be as fast as the larger rear-drive cars while drinking much less gas. Plus, it’ll have a useful all-wheel-drive system that’ll help both on-road performance and all-season weather capabilities. More importantly, it will be available with a six-speed manual. See Ford, even Buick believes there are people out there who want a proper transmission in a sporting car.                

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be among the first to mourn the inevitable, extinction of the V8. However, making cars like these with smaller, four cylinders engines will allow us to keep the V8s in the cars they belong to a little longer: Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs and Challengers.                

Electric Rice Cooker        

MotorTrend.com

MotorTrend.com

 

Perhaps the most interesting unveiling at the International Auto Show was this sporty little hatchback, the Honda CR-Z. Makes you think of the iconic CRX, doesn’t it? It would be easy to, but what you are looking at is actually a hybrid with sporty intentions.                

This isn’t the first time Honda has done this. A few years, they made a Hybrid out of an Accord by putting an electric motor on the V6 engine. In reality, this was more like an electric supercharger, making that particular Accord more of a boulevard brawler than an enviro-friendly golf cart.                  

What we have here is a true puzzle to the driving enthusiast. According to Motor Trend, it’s more related to the Insight or Civic Hybrid ,but  it looks as though an SI badge could be put on it. They are trying to fool us. I admit, I have found the technology and economy of a hybrid fairly interesting, but hybrids have historically represented all that was against driving enthusiasts like myself. They’re little more than soulless appliances and political statements from enviro-freeks. If you drove one of these,you would be mistaken for one of these weirdos who thought they actually had “neat” car. Nerds…                  

Now it has gotten too complicated. This is a good-looking car with potentially good handling and decent performance. I will not be fooled into thinking this could run with other sport compacts like the GTI or Civic SI. It can accelerate as quick as the old CRX and probably handle like a regular Civic. This isn’t bad for a hybrid and is a good beginning for future “sport hybrids”. If  Honda can coax a little more power from it without sacrificing mpg’s, and cut the weight to improve handling, Honda could have the only hybrid I would ever be willing to buy. Now that’s a technological advancement.         

       

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8 Responses to “From the Automotive Headlines”

  1. Reginald Pesch Says:

    Hello. I don’t read many blogs, but yours is of thelittle I read.Have a superb day!

  2. Isabell Varrone Says:

    Impressive! You have undoubtedly got it down, bookmarked!

    • AutomotiveNation Says:

      I’m glad you liked it. I’m planning on writing more articles. I’ve been slacking off because a writing class has been taking up all of my time. Keep in touch. Hopefully I can write my next article soon. I’m still new to blogging so any comments are helpful.

      Nick

  3. Hipolito M. Wiseman Says:

    Heyy, Found your blog on Bing and I am so glad I did! Keep it up! =)

    • AutomotiveNation Says:

      Thanks for the comments. I visited you blog and really liked it. We love cars… that is all we need to know. I’m planning on writing a few more articles soon: one on my experience in winning an autocross race in a twin-turbo BMW 1 series and a list of driving habits and cars that infuriate me to the point of homicidal thoughts. So keep in touch.

      Nick

  4. Rejser til Finland Says:

    OP: I might be daff (lord knows I have been told lol) but you made absolutely no sense…

    • AutomotiveNation Says:

      I’m guising by the use of “daff”, you must be European. I’m jealous… Europe has access some of the best cars in the world and some of the best automotive journalism I’ve ever seen. I appreciate any comments I can get since it may help me with future articles. I must admit, I’m just letting the random ramblings of mind control my fingers on the keyboard. I may not always make since. Anyway, please keep in touch.

      Nick

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