Archive for the ‘Previews’ Category

First Drive: 2015 Lexus RC 350 and RC F

September 12th, 2014 No comments

Lexus Makes a Big Entry into a Small Segment

It’s been a long time since Lexus offered a sport coupe. Too long, we’d say, since we’re not counting the folding hardtop luxury cruiser that the SC became in the 2000’s. Lexus knows that for years it sent prospective buyers seeking a stylish two-door to the likes of Audi and BMW, and it knows their new offering will have to be special to bring them back. The confident tone of the brand’s executives convinced us they’re certain the RC will now have the looks and performance to win new buyers to the brand. Based on our spirited drive through New York’s Hudson Valley and subsequent flogging around Monticello Motor Club’s 3.6-mile road course, the wait has been worth it. Read more…

Categories: Previews, Test Drives Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Preview: 2013 Porsche Boxster

January 12th, 2012 No comments

2013 Porsche Boxster

      The Porsche Boxster has been a sensation since 1997 thanks to a winning formula of mid-engine handling prowess, boxer engine smoothness and timeless good looks. The lowest MSRP among Porsche’s offerings also didn’t hurt. The third generation 2013 model looks to continue all of that while comprehensively altering just about everything. Read more…

Categories: Miscellaneous, Previews Tags: , ,

2011 NAIAS Coverage Kick-Off

January 9th, 2011 No comments

      It’s the eve of the 2011 North American International Auto Show and the AT Editorial Team has descended on the Motor City to set up camp just blocks from Cobo Hall. Executive Editor Dye just pulled out the corporate credit card to let the staff feast on endless pizza and root beer. Yes, this is truly the good life! And in preparation for the big day we figured it would be fitting to provide our curious readers a taste of what’s to come. Click through for a preview gallery and then stop back later tonight for a special edition Automotive Trends PODCAST for our last minute thoughts and predictions before we hit the show floor tomorrow morning at 5:30AM! Was that root beer caffeine free?!

UPDATE: Since we posted this, Volkswagen has seen fit to break cover with a pair of photos of the 2012 Passat. We’ve included them in the gallery.  Read more…

Categories: Auto Shows, Previews Tags: ,

2011 Lexus CT200h

December 9th, 2010 No comments

Finally, A Hybrid That Handles

     Like John Cleese in a Monty Python production, when it comes to the Lexus CT200h we feel like announcing “and now for something completely different”. That’s because this new entry-level Lexus offers the same hybrid benefits that we’ve seen in one form or another for the past decade, but doesn’t sacrifice driving pleasure on the altar of ultimate frugality. And no, we’re not counting the poor-excuse-for-a-hybrid Honda CR-Z and its piddling mid-30s fuel economy rating. Yes, we too were skeptical when phrases like “fun to drive hybrid” and “a hybrid with attitude” were being dropped by sales executives at the vehicle’s press introduction. But after a day spent driving around Palm Beach, Florida, we found ourselves uttering similar summaries of Lexus’s fifth hybrid. And we didn’t see that coming. Read more…

Chevrolet Volt Receives EPA Rating

November 26th, 2010 2 comments

       To say that your mileage may vary seems to be the understatement of the decade. The Environmental Protection Agency has finally finished the math it needed in order to produce what you see above, the offical EPA Window Sticker for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. A bit confusing, eh? It actually isn’t so bad when you  break it down. On the left you have what the Volt is capable of using only its on-board electric motor and battery pack charged up via the grid. On the right you have your standard MPG once the battery pack has been drained of its nuclear or coal fired electro juice. You’ll note that beside each MPGe or MPG figure there is a per 100 miles figure, which calculates just how much energy it takes to move the vehicle 100 miles. And at the bottom there are some charts for estimating how your mileage will vary with charging and how the Volt compares to other vehicles. What does this all mean? Well, on electric power alone it will get the equivalent of 93 MPG for roughly 35 miles (according to the EPA offical number) and 37 MPG after that. We were hoping for a bit more fuel miserly once the battery drained, but considering that the curb weight is more on par with a full-sized sedan we’ll call it impressive nonetheless and report back our real-world fuel economy and driving impressions once GM tosses us the keys. Read more…

Categories: Miscellaneous, Previews Tags: , ,

Dodge Announces 2011 Pricing

November 4th, 2010 No comments

      It’s no secret that Chrysler is playing catch up this year and rolling out plenty in terms of product refinement and refreshment. The latest batch of information goodness we have to share comes in the form of the pricing strategy on the new-for-2011 Dodge lineup. We were going to make mention of this in PODCAST Episode 13, but frankly we found that announcing a whole bunch of figures over the air just amounts to baffled expresions and silly blunderous commentary. So here is a post dedicated to the sole advancement of showroom knowledge. Oh, we’ve also included photo galleries of all the new sheetmetal, from the all-new Durango to the drag-strip-ready Challenger SRT8 392, for your view pleasure. Enjoy! Read more…

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan (Preview)

October 28th, 2010 No comments

      Well, that didn’t take long. Less than 48 hours after nabbing some shots of a caravan of Grand Caravans out for a shakedown cruise, Dodge proliferated the cybernets with specs and glamor photos of its latest family hauler. Curiously, Dodge contracted a man (and only a man) and his surfboard for these photos. Sport van? Someone tried that one already. Man van?   Read more…

2011 Dodge Avenger (Preview)

October 28th, 2010 No comments

     If you think the 2011 Dodge Avenger looks a lot like the 2010 model, you are mostly correct. Aside from a new split-crosshair grille and lower fascia, the exterior visage is essentially the same. But with this Avenger, Dodge was a little more concerned about your driving experience. Read more…

Categories: Miscellaneous, Previews Tags: , , ,

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan (Spy Shots)

October 26th, 2010 No comments

      Chrysler has yet to release the details on the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, but it would appear they aren’t too concerned about them being seen. Now, as you can see from these pictures, camouflage wouldn’t hide much more than new tail lamps, headlamps, and a front fascia and grille. Still, no official press release usually means no uncovering of the goods. Apparently this caravan of Grand Caravans didn’t get that memo. What we can’t see is what is under the hood and all our money is riding on the new 3.6L V6, which it will share with the Town & Country, as well as most of Chrysler’s refreshed lineup. Now we just need to spot the the Grand Caravan and the Town & Country’s German-engineered counterpart (the Volkswagen Routan) and the set will be complete. Click through to see the rest of the pictures we nabbed! Read more…

2012 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback (Preview)

September 4th, 2010 No comments

Not Intended for Retail Sale Within the United States.

       Sometimes the automakers will tease us and not mention that little tidbit right away, but no there it was third sentence of the press release “the Cruze hatchback will not be offered in the US market.” It is rather disappointing that yet another beautiful car from the General will not be coming to our shores because the buying public in this country won’t look at anything hatchback or wagon-ish unless it has all-wheel drive and is riding on stilts! And it is beautiful. Read more…