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127 New Articles in this week

Car and Driver 10 Best list may surprise you

Posted Nov 21st 2014 12:30PM

Tesla Model S

Car and Driver 10Best LogoCar and Driver is keeping the new blood pumping into its annual 10Best cars list with three new entries making it on for 2015 and a perennial favourite falling off. Among the biggest shocks this year is that the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series are no longer named, despite years of some portion of that lineup earning a mention. In another surprise, the Tesla Model S (specifically in S 60 trim to fit under the US$80,000 cost cap) makes it to the 2015 tally and is the only electrically motivated member of the group.

Despite the loss of the 3 Series, BMW isn't entirely shut out this year because the M235i gets its name on the list. Car and Driver argues that the little coupe feels like a welcome throwback to the E46 chassis M3 of the early 2000s. In addition to the Model S, the final newbie to the annual group is the 2015 Ford Mustang GT. The inclusion of these new members knocks the Audi A6/A7 family and Ford Fiesta ST out from the 2014 rundown.

The other seven models carry over from last year, including the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Honda Accord, Mazda3, Mazda6, Porsche Boxster/Cayman and Volkswagen Golf/GTI.

The 2015 10Best cars list certainly seems to have something for everyone from the hot hatch fan to the family man and even the green car driver, thanks to the addition of the Tesla. Head over to Car and Driver to read its detailed explanations for each vehicle's inclusion, but if you think there's a model blatantly missing, let us know in Comments.

News Source: Car and Driver

Image Credit: Car and Driver, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Porsche, Tesla, Volkswagen

2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet

Posted Nov 21st 2014 12:00PM

Four Rings, Four Seats, For Fun

Audi A3 Cabriolet

When my 758-mile (1,342 km) journey on the A3 TDI Challenge came to an end in Boulevard, CA, Audi had a very nice consolation prize waiting for me: the 2015 A3 Cabriolet you see here. And with miles left to drive before reaching my hotel in Coronado (just outside of San Diego), what better way to celebrate my personal victory of achieving nearly 3.9 L/100km or 60 miles per gallon in the TDI than to run the rest of the route in couple of turbocharged A3 droptops? After all, the efficiency part of my drive was done, so it was time to have some fun.

The A3 Cabriolet comes to market just as the sun sets on another four-seat convertible from the Volkswagen Group stable: the Eos. That car, often criticized as being too expensive, is technically replaced by the Beetle Convertible as far as VW-badged products go. But for those who still prefer something a bit more upmarket, the A3 Cabriolet will fill the void nicely, and with more style and grace than the Eos ever had. Read on.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

Dissecting the biggest factors in why millenials aren't driving

Posted Nov 21st 2014 11:30AM

Drive It Home

Millennials are driving less than previous generational groups. It's a reality which North America is dealing with at the moment, which automakers are trying their best of overcome and which sociologists are apparently studying with increasing intensity. The question is, why?

That's the question which Citylab, a website run by The Atlantic, seeks to answer in this latest piece of analysis. According to the site, there are a number of factors to consider, each of which contributes in its own way to the decline in American driving.

For one thing, Millennials are relocating to city centres where driving is less prevalent. For another, the study finds, white North Americans drive more than other ethnicities, and the ethnic diversity of North American society is on the rise. Education plays a factor in that more educated adults tend to drive more than those with lower levels of education, as do income levels – and while the Millennial generation may be more educated than those that came before, their income levels have dropped.

Millennials are also living more by themselves, starting families later, getting their driver's licences later and buying cars later. Environmental factors and the influence of technology also play their part, painting a picture of a wide array of factors spelling bad news for cars and drivers. Head on over to Citylab for the full detailed breakdown.

News Source: Citylab

Image Credit: Bret Hartman/AP

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept still makes us swoon

Posted Nov 21st 2014 11:00AM

Volkswagen Golf R400 Concept

We know, we know – this hot little guy isn't really new or anything. Volkswagen first rolled out the Golf R 400 concept in Beijing earlier this year, and since its debut, we've heard rumours that the German automaker might-perhaps-maybe-hopefully build the thing. Its showing here in Los Angeles simply marks the first time it's debuting in North America, and honestly, we can't get enough. So here it is, again. Hello, Golf R 400 – we love you.

And what's not to love? What starts as a normal Golf R gets better with a more aggressive appearance, big wheels, some tasteful neon yellow accents, and a whole mess of power. The original concept packed 395 horsepower from an overblown 2.0-litre turbo-four, though the most recent reports suggest a production version could produce over 400 hp. To keep it all in line, the concept has all-wheel drive. And inside, it's the same functional, comfortable Golf we've always loved.

There's nothing left to say, really. We love this car, and you should, too. Check it out in the gallery above.

Toyota Mirai offers promising tech, unfortunate looks

Posted Nov 21st 2014 10:30AM

2016 Toyota Mirai

Is there some rule that all cutting-edge, ultra-efficient or emissions-free vehicles need to look, uh, weird? No? Then would anyone care to explain the Toyota Mirai, a vehicle that for all it's hugely, wildly promising technology, will forever be pigeonholed based on its odd styling?

Looks aside, the Mirai represents a big gamble for Toyota, which isn't only selling a hydrogen-powered car – a risky venture in itself – but teaming up with Air Liquide to build 12 hydrogen filling stations across the northeast. And once that's done, it plans on leasing the US$57,000 sedans for just US$499 month (Canadian availability is not yet known), a figure that includes free hydrogen (there is a reason for that, though). Like we said, this is a big gamble.

Of course, we still can't get over its looks, which you can more closely analyze in our live gallery, available above. Have a glance.

Mini forgets to bring car to LA, shows Citysurfer concept scooter

Posted Nov 21st 2014 10:00AM

Mini Citysurfer Concept

See that red thing? It's the Mini Citysurfer Concept. It is not, in case you were wondering, an automobile. Yet despite this apparent shortcoming, Mini has placed it on a plinth at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The electric scooter weighs in at 18 kilograms (40 pounds), can hit 25 km/h (15 miles per hour), cover 16-25 km (10 to 15 mile)s and can be folded up and charged in the trunk of a Mini Cooper (or any other vehicle with a 12-volt outlet and a roomy enough cargo area). According to the British marque, these qualities will give the scooter's owner the "spontaneous and convenient mobility even in those sections of an urban area not accessible to motorized vehicles."

It's not terribly difficult to see the appeal, as Mini explains it. With urban congestion becoming an increasingly serious problem – and some cities beginning to ban cars outright – the idea of an easy to charge and easy to stow runabout is extremely attractive. That's doubly true in the case of the Citysurfer, which is rather well equipped, as far as scooters go.

It rides on pneumatic tires with a disc brake on each end, while the vital electrical bits are protected from dirt and rain by the scooter's trim. In terms of rider comfort, the Citysurfer features a height-adjustable steering shaft and smartphone holder, so riders can navigate over the last mile of the trip.

Take a look below for the official press release on the Citysurfer Concept from Mini, and then head into Comments if you'd be interested in this sort of solution for urban driving.

News Source: Mini

2015 Lexus LS gets tiny tweaks to try to keep up in LA

Posted Nov 21st 2014 9:30AM

2015 Lexus LS460

The 2015 model-year updates for the LS are certainly minor, but at least Lexus isn't letting its flagship sedan languish completely.

The biggest change for the revised model is an improved infotainment system with an updated navigation and dynamic guidelines for the backup camera. Lexus' Enform App Suite also allows owners to remotely control some of the vehicle's functions, including the door locks, ignition and climate control settings.

Among the litany of incredibly small tweaks, the dome lights now use LEDs, and the F Sport model that includes features like a sport-tuned air suspension and 19-inch forged wheels gets an added badge at the rear. The changes have increased the turning circle by 3.9 inches for models with the standard suspension and 18-inch wheels.

All of the changes are definitely minor, but hopefully they'll sustain the posh motor until its next iteration is ready.

News Source: Lexus

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

2015 Toyota Sienna goes overboard to promote a SpongeBob movie

Posted Nov 21st 2014 9:00AM

SpongeBob Movie-themed 2015 Toyota Sienna

Good marketing is a huge portion of making a film successful, and Toyota and Nickelodeon are going overboard to promote the upcoming SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water with this custom 2015 Sienna inspired by the cartoon character at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The exterior is decorated to look just like SpongeBob, but his maniacally smiling face on the hood and windshield might be pure, uncut nightmare fuel for a segment of the child population. The ring on the roof actually blows bubbles too, and the look gets finished off with matching blue and yellow wheels.

If you get past SpongeBob's crazed expression and take a peek inside, you find even more cartoon cues. Each of the seats is upholstered to evoke the shows stars, and all of the trim has nautical inspiration as filtered through the series' animation style. The floor is a sandy beige, blue wood trim runs over the dashboard and sides and the roof has airbrushed clouds. Of course, it's hard not to miss a ship's wheel that replaces the usual steering wheel.

While it's certainly bizarre, kids might dig the bright colours, while their parents check out the Sienna. The van's also going on a cross-country promotional tour to advertise the movie ahead of its February 6 release. Scroll down for all of the info about this cartoon car.

News Source: Toyota

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

GM names Carlisle head of Canadian operations

Posted Nov 21st 2014 8:28AM

Stephen K. CarlisleGeneral Motors may be an American automaker first and foremost, but it can see straight into Windsor, Canada from its Renaissance Center headquarters on the Detroit River, and has considerable operations in the True North. And now, GM's Canadian division (headquartered in Oshawa just outside of Toronto) has a new director to run its operations.

That executive is Stephen K. Carlisle, whose long career at GM started when he was still a student in 1982. He's since risen up through the ranks to serve from 2010 until now as Vice President of Global Product Planning and Program Management, previously overseeing regional operations in Asia Pacific, Southeast Asia and for the US market.

In his new capacity as president and managing director of GM Canada, Carlisle succeeds Kevin W. Williams, who will retire at the end of the year after a career with The General that's almost as long as as his successor.

Carlisle will report directly to Alan Batey, president of GM North America.