Cadillac CTS coupe

cadillac-cts-coupe-front-3.jpgThe automotive industry is eagerly anticipating the debut of the 2008 Cadillac CTS. The sedan is tipped to preview Cadillac’s newest styling direction, and is expected to take a bow at the Detroit show in January. As we tipped earlier, unlike the current CTS and previous Catera which were offered only in sedan form, the new CTS will spawn a variety of bodystyles, which could include (in addition to the sedan) a wagon, a crossover and the two-door coupe pictured at right. Continue reading Cadillac CTS coupe

Toyota Tundra production begins

tmmtx_5.jpgLast Friday the first two Tundra pickups rolled off the line at Toyota’s new production facility in San Antonio, Texas. The facility, called Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, took three years to build and cost $1.28 billion. At full capacity it can pump out 200,000 Tundras a year, a rate at which Toyota hopes the plant will be operating sometime next year. The facility also houses 21 suppliers who produce components for the Tundra on-site. Toyota’s president Katsuaki Watanabe and Texas Governor Rick Perry were on hand to witness the ceremony that marks Toyota’s entry into the North American auto industry’s biggest market. Continue reading Toyota Tundra production begins

Toyota Camry crowned Motor Trend Car of the Year

toyota-camry.jpgThe Toyota Camry, despite being knocked by many enthusiasts as soulless and bland, has still managed to outsell every other car on the market. Second on the list is its own sibling, the Corolla. And sales keep going up, so it obviously has a lot going for it. First it wins “Most Popular” award for its sales record and now it has won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year for 2007. We’d say it’s a shoe-in for Miss Congeniality, too. Motor Trend Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Angus MacKenzie issued a statement that said the award goes to the whole Camry range for its innovation and wide appeal. This is, amazingly enough, the first win for the Camry. It beat 26 other nominees for the title. Continue reading Toyota Camry crowned Motor Trend Car of the Year

Infiniti giving free rides in NYC

g35rear.jpgThis weekend, if your Christmas shopping exploits bring you to the WIRED Magazine store in SoHo, be advised that you might be able to snag a lift to your next destination in one of Infiniti’s new G35 sedans. It’s all part of a perfect marketing storm created when corporate synergies and Thanksgiving weekend shopping plans collide. The resultant Category 5 promo campaign is called “WIRED Wheels.” Continue reading Infiniti giving free rides in NYC

Touareg V10 TDI tows a 747

1c-vw_450.jpgThis bit of news will no doubt be a big badge of honor for the few owners there are out there of the Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI. VW is hoping the number of Touareg TDI owners will grow, and demonstrated the diesel ute’s mighty pulling power recently in a press event that pitted it against the standing weight of a Boeing 747. The Touareg was “lightly modified” with the addition of 7,030 kg (15,498 lbs.) of ballast weight (!) and the fitment of the 4.56 axle from Touareg V8 model. Continue reading Touareg V10 TDI tows a 747

Renault Laguna goes diesel

renault-laguna.jpgTHE Renault Laguna is back and the new-look model comes with a diesel engine only. There’s a pile of letters in Renault Australia’s Melbourne office that has been growing since the company returned here in 2001. They are from people who have driven its diesel cars in Europe, often as part of Renault’s own Eurodrive leasing program. “Why can’t we buy one here?” they ask. The new Laguna dCi means Renault can start replying — with good news. Continue reading Renault Laguna goes diesel

Driven: 2007 Audi S6

driven-2007-audi-s6.jpgConsider the position of Audi’s new S6 and the predicament in which the Audi brand finds itself in the American marketplace. A case can be made that the situations are surprisingly parallel. Like the entire Audi brand, the S6 has matured, yet is lagging somewhat in visibility compared to its German rivals. Also like the brand itself, the S6 must stand on its own, continuing to appeal to the traditional Audiphile, yet still catch the eye of those who’ve never owned or even considered a car with those four chrome rings affixed to the grille. Continue reading Driven: 2007 Audi S6

Porsche 997 gets a subtle nip and tuck

997_tweaked_1.jpgIn keeping with Porsche’s long-held tradition of incremental evolution, pictures surfaced yesterday of a mildly tweaked 997 making its way around the Nurburgring. The exterior changes are expectedly subtle, with the front fascia getting larger air intakes, ala the new 911 Turbo, and a mildly stretched nose. Out rear, the taillights have been sunken into the bodywork to a greater degree and have finally moved into the 21st century with an LED setup replacing the old bulb-illuminated units. Continue reading Porsche 997 gets a subtle nip and tuck

Winter approaches. Imprezas wait impatiently…

ys.jpgWhen I was in high school, my Dad had a mid-80s Subaru GL 3-door hatch with 4WD. The thing looked like a little silver dune buggy and I loved it, but sadly, he got rid of it before I wound up getting my license. The wee GL was a bit too small for his taste, you see, so he upgraded to a brand-new, fire-engine-red ’88 GL wagon (non-turbo, automatic with the push-button 4WD on the shifter). I used to eagerly await the snowy weather so that the Subie and I could frolic around the corners in my neighborhood. It was no high-speed machine, but it was a hell of a lot of fun and the thing seemed to adore snow, slush and other such winter slop. Continue reading Winter approaches. Imprezas wait impatiently…

Nissan Altima Coupe needs to learn French fast

nissan-altima-coupe.jpgIt’s an Altima Coupé. It’s a Laguna Coupé. It’s two, two, two cars in one. Auto Express magazine has another spy shot of Nissan’s new Altima 2-door we told you about recently. But there’s a twist. The car is wearing a Renault badge. Huh? How did Renault get the Coupé before Nissan? Company head Carlos Ghosn has announced plans to introduce a whopping 26 new Renault models over the next 3 years, and borrowing the underpinnings from the Altima, the new Laguna could be available much sooner. Renault means front-engine, front-drive, so this Altima Coupé fits into the Renault lineup quite nicely, especially in the UK. Continue reading Nissan Altima Coupe needs to learn French fast

Honda increases stake in kei car manufacturer

life.jpgHonda has increased its stake in Yachiyo Industry — the manufacturer of its Life and Zest kei cars — to 51.14%. Previously, they held a 34.5% share. Higher fuel prices have resulted in a greatly increased demand for mincars, which receive special tax considerations from the government and combine fuel-efficiency, excellent use of space, and fairly surprising levels of equipment in remarkably compact packages at competitive prices. Continue reading Honda increases stake in kei car manufacturer

Toyota FJ Cruiser Convertible

toyota-fj-cruiser-convertible.jpgWe came across Newport Convertible Engineering at the SEMA show a couple of weeks ago, and the company’s FJ Cruiser Convertible immediately caught our eye. Not only does this $10,000 conversion give FJ Cruiser owners a power-operated soft top in place of the standard steel roof, but it also eliminates the FJ’s giant C-pillar that creates a huge blindspot for the driver and makes back seat passengers feel claustrophobic. Continue reading Toyota FJ Cruiser Convertible