Ten years after the debut of its first real sports sedan, the 2003 CTS, Cadillac is once again going BMW 3 Series hunting, this time with its all-new 2013 ATS sedan, set to debut at next month at the Detroit show, and go on sale later in 2012.
WOLFSBURG, Germany – Well, this was certainly a surprise. While in Germany trying out Volkswagen’s new Up! city car (full review in Wheels forthcoming), a visit to the epicentre of all things VW had us in a non-descript grey building with a sign above its garage door marked “Volkswagen Classic”, in the shadow of the German brand’s original factory here in Wolfsburg that builds Golfs, Tourans and Tiguans.
Go ahead and whine about modern cars. They’re too complicated, too expensive, and too heavy (take your pick!) compared to the vehicles from our rose-coloured past. But at least they’re much safer. In fact, modern cars have become so much better at protecting their occupants, safety’s become a commodity in new car showrooms, like rust protection and reliability. The assumption is, all cars are equal when it comes to crunch time.
Things are seemingly looking up these days if you’re in the business of selling Acuras. After a few years in the wilderness with a muddled product strategy and confusing styling, its parents at Japan’s Honda are looking to relaunch the brand with a raft of new cars and new technological flagship sports car.
FROM THE FLEET are brief synopses of manufacturer-supplied rides that happen to end up in my laneway – John LeBlanc
Myself and the der nue 2012 Volkswagen Passat didn’t quite hit it off during our first meeting at its debut at last January’s Detroit auto show. As per the new-generation VW Jetta, the “Americanization of VW” continues with the new U.S.-made Passat. And VW’s Camry/Impala/Accord-fighting sedan isn’t pretty if you’re a fan of highbrow, German engineering, as I admittedly am.
Arguably, the Toyota/Subaru sports car was the unmitigated hit of last week’s Tokyo Motor Show. Praise flowed freely from usually grumpy media types (yours truly included), for Toyota’s “back to basics” approach and general all-around courage for putting a car out there that is not primarily about making money. And, already, Toyota is looking at taking the momentum created by its GT 86 2+2 (to be sold in Canada as the Scion FR-S) and expanding its sports car offerings. The GT 86’s head engineer, Tetsuya Tada , told the Sydney Morning Herald there’s a future possibility of two more Toyota sports cars: one bigger than the compact GT 86, and one smaller.
The old adage, “Even bad publicity is good publicity” may be the only good news stemming from the safety concerns surrounding Chevrolet Volts catching on fire. You see, even before the Volt started making headlines over its questionable safety, the technologically groundbreaking General Motors car wasn’t exactly setting the sales charts on fire.
Wheels writer John LeBlanc was the owner of an advertising and marketing firm before indulging his lifelong passion for cars by becoming an automotive journalist. Join in the discussion as he provides expert critical analysis of the foibles of the auto industry.