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Weekly Recap: Will 'smaller is smarter' strategy work for 2015 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon?

Posted 2014-10-18T10:58:00Z

2015 Chevy Colorado

"For this customer, smaller is smarter. " – Rich Latek.

The pickup truck segment has never been more competitive in the United States, and General Motors is betting a "smaller is smarter" strategy will help lure new buyers into its fold with the additions of the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon to its lineup.

The trucks are launching this fall, and except for a minor recall this month, they've received positive publicity for their looks, capabilities and drive character. The trucks are slightly shorter, narrower and sit lower to the ground than their fullsize brethren. At first glance, it doesn't seem like much – these are still big trucks with considerable presence – but the dimensions make the Colorado and Canyon easier to maneuver and park. GM expects this buyer to use their truck to commute to work, yet still occasionally need to tow and haul on weekends.

"For this customer, smaller is smarter," said GMC marketing director Rich Latek.

What you missed on 10.17.14

Posted 2014-10-17T19:30:00Z

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Review: Driveclub for Playstation 4

Every new video game comes to market with high expectations. But a title like Driveclub – set to be the first PS4-exclusive racing game yet, and already delayed by more than a year – has more to achieve than most. We've been playing the socially augmented racer for the last few weeks, and report in with a full review. Do Forza fans have an excuse to jump systems?


Ladies and gents, your 2016 Nissan Maxima

When Nissan showed off its Sport Sedan Concept at the last Detroit Auto Show, hopes were immediately brightened for the next-generation Maxima that it foretold. Now, thanks to some crafty lens-work, or spies in the field have captured concrete evidence that bits of the concept will make it through to production. Get a glimpse of the future, here.



LeBron James to rep Kia K900

When one thinks about vehicles that all-world pro basketball players drive, names like Range Rover, Mercedes and even Cadillac Escalade come to mind. The Kia K900... not so much. So consider how surprising it was to learn that the best baller in the NBA drove Kia's flagship, even before he got the gig repping it. Find out why King James is such a fan of sensible luxury.


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What you missed on 10.15.14

Posted 2014-10-15T19:28:00Z

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Review: 2015 Audi A3

Audi's newest point of entry has been clocking strong sales and driving a lot of consumer interest in the months that it has been on sale. With a formula that combines design hallmarks of the brand with reasonable power from its 2.0T and a $30k-ish price to own, there's a lot to like. But does the new small Audi sedan come together in a way that will amuse drivers as it satisfies the badge patrol?



Honda CR-V crowned SUV of the Year

There was an especially strong crop of utility vehicles to choose from this year, when our pals at Motor Trend set out to pick 2015's very best. So, when we heard that the 2015 Honda CR-V won out over the likes of Cherokee, Escalade and Macan, well, we were certainly interesting in finding out both why and how. You should do the same, here.



Mystery Benz is fascinating and unknown

Typically when we're sent a fresh set of spy photographs, we have at least a good working idea of what we're looking at. So, when something shows up that's truly puzzling, it's an exciting day. Cue Mercedes and a sheet-cloaked concept car of some ilk, with spaceship-like proportions and zero real back story. Get our best guess, and make your own in Comments, by clicking through.




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What you missed on 10.14.14

Posted 2014-10-14T19:32:00Z

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First Drive: 2015 Ford Focus EcoBoost

Cagey car-spotters may be able to pick out the 2015 model of Ford's Focus at a glance, but the most fascinating update for the new compact lies not in the hexagonal grille, but behind it. Ford is ready to offer its mighty mite, 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine in the Focus for the first time. We drive the thing and can report that it's not only an acceptable engine, despite its miniscule displacement, but we actually quite like it.



Take the Tightly Cropped Car Pic Challenge

Take a picture of a very well-recognized thing. Crop that picture to remove all context and almost all but a few scant details. Now, show the picture to people and make them guess what it is. We're not saying we invented the formula behind the TCCPC, but we are proposing that you'll have a good time looking at it, and scratching your head for 10 minutes. Warning: 8 through 10 are toughies.



2015 Ford F-150 named Truck of Texas

If you're a full-line automaker in the US of A, and you build trucks, you'd better be pretty darn keyed in on the Texas market. They sell an awful lot of pickups in the Lone Star State, which is exactly why Ford is so stoked to take home this years hardware from the Texas Auto Writers Association. In addition to the winning, aluminum F-150, we've got the full list of vehicles that earned a brass ring from the TAWA voters, right here.




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What you missed on 10.13.14

Posted 2014-10-13T19:27:00Z

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First Drive: 2015 BMW X6

The sweptback roofline with an SUV footprint has befuddled some observers and bewitched some buyers, ever since BMW added its X6 Sports Activity Coupe to the lineup. For the 2015 model year, the X6 enters a new generation of technology, luxurious insides and power, though it's hard to tell from the sheet metal. Drive along with us as we take our first steer of the bi-polar BMW, here.




Red light cameras down, speed camera use up

The last few decades have seen drivers across the globe face the realities of remote traffic policing. While both red light cameras and the speed-calculating kind are still less prevalent in some areas of the US than in Europe, their use cannot be denied. Yet, the most recent reports seem to indicate that one version of this electronic constabulary is more successful than the other, and is looking at a positive growth trend in years to come. Speeders beware.



F1 Race Recap: 2014 Russian Grand Prix

As is the case with so many tilts in the Formula One universe, the winner in this year's Russian Grand Prix was almost immediately obvious. Good thing for fans of the sport then that the second-place finisher was a tremendous surprise, and there was plenty of action in the middle of the pack. Spoiler alert: if you haven't watched the race by now, why are you reading this?




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Weekly Recap: Aluminum spurs controversy for Ford, Chrysler

Posted 2014-10-11T11:00:00Z

Ford F-150

Automakers are increasingly turning to aluminum as a way to cut weight and improve fuel economy.

Aluminum was a flammable topic this week, and its use in the 2015 Ford F-150 and potential use in the future Jeep Wrangler ignited controversy.

In both cases, it came down to money.

Ford stock took a brief hit on Wednesday when Morgan Stanley cut its price target from $16 to $14 a share, though it soon recovered later in the day. The reason? In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley said the aluminum-bodied F-150 could be a challenge to make and launches into an ultra-competitive market against entrenched products from Chevrolet, GMC and Chrysler. All of this could eat into Ford's short- and mid-term profits, the brokerage firm said.

A Ford spokesperson said the company generally doesn't comment on analyst reports, adding that it's working "to deliver profitable growth for all of Ford's stakeholders."

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne suggested at the Paris Motor Show that the redesigned Jeep Wrangler – which is likely still years away – could shift to an aluminum body in a bid to cut weight and improve fuel economy. That could mean relocating the Wrangler to a different factory, as retrofitting its longtime home in Toledo, OH, could prove too expensive.

What you missed on 10.10.14

Posted 2014-10-10T19:31:00Z

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Rolls-Royce Ghost Series IIDriving the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

The story at Rolls-Royce is better than ever these days. The company's sales are way up, and there are some compelling new products that cater to the ultra-wealthy who want nothing but the best. Senior Editor Seyth Miersma samples one of Rolls' latest wares, the updated Ghost Series II. He even does a burnout in the big Roller. See it all, here.




Tesla DTesla D gets AWD, autonomous tech

Elon Musk showed us his D late last night – the long-anticipated, all-wheel-drive Model S. But AWD isn't the only big news here. The Tesla D gets 10 more miles of range and a suite of autopilot autonomous driving technologies. Oh, and it has a higher top speed and decreased 0-60 time of just 3.2 seconds. Read all about it, here.




Ferrari F60 AmericaFerrari unveils F60 America US special

To celebrate its 60th anniversary in North America, Ferrari has unveiled this seriously limited-edition F60 America, limited to just 10 units, all of which have already been spoken for. Based on the F12 Berlinetta, the F60 takes on a roadster shape, still powered by the screaming 6.3-liter V12. Looks like a winner. Too bad you'll (probably) never get to drive one.




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What you missed on 10.9.14

Posted 2014-10-09T19:31:00Z

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This or That 442 vs. BMW 635CSiWhich $10,000 '80s coupe would you choose?

In the end, there can be only one. And, while we've got another six days left in the balloting, one of these two vehicles is leading in the early running by about two to one. You can probably guess which it is. And that means, if you've got an opinion, feel free to cast a vote in favor of the 1980 Oldsmobile 442 or 1989 BMW 635CSi and help us crown a winner in our second-ever This or That vehicular showdown.





Mid-engine Porsche models at Laguna SecaMid-engine Porsche models at Laguna Seca

Porsche may be best known for the 911 – and rightly so, we may add – but the German automaker certainly knows a thing or two about moving the engine from the very back to the middle, where it's most beneficial for the type of driving an enthusiast is likely to do. To wit, take a look at this feature, where we dissect mid-engine Porsche models from the 550 all the way to the current, mind-bending 918.




Bugatti Veyron penis vandalismPenile pranksters punk a Bugatti Veyron

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of the Bugatti Veyron you see to the right, much fewer are needed. In fact, you really need only one: penis. But that's no fun. We had at least three alternative headlines written and discarded for this unfortunate image, and there are surely some inventive wordsmiths just itching for a caption contest...



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What you missed on 10.8.14

Posted 2014-10-08T19:31:00Z

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Audi TTS2016 Audi TTS driven

After driving the all-new 2016 Audi TT, Jonathon Ramsey also had a chance to put the hotter TTS through its paces on both road and track. The S-badged coupe has more power and a more athletic setup, but is it worth the added cost over the standard, stylish TT? Read our Quick Spin, here, to find out.





Porsche 911 GTSPorsche 911 gets new GTS models

Looking for something a bit more potent than a Carrera S but don't want the full, hardcore GT3 experience? Enter the 911 GTS, now available with rear- or all-wheel drive, in both coupe and cabriolet body styles. The new, "just right" 911 launches in the fourth quarter of 2014, priced from $114,200 in the US. Check out our post for all of the details.




Acura NSXMore 2016 Acura NSX details

The big joke around the Autoblog office is that by the time the new Acura NSX launches, it'll already need a refresh. Seriously, we've been waiting on this thing for what feels like forever. But some new details are piquing our interest today. For starters, Acura is benchmarking the Ferrari 458 with its supercar, but for a much lower starting price in the Audi R8 realm. Interesting stuff, for sure.



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What you missed on 10.7.14

Posted 2014-10-07T19:30:00Z

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Dodge SRT ViperTop Torque-to-Weight Ratios examined

You want torque? Good. We've got torque. From tiny turbocharged four-cylinder engines through V8 muscle and sports cars and straight on through to the biggest turbodiesel mills you can buy in American today without a CDL, we've taken a close look at the cars that offer the most torque and the least amount of weight at price points ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.




Volvo 450 horsepower four cylinder engineVolvo coaxes 450 hp from a 2.0L four cylinder

Know what's great? Horsepower. You love it, we love it. And apparently Volvo loves it, too. As proof, the Swedish automaker has coaxed an amazing 450 horsepower out of just 2.0 liters of displacement and four cylinders, courtesy of its new High Performance Drive-E Powertrain concept. We're fully expecting to see this impressive engine under the hood of the new Volvo XC90.




Autoblog podcastAutoblog Podcast #400!

Hey, take a look at that. Autoblog recorded its 400th podcast last night, and it included guest appearances by some pretty familiar names to those who've been following along all that time. Names like John Neff, Zach Bowman and Sam Abuelsamid. Have a listen, and thanks for the memories!



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