This Might Be My Next Car

Sure, I love my car, and I haven’t even owned it for a year yet, but that won’t stop me from pondering my next auto purchase.  Just about everyone loves to imagine themselves in a newer, or simply, a different car now and then.  I haven’t even cracked 50k miles on my 2008 Jetta Wolfsburg yet (although I’m getting close), so we’ve still got a lot of time to spend together.  This means, practically speaking, my next car purchase is years away.  And that’s ok, because the object of my affection has just been introduced as a concept.

Audi unveiled its new A3 Sedan Concept to the world at the Geneva Auto Show this week, and it’s an absolute beauty.  I already liked the A3 in its current form and, in fact, considered buying one while I was car shopping last year.  I’m a huge fan of Audi’s styling over the past decade, and this new little sedan seems to have all their best attributes combined in just the right ways.  As I browsed through photos, wishing I could have seen it in person, it occurred to me that it looks great from every angle. (more…)


Is That Italian Leather?

Speaking of interior decorating…

Here’s the perfect valentine’s day gift for the living room that has everything.  A Lamborghini couch.  I know what you’re thinking –  “I MUST have one!”  Well, you’re in luck, because it’s for sale now on Jameslist.  That’s right, this isn’t just your everyday el-cheapo craigslist Toyota couch.  It’s got extremely low miles and a manual gearbox, which, you know is going make movie watching much more thrilling.  I had a Ford couch back in college with an automatic… not nearly as fun, but decent in the snow.  $5,500 will get you this 2010 model in bright yellow, with what appears to be black leather.  If that’s out of your league, you may still be in luck.  There have been rumors that Lamborghini will introduce a love seat in the 2011 model year.  The price tag is expected to come in just below $4,500.  I think I will be worth the wait. (more…)

Audi A5 2.0T On A Diet: Lightweight Concept

There has been a trend towards heavier cars lately as available features (including safety equipment) increase.  For obvious reason, weight gain is not good for performance.  To address this dilemma, Audi has developed a lightweight A5 concept, designed to improve acceleration and handling.  The result is a trimmed down A5 that weighs in at 2888 lbs, about 500 less than the 3400-lb Euro-spec A5.

Car and Driver compared the lightweight concept with a 2.0T to a stock A5 (equipped with a 3.2-L V6).  They report that Audi’s attempt to improve upon the performance of the V6 coupe has been quite successful.  Cornering has improved noticeably and a 0.3-second improvement in 0-60 is expected, compared to the 3.2’s time.  Apparently Audi is working on a second lightweight concept to target the performance of the V8-powered S5.

[Car and Driver]

Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept in Detroit: Photo Gallery

Cadillac has unveiled the XTS flagship sedan at the Detroit Auto show this week.  The XTS is expected to replace the STS and DTS as Cadillac’s premium luxury offering.  It is a combination of Cadillac’s new signature looks, technology features and a plug-in hybrid system.

The XTS concept’s hybrid drivetrain will feature a 3.6-L V-6 with direct injection.  The batteries can take a full charge from a standard wall outlet.  Periods of purely electric propulsion will be possible for the XTS, drastically increasing fuel economy.  The combination of gas engine and electric motor are estimated to produce about 350 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque to provide an exciting driving experience.

A luxuriously comfortable, yet aggressively sport ride is provided, thanks to Magnetic Ride Control.  Sensors monitor the position of the vehicle relative to the road every millisecond.  Electronically controlled magneto-rheological fluid in the shock dampers actively smooth out the road while providing excellent grip and stability.


Buick Regal GS Concept Photos

Now that GM has cut ties with Tiger Woods, Buick is going to need something else to keep things exciting for the brand.  The Regal GS may just be the answer.  The Opel Insignia-based sedan gets some subtle aesthetic upgrades and packs a performance punch.

A turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine gets the GS moving, with 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.  The turbo I4 was chosen over a V6 for decreased weight and improved fuel economy.  Although an exact spec isn’t given, Buick says the GS meets their goal of a 0-60 time below six seconds.


Chevy Aveo RS Concept Photos

Chevy has introduced yet another uninspiring concept into the small car segment with the RS version of the Aveoooooh! Dude… did you see those pictures? Ok, I take it back. That’s actually a pretty gnarly looking hatchback. The RS has been given much more aggressive looks from the outside, and a performance and feature overhaul from top to bottom. Chevy is targeting a young generation of enthusiasts looking to get some bang for their buck in an economy that has, once again pointed a spot light at the compact car.

Let’s start from the outside. Designers of the RS concept have ditched the typical bland (what I call jellybean-shaped) body style found on so many modern compacts (current Aveo included). Aluminum accented exposed headlights, a sleek roof line and wider stance, rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tips, big body colored brake calipers and, get this – 19″ wheels!


Mazda RX-8 May be Replaced by… RX-7

It is rumored that Mazda is developing a new RX-7 that will replace the current RX-8.  The RX-7 was originally discontinued after 2002, to be replaced by the RX-8 in 2003.

The RX-8 shares the heritage of the RX-7’s rotary engine, but seems to lack it’s race car appeal  It hasn’t been a great seller either.  Mazda hopes to rejuvenate the RX-7 with a new, more powerful rotary engine, and possibly improved fuel economy.  Mazda claims the new 1.6L engine will be capable of 350 hp, although it is expected to be limited to 200-250 hp in the interest of fuel efficiency.