Week in Review: Spied Cars, Old Cars, New Cars, and Good Engines
We began this month on a high note, seeing May 2013's sales at some of the best numbers they've been in a long time. Despite cars getting more complicated and expensive, the buying public is chugging away at dealerships, continuing to buy compact and midsize cars that can stretch into the $20,000 to $30,000 range easily. Trucks are also hitting their stride. And somehow, this week was so bountiful with happenings that sales day stuff just doesn't cut it for our Week in Review. Instead, we're still focused on the facet of the auto industry abuzz with energy from new products and innovations. However, there's one truly baffling case that broke into the news cycle this week that we're curious how it will get resolved. Defiance against the federal government is kind of a big deal. Monday, June 3 As much as we've heard that there's still no such thing as a high-horsepower Cadillac ATS-V, spy shots that came out this week prove otherwise. Spotted around the German Nurburgring was a camouflaged Cadillac palling around with a current BMW M3 sedan. This is significant for two reasons: 1) Cadillac is obviously targeting the best vehicle in the segment for driving involvement and performance, and 2) you know that the ATS-V is going to be pushing upwards of 420 horsepower. The Cadillac is expected to retain its light weight. All indications point towards the ATS-V using a twin-turbo V-6, possibly making its official debut sometime around next January in Detroit. Tuesday, June 4 It's not often when a car company will defy a government recall request on an allegedly defective vehicle, but Chrysler's Jeep division has done just that, shunting the NHTSA's recommendation to recall 2.7 million vehicles. The NHTSA says that the Jeep Grand Cherokees being recalled have gas tanks susceptible to catching fire in an accident. More than 50 people have been killed in Grand Cherokee models spanning two generations from the 1990s and 2000s. But Chrysler says that the gas tank falls well within crash regulation standards. Who's right? Read the whole report and decide for yourself. Wednesday, June 5 Auto journalists all over the world drive a good number of cars every year, and when a select few congregate to select what their favorite engines are, it's a pretty big deal. This year, the International Engine of the Year award went to the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine found under the hood of select 2014 Ford Fiesta models in the U.S. Making 123 horsepower and netting upwards of 40 mpg, this little marvel of engineering beat out the best from every manufacturer. Among other winners were Tesla, the Chevrolet Volt, and Ferrari in what was surely an ultra-competitive list of entrants. Thursday, June 6 It's been a long time coming, but the 2014 Toyota Corolla is finally here. Previewed by the Toyota Corolla Furia concept from the Detroit Auto Show, the 2014 Toyota Corolla looks to bring one of the best-selling compact cars into modern times with slick styling, standard LED headlights, and a continuously variable automatic transmission with seven preset gear ratios that simulate a traditional automatic transmission, possibly because Corolla customers are averse to change. Much larger with a nicer interior, the Corolla looks like it could continue to be the hit it has always been. We'll know soon enough when we drive it in August. Friday, June 7 Buick is still moving up in the world. What better way to keep on track than to put plenty more features into its cars and crossovers? For 2014, its entire lineup is getting its whole safety suite of technologies, including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and a backup camera. Last year, Buick instilled all of its vehicles with its IntelliLink infotainment system. All of this helps differentiate the quickly growing Buick lineup. We're just wondering what it has left for 2015 at this point since all of Buick's technology currently available will be standard this upcoming model year.
Southern California isn't perfect all the time--at least not for a photographer...