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Found 19 results

  1. Alfa Romeo was planning to build out the Giulia lineup with a coupe, convertible, and wagon. But one of those variants has been canned. Alfa Romeo's manufacturing chief, Alfredo Altavilla tells Car Magazine that plans for the wagon have been canceled. "We decided not to do a Giulia Sportwagon. Do we really need it if the Stelvio SUV [below] drives that well? Maybe not. With our fine-tuning, the Stelvio can capture all the people who would otherwise have been interested in the SW." Alfa's reasons for canceling the wagon makes sense. More and more people are turning to the SUVs and crossovers. Why spend the money on developing a model that might not sell as well as an SUV? Source: Car Magazine
  2. We have known since last year that Porsche has been working on a Panamera shooting brake (wagon). Now we have an idea of when it will show up. Speaking with Car Magazine, Dr Stefan Utsch, director of sales and marketing for the Panamera revealed that the shooting brake will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and sales will kick off later in the year for Europe. We're expecting to see something similar to the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show - the roofline extended a bit and larger tailgate. One item up in the air is whether or not the Panamera shooting brake will come to the U.S. "We have to have some patience for [the wagon] to arrive in the U.S. But we are confident that this car will be well received here, despite the fact that this country doesn't really like hatchbacks or wagons," said Porsche's U.S. chief, Klaus Zellmer last year to Automotive News. That could mean we might see the Panamera shooting brake as early as 2018. Source: Car Magazine
  3. It was back in April of this year that we reported Jaguar was getting out of wagon game citing shrinking sale. But fast forward to the Paris Motor Show and Jaguar has revealed an image of the next XF Sportbrake under some camouflage. Plus, news has come out that the Sportbrake is coming to the U.S. What happened? Let us go back to our story back in April. Those comments about Jaguar not doing another wagon came from the chief designer, Ian Callum. But Callum tweeted that he was misquoted, saying that they wouldn't do an XE wagon. In May, Auto Express reported that the second-generation XF Sportbrake had been given the green light. Now the picture Jaguar showed off of the new XF Sportbrake doesn't really tell us anything new. It looks like your standard XF with a longer roof. The XF Sportbrake is expected to debut sometime next year. Now for the U.S. bit. Motor Trend has learned from Joe Eberhardt, president and CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America that the XF Sportbrake will be coming to the U.S. Unlike other wagons (aside from the new E-Class Wagon) that are lifted up and feature body cladding, Eberhardt said it would be a bonified wagon and share powertrains with the XF sedan. Source: Auto Express, Motor Trend
  4. Another one bites the dust in terms of the wagon marketplace. According to Automotive News Europe, Jaguar's design chief Ian Callum said the company would not being doing any wagons. "The [wagon] market is massively shrinking. I'm very sad about it but it's a very difficult market to justify," said Callum told a group of journalists at an event for the F-Pace crossover. Europe is the only market in the world where automakers can make inroads with wagons. During the launch of the XF Sportbrake back in 2012, Jaguar said wagons made up about 30 percent of the large luxury car market. Germany is the top market followed by the United Kingdom. "The world's biggest wagon market is Germany. And what do Germans buy? They buy German cars," said Callum. Meanwhile, the UK isn't as interested as wagons as they once were. Not helping matters is the growing demand for crossovers not only in Europe, but around the world. Jaguar is putting more effort in this market with the launch of the F-Pace. There is also rumors flying around that a smaller model called the E-Pace will join later. "We will do things that will surprise you but it won't be wagons," said Callum. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  5. The march towards majority SUVs continues on and the two newest casualties are the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen and the Golf Alltrack. As we predicted a month ago, Volkswagen will end production of the two vehicles in the 2019 model year, though in the case of the Alltrack, production will be extended to December. Volkswagen says that with 50 percent of their sales being SUVs, consumer tastes have shifted strongly to SUVs, and VW is responding by releasing three new SUVs over the next 2 years. First up, will be a 5-seater Atlas Cross Sport being unveiled later this year, then the ID.CROZZ electric SUV early next year, and a just announced SUV to slot below the Tiguan is planned for 2021. While Volkswagen says their new ID EV platform can be used for bodystyles of the past, apparently the station wagon is not one planned.
  6. Blake Noble Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 4th, 2012 GM hasn’t exactly been bashful about the fact it plans to build a new rear-drive performance sedan for Chevrolet next year, and race it on your local NASCAR track. Announced in March of this year, the upcoming Chevy — which will wear the SS moniker in either short or long-hand form — should likely boast the same 6.2 liter V8 heart which furiously beats beneath the hood of the Camaro SS. The 6.2 should produce upwards of 415 horsepower for use in the SS sedan. When news broke about the Chevrolet SS, it was widely believed that the car would be only be available with a V8 and four doors. However, that may not turn out to be the case as it seems GM may be planning to further expand the Bowtie brand’s portfolio of rear-drive cars. Car and Driver is reporting that after the SS is introduced with the hairy-chested 6.2 V8, Chevrolet will offer a version of the car for more squeamish buyers using a 3.6 liter V6 good for churning out 300-plus horsepower. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that most automakers must remain conscious of ever increasing CAFE regulations with every new model and a V6-powered Chevy SS would likely achieve highway mpg figures somewhere in the upper 20s. What may be seen as surprising is that the Chevy SS family may not be comprised of just a V6 or V8-powered sedan. When the SS moves to an updated, lighter version of the Zeta platform on which it is based, GM could very well introduce additional ute (read: ElCamino) and wagon bodystyles. This should take place around 2015, and production of the SS will also shift to North America — likely GM’s plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada — from Australia where it will first be built alongside the related Holden Commodore. It’s worth mentioning that while production of the Chevy SS will probably move out of Australia, it’s unclear if the Holden Commodore will follow suit. Australian website Drive is skeptical and thinks if the Commodore leaves its native home it likely wouldn’t happen until a totally new model is introduced for 2018, pending future currency exchange rates and sales. Whatever the case, enthusiasts will undoubtedly be excited at the prospect of not only the upcoming Chevy SS, but a new wagon and especially a successor to the beloved ElCamino. Let’s just hope that GM doesn’t revoke anyone’s green card this time around. Sources: Car and Driver, Drive
  7. Driven: 2018 Buick Regal Sportback Essence 2.0t (the original review is in this post. Revised reviews are further down, in this post, and in this other post) HIGHS: -Nice understated shape conceals a cleverly integrated hatchback design -'Decent' propulsion from 2.0t engine -Nicely shaped upper dash with touchsreen oriented slightly to driver. Interesting at least from a design standpoint. -Sporting driving position and good room in both rows, mostly, plus the biggest benefit being improved leg room over previous model -Really nice cargo space, with seats up, or seats down, the cargo area of this vehicle and the flexibility of it in a car like this IMO is a major draw -View outside of this vehicle is improved over its platform mate (Malibu, my daily driver) due to the rear door glass being longer and taller. View out the front and rear is essentially the same. -AWD availability is a nice plus, thanks Buick. LOWS: -I can't recall any of the GM vehicles I have driven with this ubiquitous 2.0t engine, where i have actually been wowed or impressed by it. It has decent thrust, but honestly you gotta spool it up a bit, the tranny doesn't respond instantly, it's not a five star smooth tranny, and it's kind of rough and noisy overall as a powertrain (AT LEAST FOR IT'S PRICE / CLASS). I was hoping the 2.0 would make the car match the near luxury description but I don't think it's overall a smooth enough powertrain to meet that claim. It's neither smooth, nor sporting or exciting. And this is with front wheel drive. I will reserve final judgment until i get in the GS with the v6, which is the engine I think most people will really end up liking in this car. -Heavier than it's Malibu platform mate. No doubt acceptable due to the larger engine, but the benefit of the extra weight doesn't manifest itself in any real tangible way anywhere in the ride and drive of the car. -Not really any quieter inside than my Malibu. Strange, because this Buick is supposed to have quiet tuning, and goo in the tires to help make it quieter. The ride isn't really any more plush, either. -Steering is sort of dead and mushy. That's not GERMANIC now, is it. -NEED TO BE ABLE TO TURN OFF THE AUTOSTOP WHEN YOU WANT TO. -Not really much nicer inside than in my Malibu. The lower dash is the same 'less expensive' plastic you see in cheap Chevy's. The door panels are a little nicer, but not that much more. Many switches and buttons are the same. The console is nicer (I don't like the shifter centered in the console now actually, it's quite a reach) I guess...except for cupholders in front of the climate controls. The upper dash material is an upgrade over the Malibu, but it's not a PREMIUM dash material either. -I can't really tell for sure if the seats are better. My Malibu seats are poor. The Regal seats seemed to hug me more, but they still felt thin and insubstantial. The leather quality was slightly better, but still nothing to write home about. -Rear head room suffers a bit with the hatch design. I don't mind the tradeoff personally, but the Malibu retains a bit more headroom, and the Regal TourX really has much more....so get the wagon if rear head room matters. -Sunroof was nice to have considering how bunkerlike the Malibu can feel....but again the hatch design limits the size of the sunroof here compared to the Malibu's BAMR. I can live with the compromise here myself, and again, the wagon will satisfy your urge for BAMR if you need it. I would encourage GM to develop a way to integrate a larger moonroof with the hatch design. I think it could be done, but would require time and money on a redesign effort. -Options / packages on this car are, simply put, stupid. But that merits its own post. At least in this car, the heated steering wheel and leather heated seats were both included. You can actually get this car with heated steering wheel but without heated seats. How f-cked up is that? In 2019, Fusion, Toyota, and others will have things like blind spot and cross path detection as standard equipment. And those are not 'premium' makes. -I'll let others decide if they think the styling is too tepid. I don't mind the understated styling but do admit that the color selections that are available on this car leave me wanting. I like the red on the GS, and the smoked pearl metallic is nice. And Buick seems to think they should charge extra for paint colors when they don't make the ride and drive anything special. -pricing. I think the average nature of this car would be easily forgiven if the pricing were in line with being an average car; not priced for a premium marque. Like the LaCrosse and Envision, it is best to wait out the model year if you are buying and wait for the inevitable 7,000-10,000 or more in discounts...which might bring the pricing in line with what the vehicle really is. You can't say this vehicle is appealing at the prices it is at now. SUMMARY: This probably seems like a negative review, but you should consider it more of underwhelmed and let down. This car as I drove it just doesn't have any kind of endearing personality to speak of! At the end of the day, it took Buick two extra years to bring to the US it's own Malibu clone, which doesn't have much more to show for it.... apart from the clever hatch and base 2.0 engine upgrade over the 1.5. I actually am very curious now to be among the first to try the 2019 Malibu 1.5t + CVT combo. But that's an aside for another discussion. The 2.0 that general motors puts in so many vehicles has never impressed me, and that's due more to it's character than anything. I had hopes this would be the ONE CAR that it would feel sporting in; one that would make the car feel at least a little, like a SPORTS SEDAN. Nope. I will wait with baited breath to someday find a v6 GS to test, as i think it will be the only Regal worth anything. At least worth anything more than just being another option in the midsize, genericar class. And I hope Buick is working on a twin turbo six option as well for the GS (GSX?). I tend to think this car won't move the needle in marketplace excitement until it has a tire shredder under the hood to brag about...The v6 will promise smoother revs and deeper lungs at least......... Still, as a replacement in the bottom end of the Buick lineup for the Verano, I am ok with this. Just please, sex it up!
  8. We're excited by the new Opel and Vauxhall Insignia, especially considering we'll be getting our hands on it as the Buick Regal. But we don't know what form the Regal will come in. Opel has shown off a five-door hatchback and wagon, and there is talk about a sedan for China. According to a report from Automotive News, Buick will be selling the Regal as a hatchback and wagon. This information comes from two auto forecast firms: LMC Automotive and AutoForecast Solutions. Dropping the Regal sedan may seem odd, but there is some method to this madness. Sales of midsize sedans has been falling for the past two years and the segment has seen a 20 percent drop in the first two months. Going a different route could give the Regal a possible chance in the U.S. As for the wagon, it is unclear if it will be the standard Insignia wagon or an off-road variant like the Audi A4 Allroad.bu Not surprisingly, Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle declined to comment. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  9. Alfa Romeo was planning to build out the Giulia lineup with a coupe, convertible, and wagon. But one of those variants has been canned. Alfa Romeo's manufacturing chief, Alfredo Altavilla tells Car Magazine that plans for the wagon have been canceled. "We decided not to do a Giulia Sportwagon. Do we really need it if the Stelvio SUV [below] drives that well? Maybe not. With our fine-tuning, the Stelvio can capture all the people who would otherwise have been interested in the SW." Alfa's reasons for canceling the wagon makes sense. More and more people are turning to the SUVs and crossovers. Why spend the money on developing a model that might not sell as well as an SUV? Source: Car Magazine View full article
  10. It was back in April of this year that we reported Jaguar was getting out of wagon game citing shrinking sale. But fast forward to the Paris Motor Show and Jaguar has revealed an image of the next XF Sportbrake under some camouflage. Plus, news has come out that the Sportbrake is coming to the U.S. What happened? Let us go back to our story back in April. Those comments about Jaguar not doing another wagon came from the chief designer, Ian Callum. But Callum tweeted that he was misquoted, saying that they wouldn't do an XE wagon. In May, Auto Express reported that the second-generation XF Sportbrake had been given the green light. Now the picture Jaguar showed off of the new XF Sportbrake doesn't really tell us anything new. It looks like your standard XF with a longer roof. The XF Sportbrake is expected to debut sometime next year. Now for the U.S. bit. Motor Trend has learned from Joe Eberhardt, president and CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America that the XF Sportbrake will be coming to the U.S. Unlike other wagons (aside from the new E-Class Wagon) that are lifted up and feature body cladding, Eberhardt said it would be a bonified wagon and share powertrains with the XF sedan. Source: Auto Express, Motor Trend View full article
  11. There is a running joke in the automotive world that the perfect vehicle for an enthusiast is a rear-drive station wagon with a diesel engine and manual transmission. The closest we ever got to this ’nirvana’ was the Volkswagen Jetta and Golf SportWagen. While not rear-wheel drive, the Jetta and Golf wagons did offer a diesel and manual transmission combination. Not only did they become one of the darlings of the automotive press, but consumers would soon jump on the diesel wagon bandwagon thanks to Volkswagen’s ‘clean diesel’ ad campaign. But we would learn this ‘clean diesel’ campaign was a fallacy as Volkswagen was found to be using illegal software that allowed their diesel vehicles to cheat emission tests. One of the key selling points for the Golf SportWagen was taken off the table and Volkswagen’s reputation would take a nose dive. This brings up an interesting question, is there more to the Golf SportWagen than the availability of a diesel engine? Describing the design of the Golf SportWagen is quite simple - take a standard Golf and add a foot to the overall length. Otherwise, the clean design of the Golf is still here with a narrow front grille and smooth side profile. Some will complain that the SportWagen is a bit boring to look at. We can’t disagree with this as it kind of exists with no real standout design trait. The interior follows the same ideals as the exterior with a plain jane look. The choice of black and sliver for the interior trim only reinforces this thought. But Volkswagen should be given some credit as the design does allow for a simple layout of controls and are within easy reach for driver and passenger. Also, a lot of the materials used throughout the interior are soft-touch and make the SportWagen feel quite premium. Finding a seating position in the SportWagen is simple thanks to the combination of manual and power adjustments for the front seats and a tilt-telescoping steering wheel. The seats earn top marks for comfort and support for long trips. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom for most folks. This is impressive when you take into account our SE tester comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard. As for cargo space, the SportWagen offers 30.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats (7.6 cubic feet larger than the standard Golf) and 66.5 cubic feet when folded (13 cubic feet larger than the Golf). To give you some idea of the space on offer, I was able to fit a desk from Ikea that measured 53.5 inches long with no issues. On the technology front, all Golf SportWagens feature a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Volkswagen’s Car-Net infotainment system. This is one of our favorite systems thanks to an easy to understand interface, buttons around the screen to take you to the various parts, and fast performance. The only item we would like to see Volkswagen address is the screen. The matte finish on it sucks some of the color and brightness. Any 2016 Volkswagen fitted with the Car-Net infotainment system will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Being an iPhone person, I tried out the CarPlay integration and find it to be one of the best implementations. It only takes a few seconds for the system to detect the phone before bringing up the CarPlay interface. Apps launched quickly and showed no signs of slowdown or crashing. At the present moment, the Golf SportWagen is only available with a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a five-speed manual (only available on the S) or a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. The 2.0L TDI four-cylinder is currently on probation due to the diesel emission scandal. The 1.8T is one our favorite engines as you never feel wanting for power. Torque arrives at low 1,600 rpm which allows the Golf SportWagen to leap away from a stop. More impressive is engine responding with power in an instant if you need to make a pass or merge onto the freeway. We wish we could say the same of the DSG transmission. As we noted in our quick drive of the Passat V6, the DSG doesn’t like low-speed maneuvers as it exhibits signs of hesitation and lurching. At higher speeds, the transmission is lightning fast with shifts. EPA fuel economy figures for the Golf SportWagen stand at 25 City/35 Highway/29 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 28 mpg. Ride and handling characteristics for the Golf SportWagen can be described as balanced. The suspension provides a well-damped ride over rough roads. In the corners, body motions are kept in check and the wagon feels very agile. The steering provides a decent amount of weight and feel that will please most drivers. One area where the Golf SportWagen truly shines is in noise isolation. Barely any wind and road noise makes inside the cabin, making it a perfect long-distance companion. The 2016 Golf SportWagen kicks off at $21,625 for the base S. Our midlevel SE tester starts at $27,025 and comes with keyless entry, push-button start, leatherette upholstery, Fender audio system, and 17-inch alloy wheels. We had the optional driver assistance (adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, park distance control, and park assist) and lighting (bi-xenon headlights that can swivel when the steering wheel is turned and LED daytime running lights) packages that brings our as-tested price to $30,335. We think the SE with the driver assistance package is the sweet spot for Golf SportWagen as you get most everything you need. The dark cloud of the diesel emission scandal still lingers over Volkswagen. Whether or not the company can turn back their fortunes in the U.S. remains to be seen. But if I was Volkswagen, I would be putting the likes of the Golf SportWagen in the spotlight. Yes, it is one of the vehicles affected in the diesel emission mess. But take the diesel out of the equation for a moment and you still have a strong vehicle. From increased practicality for both passengers and cargo to the right balance of comfort and support in the ride, the Golf SportWagen is an interesting alternative to growing segment of compact crossovers. Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Golf SportWagen, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Volkswagen Model: Golf SportWagen Trim: SE Engine: Turbocharged 1.8L TSI DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 170 @ 4,500 Torque @ RPM: 199 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/35/29 Curb Weight: 3,120 lbs Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico Base Price: $27,025 As Tested Price: $30,335 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge) Options: Driver Assistance Package - $1,495.00 Lighting Package - $995.00 View full article
  12. Another one bites the dust in terms of the wagon marketplace. According to Automotive News Europe, Jaguar's design chief Ian Callum said the company would not being doing any wagons. "The [wagon] market is massively shrinking. I'm very sad about it but it's a very difficult market to justify," said Callum told a group of journalists at an event for the F-Pace crossover. Europe is the only market in the world where automakers can make inroads with wagons. During the launch of the XF Sportbrake back in 2012, Jaguar said wagons made up about 30 percent of the large luxury car market. Germany is the top market followed by the United Kingdom. "The world's biggest wagon market is Germany. And what do Germans buy? They buy German cars," said Callum. Meanwhile, the UK isn't as interested as wagons as they once were. Not helping matters is the growing demand for crossovers not only in Europe, but around the world. Jaguar is putting more effort in this market with the launch of the F-Pace. There is also rumors flying around that a smaller model called the E-Pace will join later. "We will do things that will surprise you but it won't be wagons," said Callum. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) View full article
  13. We have known since last year that Porsche has been working on a Panamera shooting brake (wagon). Now we have an idea of when it will show up. Speaking with Car Magazine, Dr Stefan Utsch, director of sales and marketing for the Panamera revealed that the shooting brake will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and sales will kick off later in the year for Europe. We're expecting to see something similar to the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show - the roofline extended a bit and larger tailgate. One item up in the air is whether or not the Panamera shooting brake will come to the U.S. "We have to have some patience for [the wagon] to arrive in the U.S. But we are confident that this car will be well received here, despite the fact that this country doesn't really like hatchbacks or wagons," said Porsche's U.S. chief, Klaus Zellmer last year to Automotive News. That could mean we might see the Panamera shooting brake as early as 2018. Source: Car Magazine View full article
  14. The march towards majority SUVs continues on and the two newest casualties are the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen and the Golf Alltrack. As we predicted a month ago, Volkswagen will end production of the two vehicles in the 2019 model year, though in the case of the Alltrack, production will be extended to December. Volkswagen says that with 50 percent of their sales being SUVs, consumer tastes have shifted strongly to SUVs, and VW is responding by releasing three new SUVs over the next 2 years. First up, will be a 5-seater Atlas Cross Sport being unveiled later this year, then the ID.CROZZ electric SUV early next year, and a just announced SUV to slot below the Tiguan is planned for 2021. While Volkswagen says their new ID EV platform can be used for bodystyles of the past, apparently the station wagon is not one planned. View full article
  15. We're excited by the new Opel and Vauxhall Insignia, especially considering we'll be getting our hands on it as the Buick Regal. But we don't know what form the Regal will come in. Opel has shown off a five-door hatchback and wagon, and there is talk about a sedan for China. According to a report from Automotive News, Buick will be selling the Regal as a hatchback and wagon. This information comes from two auto forecast firms: LMC Automotive and AutoForecast Solutions. Dropping the Regal sedan may seem odd, but there is some method to this madness. Sales of midsize sedans has been falling for the past two years and the segment has seen a 20 percent drop in the first two months. Going a different route could give the Regal a possible chance in the U.S. As for the wagon, it is unclear if it will be the standard Insignia wagon or an off-road variant like the Audi A4 Allroad.bu Not surprisingly, Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle declined to comment. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  16. The Buick Regal is currently the oldest passenger sedan in Buick's lineup at the moment. But we do know that a next-generation model based on the next Opel/Vaxuhall Insignia. The Truth About Cars has learned some intriguing information about the next Regal. According to a source, Buick is planning to reveal the next Regal sometime in the second quarter, possibly at the New York Auto Show. Designers at Buick have added their own touches to the Regal's exterior to have it stand apart from the Insignia. The interior is said to be more spacious, especially in the back. The source goes on to say that the Regal will gain a V6, though it is unknown what V6 it would be (most likely a variant of the 3.6). There is internal talk about offering a diesel, but that is something down the road if given the green light. The Tourx nameplate we first learned about back in December will be used for a high-riding Regal wagon with all-wheel drive. That is expected to be revealed sometime next year. Finally, the GS is expected to stick around, though no one is sure what form it will take. Source: The Truth About Cars Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
  17. Blake Noble Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com May 4th, 2012 GM hasn’t exactly been bashful about the fact it plans to build a new rear-drive performance sedan for Chevrolet next year, and race it on your local NASCAR track. Announced in March of this year, the upcoming Chevy — which will wear the SS moniker in either short or long-hand form — should likely boast the same 6.2 liter V8 heart which furiously beats beneath the hood of the Camaro SS. The 6.2 should produce upwards of 415 horsepower for use in the SS sedan. When news broke about the Chevrolet SS, it was widely believed that the car would be only be available with a V8 and four doors. However, that may not turn out to be the case as it seems GM may be planning to further expand the Bowtie brand’s portfolio of rear-drive cars. Car and Driver is reporting that after the SS is introduced with the hairy-chested 6.2 V8, Chevrolet will offer a version of the car for more squeamish buyers using a 3.6 liter V6 good for churning out 300-plus horsepower. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that most automakers must remain conscious of ever increasing CAFE regulations with every new model and a V6-powered Chevy SS would likely achieve highway mpg figures somewhere in the upper 20s. What may be seen as surprising is that the Chevy SS family may not be comprised of just a V6 or V8-powered sedan. When the SS moves to an updated, lighter version of the Zeta platform on which it is based, GM could very well introduce additional ute (read: ElCamino) and wagon bodystyles. This should take place around 2015, and production of the SS will also shift to North America — likely GM’s plant in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada — from Australia where it will first be built alongside the related Holden Commodore. It’s worth mentioning that while production of the Chevy SS will probably move out of Australia, it’s unclear if the Holden Commodore will follow suit. Australian website Drive is skeptical and thinks if the Commodore leaves its native home it likely wouldn’t happen until a totally new model is introduced for 2018, pending future currency exchange rates and sales. Whatever the case, enthusiasts will undoubtedly be excited at the prospect of not only the upcoming Chevy SS, but a new wagon and especially a successor to the beloved ElCamino. Let’s just hope that GM doesn’t revoke anyone’s green card this time around. Sources: Car and Driver, Drive View full article
  18. The Buick Regal is currently the oldest passenger sedan in Buick's lineup at the moment. But we do know that a next-generation model based on the next Opel/Vaxuhall Insignia. The Truth About Cars has learned some intriguing information about the next Regal. According to a source, Buick is planning to reveal the next Regal sometime in the second quarter, possibly at the New York Auto Show. Designers at Buick have added their own touches to the Regal's exterior to have it stand apart from the Insignia. The interior is said to be more spacious, especially in the back. The source goes on to say that the Regal will gain a V6, though it is unknown what V6 it would be (most likely a variant of the 3.6). There is internal talk about offering a diesel, but that is something down the road if given the green light. The Tourx nameplate we first learned about back in December will be used for a high-riding Regal wagon with all-wheel drive. That is expected to be revealed sometime next year. Finally, the GS is expected to stick around, though no one is sure what form it will take. Source: The Truth About Cars Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears View full article
  19. There is a running joke in the automotive world that the perfect vehicle for an enthusiast is a rear-drive station wagon with a diesel engine and manual transmission. The closest we ever got to this ’nirvana’ was the Volkswagen Jetta and Golf SportWagen. While not rear-wheel drive, the Jetta and Golf wagons did offer a diesel and manual transmission combination. Not only did they become one of the darlings of the automotive press, but consumers would soon jump on the diesel wagon bandwagon thanks to Volkswagen’s ‘clean diesel’ ad campaign. But we would learn this ‘clean diesel’ campaign was a fallacy as Volkswagen was found to be using illegal software that allowed their diesel vehicles to cheat emission tests. One of the key selling points for the Golf SportWagen was taken off the table and Volkswagen’s reputation would take a nose dive. This brings up an interesting question, is there more to the Golf SportWagen than the availability of a diesel engine? Describing the design of the Golf SportWagen is quite simple - take a standard Golf and add a foot to the overall length. Otherwise, the clean design of the Golf is still here with a narrow front grille and smooth side profile. Some will complain that the SportWagen is a bit boring to look at. We can’t disagree with this as it kind of exists with no real standout design trait. The interior follows the same ideals as the exterior with a plain jane look. The choice of black and sliver for the interior trim only reinforces this thought. But Volkswagen should be given some credit as the design does allow for a simple layout of controls and are within easy reach for driver and passenger. Also, a lot of the materials used throughout the interior are soft-touch and make the SportWagen feel quite premium. Finding a seating position in the SportWagen is simple thanks to the combination of manual and power adjustments for the front seats and a tilt-telescoping steering wheel. The seats earn top marks for comfort and support for long trips. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom for most folks. This is impressive when you take into account our SE tester comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard. As for cargo space, the SportWagen offers 30.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats (7.6 cubic feet larger than the standard Golf) and 66.5 cubic feet when folded (13 cubic feet larger than the Golf). To give you some idea of the space on offer, I was able to fit a desk from Ikea that measured 53.5 inches long with no issues. On the technology front, all Golf SportWagens feature a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Volkswagen’s Car-Net infotainment system. This is one of our favorite systems thanks to an easy to understand interface, buttons around the screen to take you to the various parts, and fast performance. The only item we would like to see Volkswagen address is the screen. The matte finish on it sucks some of the color and brightness. Any 2016 Volkswagen fitted with the Car-Net infotainment system will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Being an iPhone person, I tried out the CarPlay integration and find it to be one of the best implementations. It only takes a few seconds for the system to detect the phone before bringing up the CarPlay interface. Apps launched quickly and showed no signs of slowdown or crashing. At the present moment, the Golf SportWagen is only available with a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a five-speed manual (only available on the S) or a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. The 2.0L TDI four-cylinder is currently on probation due to the diesel emission scandal. The 1.8T is one our favorite engines as you never feel wanting for power. Torque arrives at low 1,600 rpm which allows the Golf SportWagen to leap away from a stop. More impressive is engine responding with power in an instant if you need to make a pass or merge onto the freeway. We wish we could say the same of the DSG transmission. As we noted in our quick drive of the Passat V6, the DSG doesn’t like low-speed maneuvers as it exhibits signs of hesitation and lurching. At higher speeds, the transmission is lightning fast with shifts. EPA fuel economy figures for the Golf SportWagen stand at 25 City/35 Highway/29 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 28 mpg. Ride and handling characteristics for the Golf SportWagen can be described as balanced. The suspension provides a well-damped ride over rough roads. In the corners, body motions are kept in check and the wagon feels very agile. The steering provides a decent amount of weight and feel that will please most drivers. One area where the Golf SportWagen truly shines is in noise isolation. Barely any wind and road noise makes inside the cabin, making it a perfect long-distance companion. The 2016 Golf SportWagen kicks off at $21,625 for the base S. Our midlevel SE tester starts at $27,025 and comes with keyless entry, push-button start, leatherette upholstery, Fender audio system, and 17-inch alloy wheels. We had the optional driver assistance (adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, park distance control, and park assist) and lighting (bi-xenon headlights that can swivel when the steering wheel is turned and LED daytime running lights) packages that brings our as-tested price to $30,335. We think the SE with the driver assistance package is the sweet spot for Golf SportWagen as you get most everything you need. The dark cloud of the diesel emission scandal still lingers over Volkswagen. Whether or not the company can turn back their fortunes in the U.S. remains to be seen. But if I was Volkswagen, I would be putting the likes of the Golf SportWagen in the spotlight. Yes, it is one of the vehicles affected in the diesel emission mess. But take the diesel out of the equation for a moment and you still have a strong vehicle. From increased practicality for both passengers and cargo to the right balance of comfort and support in the ride, the Golf SportWagen is an interesting alternative to growing segment of compact crossovers. Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Golf SportWagen, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Volkswagen Model: Golf SportWagen Trim: SE Engine: Turbocharged 1.8L TSI DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 170 @ 4,500 Torque @ RPM: 199 @ 1,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/35/29 Curb Weight: 3,120 lbs Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico Base Price: $27,025 As Tested Price: $30,335 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge) Options: Driver Assistance Package - $1,495.00 Lighting Package - $995.00

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