Johan de Nysschen Leaves Infiniti, Named President of Cadillac

Stanley Yee on

Johan de Nysschen has been named the new President of Cadillac, bringing with him years of experience from some of the world’s top automakers. The South African is making the leap to General Motors after two years as the head of the Infiniti brand, with stints at Audi and BMW as well.

“I have for some time now been impressed by how the new General Motors has been transformed into a formidable force in the industry,” said de Nysschen. “The combination of strong corporate leadership and exceptional engineering resources presents the perfect combination to restore Cadillac to its place among global premium brands.” more

Sport Package Plus Brings Improved Handling To 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Adam Burpee on

As if the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 wasn't sporty, classy, and luxurious enough for its class, the German automaker one-upped itself to deliver a fiery Sport Package Plus option. 

Outside of a meager Facebook post, Mercedes-Benz hasn't revealed a whole lot of information on the new Sport Package Plus. What they have revealed, though, sounds feisty. On the exterior, the Sport Package Plus will bring an AMG-developed front axle and upgraded suspension, an "aggressive" exhaust system, and exclusive 18-inch AMG wheels to the CLA250. The interior will host MB TEX/DINAMICA sport seats accented with red top-stitching. more

2014 Maserati Ghibli Q4 Test Drive

Ryan ZumMallen on

While it's true that the 2014 Ghibli is the affordable Maserati – the entry sedan, the baby Masi, whatever you want to call it – none of that enters your mind when you plop inside and start it up. You don’t expect to hear an affordable exhaust note or feel the rumble of an entry engine. It wears a trident, doesn’t it? You expect a show.

A quick drive of a base, but loaded, 2014 Ghibli Q4 proved that the sultry Italian delivers. A good friend of ours recently picked one up in brilliant Bianco Alpi white exterior and Rosso interior, invited us over and promptly tossed the keys. “Some friend,” the gawking gas station attendant would say a few minutes later. Indeed. more

2015 Cadillac ATS Adopts ZF Electronic Power Steering

Adam Burpee on

To further improve the already impressive ATS sedan, Cadillac is relying on German technology to enhance the steering system for the 2015 model.

Cadillac paired with the legendary ZF Lenksysteme GmbH, one of the leading suppliers of high-end automotive steering systems in the world, to improve the ATS steering system. Based on a mechanical steering system with an electronic power assist, the ZF system will provide more precise control through a better communication system between driver, steering wheel, wheels, and road. more

2000 Honda Insight Appreciation
Stanley Yee on

When the Honda Insight was brought to the states in late 1999, it became the first production hybrid vehicle in the country, introduced a mere seven months before the Toyota Prius. The pint-sized hybrid was uncompromising, and its fuel efficiency still holds records to this day.

The Insight was a true innovation when it was released. No other car up to that point had quite so much focus on fuel economy, and nothing else had an advanced gasoline/electric hybrid drivetrain. more

2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4MATIC Test Drive
Ryan ZumMallen on

There are plenty of luxury sedans available to comfortably cart around five people, but in the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK, you get to do it in a miniature G-Wagen. And while that may seem at once irrelevant and full of pratfalls, it’s actually a big part of the draw. Besides, it somehow works.

Led by a lovely standard interior that feels no less a Benz even at its $39,480 base price, the 2014 GLK350 4MATIC feels special on the inside and out, and manages to maintain its air of exclusivity while pushing out thousands of examples per month in the U.S. alone. Chalk up that success to part execution and part public perception, but here at autoMedia.com, the appeal is in the way it drives. more

2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution to be Last Evo
Stanley Yee on

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution will soon be no more, with the announcement that 2015 will be the final model year of the rally-bred sports sedan. Led by four straight WRC titles in the hands of “Flying Finn” Tommi Makinen, ten generations of Lancer Evolution have cemented their name into motoring history books.

For its final year, the Evo will see only minor changes to what has been hailed as an exceptional chassis. Even though Mitsubishi dropped out of WRC competition years ago, their experience in the series helped make the Evo what it is today. Facing a rally rivalry with the Subaru Impreza, the Evo/WRX battle pushed both manufacturers to outdo one another. more

Nissan Announces Free Public Charging for Leaf Owners
Stanley Yee on

Nissan has implemented a “No Charge to Charge” program for Leaf owners, letting them use public charging stations at no cost for two years. The program currently covers over 2,600 charging locations, including more than 200 quick chargers, in ten different markets across the country.

If there was one defining criticism of the Leaf, it would almost certainly involve its range. Nissan states that the average range of a fully charged Leaf is around 84 miles, which is more than what most people drive in a day, but still triggers what electric vehicle drivers call range anxiety. Given a growing network of public charging stations, many of which will cost nothing under the “No Charge to Charge” program, Leaf owners will have the chance to top up their battery packs as often as they like, normalizing the experience of owning an electric car. more

Volkswagen Beetle Dune Set for 2016 Release
Stanley Yee on

Volkswagen is set to revive the classic beach buggy, which they have named the Beetle Dune. The 2016 Dune will be a modern interpretation of the popular Dune Bug, this time built with all of the company’s newest technologies.

Designed to tackle any condition, the Beetle Dune will be taller and wider than the standard Beetle, with rugged outdoor design normally reserved for crossovers and SUVs. Its body stands about two inches taller than a normal Beetle, and the matte black fender flares add around two inches to the car’s width. The bigger body is just the start for the Beetle Dune, which is set to hit the streets - and the dunes - in 2016. more

Updated 2015 Mini Paceman Nearing Production
Ryan ZumMallen on

Dealerships will soon be loading their lots with updated versions of the 2015 Mini Paceman, the two-door version of the five-door Countryman. Just two years old, the Paceman has had difficulty finding its footing in the U.S., and a couple of minor tweaks could help the cause.

Most everything new about the 2015 Paceman has to do with design. Different paint options and a Piano Black exterior trim are now available, while darkened instrument gauges and chrome materials on the interior have become standard. They certainly add character to the oddball Paceman, but is there enough here to attract new buyers? more

All-New Volvo XC90 Plug-In Delivers 400 HP
Adam Burpee on

Although Volvo hasn't released any visual information about the all-new XC90, the Swedish automaker has released some specs, most notable of which is the 400 horsepower hybrid engine.

Not only will the top-of-the-line, all-wheel-drive, seven-seater XC90 be the most powerful SUV in the market, it will be the cleanest too. Volvo calls a "guilt-free luxury SUV ride," delivering 400 horsepower and 472 lb.-ft of torque and emitting pretty close to 60 grams of CO2 per kilometer is very impressive. Delivering that in a luxury SUV is even more impressive. more

BMW Testing Inductive Charging Methods for Plug-Ins
Adam Burpee on

Necessity is the mother of invention. Electric charging has been a big issue for automakers, but for BMWTeslaVolvo, and others, their focuses are on the necessity for it to be more convenient for consumers.

As the auto industry has continued to progress, the need for a more sustainable power source has been evident. With more electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and hybrids roaming the roads, it appears that electricity is the direction in which to turn. However, electric vehicles have a few weakness, the most prominent of which has to do with charging.  more

2015 Volkswagen Passat Boasts Sharper Euro Design
Ryan ZumMallen on

While it isn't setting sales records on U.S. dealer lots at the moment, the Volkswagen Passat is an extremely hot commodity all over Europe. Recently, the brand showed off the new design of their 2015 Passat that ups the ante even more. Trouble is, Americans won’t get it.

Volkswagen makes different versions of the Passat for the U.S. and the rest of the world. In Europe, the car is decidedly more upscale and premium, and it shows in this newest iteration. Designers have blessed the 2015 Passat with sleeker lines, better aerodynamics and classy materials to nudge it into near-luxury territory. more

2015 Mini Cooper Countryman Announced
Stanley Yee on

Mini has announced the newly redesigned Mini Cooper Countryman and its variants, which range from the standard model to the top John Cooper Works model. Larger than the standard Mini, the Countryman has appealed to those who need more space or usability than the small hatchback, but still want the classic Mini styling.

The Countryman has gone through the same redesign treatment as the previously announced Mini Hardtop. Highlighting the redesign is a new front bumper, which stands higher for the Countryman, giving it the ground clearance that its drivers often require. The front also houses the new hexagon patterned grille found on other Minis. Side sills and rear bumper have been specifically designed for the Countryman, giving it the signature Mini look while still providing maximum ground clearance. more