The V8, the engine that gave birth to America’s hot-rod culture, is fast disappearing from cars all over the world. The culprit is ever-tightening emissions standards, which are forcing automakers to turn to smaller-displacement powerplants. Even luxury marques like Infiniti are feeling the bite. The company’s president recently told an Australian motoring website that people shouldn’t expect to see V8s in any of the cars currently on the drawing board. In place of the V8, many manufacturers are going with V6 engines, or turbocharged four-cylinders.
On the heels of Chevrolet signing on to become the sponsor of England’s Manchester United football (soccer to Americans) club in 2014-2015, and subsequent to the carmaker’s offer of luxury cars to all first-team members, Man U manager Sir Alex Ferguson has put the brakes on players under the age of 23 ordering anything sporty, like, say a Corvette. Players under the age limit can still avail themselves of Chevy’s offer, but only if Ferguson approves their choice.
In Europe, narrow roads and high fuel costs make smaller, less powerful cars much more practical than thirsty, broad-shouldered pony cars from the U.S. All that notwithstanding, Ford intends to bring the Mustang to Europe in the next few years. The few examples that are already there are gray-market imports, more or less legal but not at all official.
Ever get the big sad eyes from your pooch as you leave for work in the morning? Here’s a bulldog who’s figured out how to go for a ride every time his master does—by swallowing the car keys to "his" 2013 Volkswagen Jetta.
If you built the safest car in the world, wouldn’t you want to bring it to the American car market, where safety is one of the biggest selling points for new car buyers? You would? Well, tell it to Volvo, whose 2013 V40 hatchback passed the European NCAP test (similar to the IIHS tests done in the U.S.) with some of the highest scores ever recorded, even earning a perfect score in one test. Still, Volvo says it has no plans to bring the V40 over here, even though the hatchback market is flourishing.
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