Monday, April 7, 2014

News on the Fiat 500 Abarth, 2015 Escalade, the all-new 2015 Genesis and more!

And we're back!  Sorry about not updating the ol' blog lately.  Life's been a little crazy at home with car repairs, play rehearsals, full time jobs and trying to keep up some sort of fitness regimen.  Also, there really hasn't been much going on the automotive world to inspire me lately.  I mean, who really wants to read more about GM recalls or where Elon Musk is going to put his conceptual Gigafactory?  Me neither.  Luckily, today's automotive news outlets have provided us with some seriously cool/outrageous stuff.  So, without further ado...  
To start things off, here's a link to the first review I have read about the new for 2015 Hyundai Genesis from the Truth About Cars site.  It's heavier and down on power from last year's model, but luckily it still apparently provides plenty of rear-drive sport luxury thrills on front-drive family sedan budget.  New features for this year include the addition of Hyundai's in-house 8 speed automatic and an all-wheel-drive (AWD) option.  Also, from someone who has had the pleasure of sitting in a few of these, the interior has vastly improved.  Not that the old car was bad, this one is just better.  I for one have always had a soft spot for these cars and I'm glad to see that things are getting even better for a car that already punched above it's class.

Speaking of 8 speed transmissions, apparently GM is developing one to put into their upcoming rear drivers.  The first vehicle to get the octo-gear treatment will be the 2015 Corvette.  First of all, ordering a Corvette with an automatic is a whole different conversation.  However, it's good to know that for those who do, they will be rewarded with improved fuel economy and a better driving experience.

Which leads us to the Fiat 500 Abarth, or our next featured contestant on the game show "Cars with Automatics that Shouldn't have Automatics."  Yes, as you can tell from my subtle lead in, the Fiat 500 Abarth will be available next year with an automatic (gasp!).  This isn't a really big surprise considering there isn't really a lot of people that I know this side of the Atlantic that drive a manual regularly anymore and Fiat really hasn't had great sales volume in North America.  But I thought some things were just, well, sacred.  Sigh.

At least some vehicles are expected to have automatic transmissions.  Cars like the Cadillac CTS and Lexus GS350 are cars that have to pull double duty.  On the one hand they have to be elegant cruisers, offering smooth rides and luxurious features (leather, techno wizardry, etc.).  But when called upon, they are also required to perform to a high standard of speed and maneuverability.  This comparison test from gives a good overview of these two excellent road machines.  And since it's a Canadian site, both cars also feature AWD (because snow).

And just for my Uncle Chris, here's a video review of the new for 2015 Cadillac Escalade from my favourite Colorado automotive journalists at TFL Car.  I don't much care for these, but I know he does and sometimes he reads this blog.  Moral is, I will play to my audience when needed.  If you too would like a certain car covered on the pages of this site, send me an email and we'll arrange a secret beer-bribe drop off location.   

One last thing, with the New York Auto Show coming up in about a week, Subaru has released a teaser image of the new 2015 Outback.  Fuji Heavy's best selling crossover is essentially a derivative of the mid-sized Legacy, so I expect that much like the current Outback this new one will share much of its pieces with the new 2015 Legacy that debuted at the Chicago Auto Show.  Also, I fully expect the only transmission option we'll get in North America to be a CVT.  Hopefully this new one is better than the last, otherwise it'll dog it up getting to highway speeds (though surprisingly peppy from 0-15 or so).

That's all from me for now.  I have a fairly busy week, so you may not hear from me again for a bit.  However, if something catches my eye I'll be sure to share it!




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