2016 Honda Civic Concept – 3D Photos

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Honda doesn’t really do concept cars, at least when they’re dealing with core vehicles like the Accord, Pilot and Civic. No, when they show a Civic Concept, you can be sure it is going to be very close to the production car, so you can take it to the bank that this is the 10th generation Civic. It will be the first Honda offered in North America with a direct injected, turbocharged VTEC engine. It’s been widely reported that we’ll also be getting some form of the Civic Type R hot hatch.

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Ford’s 3D Wire Sculptures of Mustang, Focus in 3D

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For this year’s auto show circuit, Ford had full sized wire sculptures made of some of their cars to hang on the walls of their display space. If you’re shooting in 3D this falls under the heading of “stupid if you don’t get 3D pics of it”.

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Ford Focus RS Finally Comes to America – 3D Photos

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For the first time, the hottest version of Ford’s compact Focus is going to be coming to America and the car got its public introduction at the New York Auto Show. I meant coming to America literally, as while regular Foci for the North American market are built at the Michigan Assembly Plant outside of Detroit and in Mexico, the Focus RS for the U.S. will be built alongside the European spec Focus RS in Ford’s plant in Saarlouis, Germany.

It’s got a version of the same 2.3 liter Ecoboost four cylinder that’s the base engine in the new Mustang. In the Focus RS it will put out at least 315 hp (with rumors putting the final number as high as 345). That engine will drive all four wheels and the AWD system provides for torque vectoring. It has an adjustable suspension and in addition to featuring launch control, it has a built in drift mode, developed with the input of driftmeister Ken Block.

The all-wheel-drive system is based on twin electronically-controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit. Not only do they manage the front/rear torque split, they also permit control of side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle—allowing torque vectoring capability. Considering that it’s a FWD based system, it’s impressive that a maximum of 70% of the torque can be diverted to the rear axle, with all of that flowing to one wheel if necessary.

Inputs such as steering wheel angle, lateral acceleration, yaw and road speed are evaluated by the AWD system and under cornering the rear drive unit diverts torque to the outer rear wheel. The causes the car to rotate into the turn, giving quicker turn-in, reducing understeer. In addition to revised front knuckles and shorter link arms, suspension wise it has stiffer springs, sway bars and bushings than the already capable Focus ST, adjustable shock absorbers, retuned electrically assisted power steering. The result is a chassis capable of pulling greater than 1 g of lateral acceleration. Brakes are by Brembo.

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Chevy Bolt – 3D Photos

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In our last post we showed you the next Chevy Spark and mentioned the brand’s new EV, the Bolt. Introduced at the Detroit auto show in January, a month later at the Chicago show GM confirmed that the Chevy Bolt electric car will go into production next year, alongside it’s Chevy Sonic platform mate. As I’ve already pointed out, Chevy’s nomenclature doesn’t work because they now will be selling an EV named Bolt and a gasoline powered city car called Spark. Go figure.

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2015 New York Auto Show: 2016 Chevy Spark – 3D Photos

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I never have understood why GM decided to name Chevy’s conventionally powered city car the Spark during an era when electric vehicles are being revived. As a result, the electric version of the car has been marketed as the Spark EV, which sounds a bit redundant to my ears. To add to the confusion, they’re going to be calling their upcoming 200 mile range EV based on the Sonic platform the Bolt, I guess because it rhymes with Volt. So GM is going to be selling an electric car Bolt and a gasoline powered car Spark. Well, I guess it’s true that there will be bolts in the Bolt and the Spark does have spark plugs. In any case, Chevy introduced the next Spark at the New York Auto Show.

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2015 New York Auto Show: 2016 Chevrolet Malibu – 3D Photos

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With new flagship sedans introduced by Cadillac and Lincoln, it’s not surprising that the all new Chevy Malibu was relatively ignored but I believe it was one of the more significant introductions at the 2015 New York auto show. Crossovers may be ascending and sedans less popular but they still sell hundreds of thousands of Camrys and a similar number of Accords every year.


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Under the direction of GM product chief Bob Lutz, the Malibu finally became competitive, if not class leading, but the next generation of Chevy’s midsize sedan was a disappointing regression. Due to the constraints of the Epsilon II platform used, a lack of space for rear passengers was a common complaint. The 2016 Malibu gets the E2 platform and with it comes an additional four inches of wheelbase, much of it going to more rear seat legroom. The Epsilon platform dates back to 2002, and going to a modern architecture that uses high strength steel as well as some aluminum panels has resulted in a 300 lb weight reduction vs the previous model.

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I think it’s also a great looking car. The styling of the larger Chevy Impala has been widely praised and the same team at GM Design worked on the new Malibu, giving it some of the Impala’s flair.

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2015 New York Auto Show: Cadillac CT6 – 3D Photos & 3D Video

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The Cadillac CT6 may be the most important new model the brand has introduced in generations, finally deciding to go head to head with flagship sedans from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus. Much of the publicity about the new Caddy has stressed the bi-metal structure that combines aluminum stampings and castings with high strength steel panels. The ultimate goal is to make a stiff structure that weighs less. GM is hoping that will result in a car that’s dynamically superior to the competiton.

As for the CT6’s styling, it’s a handsome car, with a long hood and short rear deck. The front end is assertive, you’ll know it’s a CT6 coming up behind you in your mirrors. Considering, though, all the attention Lincoln got at the New York show with a Continental concept that presages a change in that brand’s overall styling, and considering that when you get down to it, the CT6 is just another Art & Science Cadillac, maybe it’s time, after more than a decade, that Cadillac get a new look.


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Or maybe not. The greatest expressions of Art & Science have been the Ciel and Elmiraj show cars, as dramatic in their own rights as the new Continental is. If Cadillac is indeed planning a range topping car above the CT6, hopefully inspired by those recent high profile Cadillac concept cars, maybe there’s some life yet in Cadillac’s current styling DNA.

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2015 Jaguar XJL AWD Portfolio – 3D Photos & 3D Video

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I’ve been a fan of the Jaguar XJ since the model was introduced almost a half century ago. The original XJ was such a superb design that its basic lines remained unchanged for about 40 years, when Ian Callum was tasked with giving one of the world’s iconic luxury cars and marques a new image.


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I think Callum and his team have done a masterful job in breaking away from the classic XJ and giving the brand a distinctive new identity. When you see any of the Callum era Jaguars on the road, you know right away that they are Jaguars.

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Jaguar Land Rover of North America loaned me a 2015 XJL AWD Portfolio not long ago and you can read my review over at The Truth About Cars.


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2015 New York Auto Show: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse – 3D Photos

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Pick any ten year period in the history of the automobile and you’ll likely see significant changes in technology, styling, features and performance over that period. Now consider the fact that the Bugatti Veyron, which recently ended its production run, was on sale since 2005. For all that time, though, the Veyron has remained at the top of the heap, the fastest production car in the world. The final versions of Ferdinand Piech’s statement that he and the VW group have the biggest BSD in the car world were Grand Sport Vitesse editions, with a convertible Targa style roof. They also came with bigger turbos, 1,200 horsepower and a top speed of over 408 kilometers an hour, making it the fastest roadster ever. Manhattan Motorcars displayed one at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

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2015 New York Auto Show: Lincoln Continental Concept – 3D Photos

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Perhaps it’s time already that American car companies stopped apologizing for making big, comfortable cars. One reason why Lincoln went with the “Emm Kay Exx” nomenclature, instead of “Mark X”, I was told by a Lincoln marketer, is that market research showed that people associated their traditional model names like Continental with land yachts. Now, with the Continental concept, it appears that Lincoln is finally embracing its inner land yacht. The phrase Lincoln is using to describe their to-be-produced-in-2016 flagshp, “Elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene” very accurately describes what American luxury cars used to be like in the 1960s.

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