Fiat 500L arrives in June, giving dealers much-needed new model | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

The 500L was crazy cool at the 2013 NAIAS! Can’t wait to see these on the road!

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Small Things Do Come In Nice Packages: Buick Encore

2014 Buick Encore in White Pearl Tricoat

The small SUV market has been boiling over for a decade or so now and everyone has jumped on the band wagon trying to catch segment leaders like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4.

Buick, that small upstart that is reinventing its own image before our eyes, has brought something new to the table in Encore. It’s a “cute ute” fit for breaking the hearts of those who didn’t choose it.

2014 Buick EncoreWith its great looks and equally great features, Encore is poised to set new ground in the SUV world.

Cute is the word for Encore with its curvy body and pleasing demeanor. It starts up front with the now-familiar Buick grill and flows outward from there into the arched wheel wells and contoured body ending is an attractive rear end with rounded rump, sunken liftgate and faux metallic skid plate.

2014 Buick Encore (4)Inside, Encore is all about coddling with flowing dashboard, premium seats, ten airbags, seven-inch display and even blue ambient lighting.

Like most SUVs, Encore’s strength is in the various configurations the seats can be put in to maximize people and cargo carrying.

2014 Buick Encore (3)Encore gets around with a 138 horsepower inline four cylinder 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine that generates 148 lb.-ft. of torque and is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission that promises 25 city and 33 highway miles per gallon.

Encore is on sale now with prices starting at $24,950.

Focus ST Gets Some Needed Focus

2013 Ford Focus ST (7)Ford is on a roll with its current lineup and the hits just keep coming. Take the Focus, you can get it in a sedan, hatchback or wagon and it looks the part of a sporty vehicle with flared fenders, cool wheels and an aggressive look. Add to those looks a blacked-out grill, monochromatic exterior colors and a big rear wing and you’ve got a recipe for a hot hatch posed to take on the likes of the VW GTI, MazdaSpeed3 and Honda Civic Si.

2013 Ford Focus ST (8)ST, which stands for Sport Technologies, packs a peach of an engine; a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four cylinder with 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque; all of which is due to high-pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbo charging and variable cam timing. Coupled with a six-speed manual, Ford expects the ST to 23 city and 32 highway miles per gallon.

2013 Ford Focus ST (6)As a five-door only, ST encompasses comfort and sport in a compact design that is made to enthrall the driver while still having the ability to pick up the kids from school and a bunch of groceries from the supermarket.

Like most of the newest sports cars today, Focus ST had the pleasure of cutting its teeth on the Nürburgring. It should handle with the best of the sport-compact class, maybe even better than most since this ST is based on the European version which is historically a great handler.

Good looks, great handling and a sweet engine makes for a righteous ride for any discerning automobile lover.

This Concept Has Tons Of Karma

2014 Cadillac ELR

Cadillac continues to make great vehicles that are edgy and exhilarating and have a fun factor that the brand lacked for much of the last 30 years. It was the CTS that really brought Caddy to the forefront of American luxury and now they upped the ante with the ATS, a smaller sibling to the CTS and an extension of the Art and Science design them.

2014 Cadillac ELRTo make things sweeter, Caddy introduced the ELR at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.

Inside, ELR is all luxury and leathery goodness, with a splash of coddling.

2014 Cadillac ELR

ELR is an all-electric luxury sports coupe with a killer stance and chiseled good looks that is powered by an “electric drive unit” which has 207 total horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque from a standing start.

What is unique about the ELR’s drivetrain is its hybrid nature. ELR is the first vehicle from a major manufacturer with an electric motor and battery pack and a gasoline generator instead of a small gasoline engine. Think of it like a diesel locomotive.

Since it’s a concept, we haven’t had a drive in the ELR, but if it drives like it looks it should be as nice as the CTS-V.

Versa Note Sings A Good Song

2014 Nissan Versa Note (2)

Car makers are always trying to differentiate their models and that has even trickled down to the difference between sedans and hatchbacks. Take the Ford Fusion and C-Max or the Mazda Protégé and Protégé5 from the early Oughts.

Nissan is continuing in this trend with the 2014 Versa sedan and Versa Note 5-door hatchback.

2014 Nissan Versa Note (5)According to Nissan, here are some of the Note’s key design features (directly from Nissan):

  • Energetic new exterior styling with steeply sloped windshield and sculpted body panels
  • Available Active Grille Shutter for enhanced fuel economy
  • 40 miles per gallon highway fuel economy (CVT-equipped models)
  • Smart packaging and class-leading cargo space*, with available adjustable rear load floor height
  • Available NissanConnectSM with Navigation System with Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, RearView Monitor and Around View® Monitor
  • Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)** of $13,990 USD

2014 Nissan Versa Note (8)With four different content packages (S, S Plus, SV and SL), two transmissions and one engine, the Versa line is set to take on the world. That engine is a 1.6-liter dual overhead cam four-cylinder with 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque. Those transmissions are a five-speed manual (on the S model only) and a continuously variable one that will help get miles per gallon of 31 city and 40 highway.

VERSA NOTE-9132

 

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2013 NAIAS–Day One!

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The first day of the press preview is always the longest…waiting for the press conferences to finish so you can see the newest products as they are announced.

Yes, the show has begun and in the next few days and weeks, expect to see an onslaught of introductions like the newest Chevy CorvetteDSC02044:

 

…and concepts like the BMW i8:

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Pics and stories coming soon!!!!