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Not far into the future, these days of $4 gasoline, ever-tightening auto regulations and rising car prices will be called “the good old days.”
Because strong-performing cars still are on the market, not yet banished by the less-is-more consciousness, or driven into irrelevance by fuel prices. They make their brisk ways propelled by V-6 engines rather than the expected but perhaps eco-tainted V-8s.
But today’s hot-scoot V-6s outpower the V-8s of yesteryear, making them fair choices on their own, rather than wanna-be V-8s.
Chevrolet today introduced the first production Z-Spec accessories for the
2012 Sonic, an all-new small car hitting the streets this fall. The Sonic Z-Spec portfolio– which will be showcased at the New York International Auto Show – includes “Color Out” accent packages with contrasting-color exterior parts and graphics that express the car’s performance characteristics.
The Sonic combines a youthful, aggressive design with turbocharged performance and agile ride and handling. When equipped with an available, efficient 1.4L turbo, it is expected to achieve an estimated 40 mpg highway.
“The new Z-Spec accessories reinforce Sonic’s fun, youthful spirit,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president, Chevrolet marketing. “Customization is particularly important with the customers we believe will gravitate toward the Sonic, and we want to help them make their vehicle look exactly the way they want as easily as possible.”
Chevrolet's Camaro sporty car, already outselling chief rival Ford Mustang, gets some significant updates for 2012, including a power boost. In a conversation with Drive On, Chevy disclosed that it plans to announce today more horsepower and other improvements to the Camaro coupe and convertible, beginning with 2012 models on sale this summer:
The base engine, a 3.6-liter V-6 with gasoline direct injection, gets an 11-horsepower boost, to 323 horsepower, with no expected drop in fuel-economy ratings. That will put it way past arch-rival Mustang's 305 horsepower.
The new 2013 Chevy Malibu may actually look pretty decent. Today, Chevrolet “accidently” leaked images of the new 2013 Malibu ahead of its official debut at the Shanghai Motor Show.
The new Malibu looks on track to be a nice contemporary design with cues from some of the more exciting vehicles in the Chevrolet lineup such as the Camaro.
The Top 10 list is in…Which vehicles are online shoppers chatting about most?
Based upon more than 520,000 chat conversations conducted between consumers and dealers during the first quarter of 2011, Contact At Once! has determined the most talked about models. The Four Chevrolet Vehicles most chatted about were:
Although aimed at very different customers, GM’s three large crossovers—the elegant Buick Enclave, Professional Grade GMC Acadia and family-friendly Chevrolet Traverse—do have a lot in common. Spacious cabins, class-leading fuel efficiency, long lists of standard content and impressive driving dynamics are all in the mix, and now there’s something else: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently reported that all three had been named Top Safety Picks for 2011.
It’s an important third-party recognition that can have a big impact on the shopping process, and it’s only given to vehicles with both electronic stability control and the highest possible scores in IIHS evaluations of front, side, rear and rollover impact protection. And passing was tougher than ever this year, since the IIHS instituted new, more rigorous guidelines for roof-strength as part of its 2011 rollover testing.
The all new 2011 Chevy Cruze has enough test miles on its tires to circle the Earth over 160 times. The Cruze made a lot of stops as it went around the globe, each one seemingly more punishing than the last. Chevy Cruze took on driving rain, mountains, deserts, potholes, mud, bad roads, ice, snow, dry heat, humidity and more. After all that, it finally hit the test track and showed just how fun it was to drive. Even after 4,000,000 test miles, there's much more of the Cruze story to tell.
Which car is mas macho? The Porsche 911 is bought by men nine out of 10 times.
And how about for women? Women bought another German, the Volkswagen New Beetle, in six out of 10 cases. No wonder that the new version of the Beetle, being unveiled in two weeks, was teased on Oprah Winfrey's daily TV estrogen fest.
TrueCar.com, which decided which cars are most popular by gender, reaches the broad conclusion that "the study shows that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite, purchasing vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle," said Jesse Toprak, a TrueCar vice president.
It’s easy to take for granted the small improvements in automotive safety made each year. But as this video demonstrates, automotive safety has come a long way over the past half-century. In celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) pitted a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air against a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The results are startling.
As the video below demonstrates, the occupants of the newer vehicle would fare much better than those riding in the classic Bel Air.
“It was night and day, the difference in occupant protection,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “What this test shows is that automakers don’t build cars like they used to. They build them better.”
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