It’s already half here. The Toyota Yaris sedan, formerly the Scion iA, is the rebadged twin of the subcompact Mazda launched in Montreal in 2015. You’ll note that Mazda does not sell a second-generation 2 in North America, making that launch a relatively pointless endeavor for the automaker. Now that Toyota has gone ahead and killed off the Toyota Yaris hatch (the Yaris that’s actually a Toyota), a space has opened up. Chances are good that the little hatch we didn’t get in 2015 will finally arrive in 2020, bearing another brand’s logo. This speculation comes by way of Car and Driver, which secured word from Toyota spokesperson Nancy Hubbell that the mystery model arriving for the 2020 model year will indeed be a hatchback. Given Toyota’s subcompact partnership with Mazda, a rebadged 2 seems likely. As we told you last week, the Toyota Yaris hatch (officially, “Liftback”) was not a strong performer in any sense of the word. Its … [Read more...] about Will the Aborted Mazda 2 Line Finally Make It Here in Full?
It seems to be a prime week for frightening headlight arrangements. Following all hands being turned to stone after casting their eyes upon the LT-trimmed 2020 Silverado HD, we learn this Italdesign creation will be entering production next year. Dubbed the “Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign,” it’s obviously based upon the R35 GT-R. In addition to its alarming front fascia, the company has also upped the power ante to 710 horses. And, oh yeah – it’ll set you back a cool million. The price tag is set at 999,000 Euros to be exact, a sum which converts to roughly $1.1 million USD at today’s exchange rate. Don’t worry about seeing yourself on every street corner, either. A run of just 50 units is planned. That’s quite the face, with the standard R35’s headlamps earning some angry slashes of LED lights across their section. Its mouthy grille surround earns a contrasting color, one which is copied and pasted onto the car’s hood vents. … [Read more...] about Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign Bound for Production
Specialty green models don’t normally end up in lots across the country, at least not initially, and the upcoming Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid is no different. The resurrected green variant of the wildly popular Crosstrek, which bit the dust following slow sales in 2016, appears late this year as a 2019 model, only this time with real all-electric range and a corresponding plug. It’s a model born of the automaker’s partnership with Toyota, and the Crosstrek PHEV borrows powertrain components from the plug-in Prius Prime. (Whether it’s a direct carryover remains to be seen.) As your author noted on Twitter the other day, this model seems tailor made to become the darling of hip, achingly progressive enclaves everywhere. While that could one day be the case, four-fifths of U.S. states won’t see the model upon its roll-out. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette (via Torque News), only California and the nine other states that signed on to its … [Read more...] about 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in: Heartbreak in Colorado, Rejoicing in Vermont
Remember that Santa Cruz Concept pickup that miraculously appeared at the 2015 North American International Auto Show? Well, according to Hyundai, it’s still earmarked for future production, but the brand has really dragged its feet on its development. Despite a warm welcome from the automotive media, the Santa Cruz hit a major speed bump when former CEO Dave Zuchowski left Hyundai Motor America. At the time, Zuchowski was pushing hard for more SUVs and especially the pickup truck, but sliding domestic deliveries forced home office to oust him from his position. Tragically, Hyundai’s preponderance of cars is probably the largest factor contributing to lackluster U.S. sales — something Dave seemed to understand. Hyundai continued its pursuit of SUVs and crossovers without him, but the pickup was lost in the mix. Originally planned for a 2018 release, development of the Santa Cruz stagnated. Now, the automaker says it intends to get things back on … [Read more...] about Hyundai Says Santa Cruz Pickup Still Coming, but You’ll Need to Be Patient
For some reason, today is all about manual transmissions. Some going, some staying… but most just going. That’s the world we live in, where consideration must be given to high-tech safety aids, while multi-cog automatics and infinitely cogged CVTs have stripped the stick shift of its secondary attribute: fuel economy. For Subaru, the Lineartronic continuously variable automatic will soon become the brand’s only choice of gearbox, with one notable — and likely temporary — exception. Speaking to Australia’s Drive, Subaru of America Tom Doll said the lack of a manual transmission — something we saw during the debut of the 2019 Forester last week — is something Subaru buyers will have to get used to. “We are only selling three to five per cent of the total volume as manual transmissions and with the fuel economy you get with the CVTs and the way they are leaned out it really makes the manual transmission car look not … [Read more...] about Subaru’s WRX Is Safe for Now, but It’s a Two-pedal Future for the Rest