The manual transmission might be on its last legs, but you’d never know it by browsing through Subaru WRX equipment lists. A six-speed manual comes standard on all five trim levels, helping make the all-wheel-drive compact a perennial favorite among driving enthusiasts of reasonably modest means.For 2018, the WRX and WRX STI offers more standard equipment and a face that’s cleaner — and ever so slightly meaner — than before, though one feature seems notably absent. That, of course, would be the stiffer global platform found under the new Impreza. Oh, and add “extra horsepower” to that list.As Subaru fanboys wait for a next-generation model, at least the updated version won’t cost them much more.The entry-level 2018 WRX adds $300 to its MSRP, nudging its after-delivery price to $27,885. A turbocharged 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder provides the motivation for lower-rung models, making the same 268 horsepower as before. Premium trim sees … [Read more...] about Subaru Keeps 2018 WRX Pricing Sane as It Waits for a New Platform
The Dodge Journey often finds itself the butt of jokes and scornful taunts, like here, or here, but all laughs fade away eventually, and besides, Fiat-Chrysler’s archaic crossover is due for a platform swap this fall.Not so fast.An anonymous FCA source just told Automotive News that the Journey won’t shed its dated platform as planned, and might soldier on with its old bones for another two years — at least.The Journey rides atop the FC platform, a relic of the DaimlerChrysler days that once underpinned the forgettable Dodge Caliber. Even then, it was just an updated version of an older platform jointly created by DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi Motors.After living the FC lifestyle since its début in 2009, the Journey planned to adopt the CUSW platform found underneath the Jeep Cherokee. The FCA source claims that 2017 and 2018 Journeys now have a body code that indicates the presence of the JC platform.If true, it’s likely the … [Read more...] about Is Dodge Extending the JC Platform’s Incredible Journey?
Is Chrysler’s LX platform doomed to meet the same fate as the beloved Panther?Replacing the aging Chrysler 300’s rear-wheel-drive architecture with that of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan is one idea festering in the mind of Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, judging by recent comments published by Automotive News.Marchionne was speaking at FCA’s Windsor, Ontario assembly plant, where Pacifica production recently replaced that of the retired Town & Country. He was asked about the excess capacity that could occur once Dodge Caravan production ceases next year, and what vehicle might fill it.The FCA boss was non-committal, saying it was “premature to make other allocations” to the Windsor plant. The excess space could be taken up by Pacifica production if demand is high, he said, but noted that there was a mystery model they could bring — under the right conditions.“Let’s fill that up, and then we’ll look at this,” … [Read more...] about Is Sergio Cooking Up a Chrysler 300 Built on the Pacifica Platform?
The culmination of Toyota’s Global Vision plan, the Toyota New Global Architecture is key to the automaker’s new powertrain and platform development plans.The automaker says the TNGA modular platform allows for better positioning of powertrain components for a lower center of gravity, as well as providing the basis for “attractive, low-stance designs, responsive handling, a high-quality drive feel, and collision performance that offers safety and peace of mind.” Further, overall body rigidity with TNGA has been increased by 30 to 65 percent, with reinforcement from laser screw welding technology.On the powertrain side, Toyota has improved thermal and energy-relay efficiencies to gain a 25-percent jump in fuel economy, and a 15-percent boost in power. Meanwhile, hybrids — such as the 2016 Prius, which will be among the first to use TNGA — could gain as much as 15 percent in fuel economy thanks to a better powertrain layout paired with smaller electric … [Read more...] about Toyota New Global Architecture Key To Automaker’s Powertrain, Platform Plans
Nobody at Nissan is talking about IDx.That’s what we learned from Pierre Loing, Vice President of Product Planning for Nissan North America. But, there’s a chance certain styling elements could make their way to other products, or possibly even a front-wheel drive performance option below 370Z.While at the 2016 Nissan Maxima media preview in Nashville, Tennessee, we had a chance to prod Loing on what could be the future of IDx considering its overwhelmingly positive reception in Tokyo and Detroit.“IDX is an interesting project; a show car that received good reception. But, to go from concept to production, the reality always kicks in,” Loing said about the future of IDx as we saw it revealed in Tokyo.The reality is auto manufacturers are finding it difficult – or impossible – to build a small, rear-wheel drive performance vehicle and make money. Either a current platform, like that of the 370Z, needs to be shrunk down, or a whole new platform needs … [Read more...] about Nissan IDx is Super-Dead, But Parts May Live On in FWD Platform
According to Car & Driver, the folks in Toyota City are smitten with the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. So much so they’re considering using the platform for the next Toyota GT86, sold as the Scion FR-S in North America.The rumor states what goes for Toyota goes for Subaru’s sports car – the BRZ – as well. I’m not so sure about that.“If Toyota were to employ the MX-5’s chassis, it would be on the next-generation FT86,” Car & Driver was told by a source.The source says nothing specifically about the BRZ, though the magazine infers the Miata platform will also be used on the next sporty Subaru. However, Subaru may be smart to forego a second generation BRZ altogether.Currently, the Toyobaru triplets are produced by Subaru in Ōta, Japan. The company is currently capacity constrained. Subaru will stop producing Camrys for Toyota at their Indiana facility in 2016 in order to claw back some of its own capacity … [Read more...] about Don’t Expect Subaru To Follow Toyota To Mazda For BRZ RWD Platform
Alfa Romeo will be going its own way for its upcoming Spider, directing Mazda to take its 2016 MX-5 over to Fiat-Abarth instead.Car reports the new roadster will be “a derivative of project Giorgio,” per Alfa and Maserati brand boss Harald Wester. Giorgio is, of course, the RWD platform that will underpin many a new Alfa, including the expected 159 successor due early this coming summer.As for the MX-5’s role in the matter, the platform will be heading to Fiat-Abarth, raising the possibility for a new Barchetta or stand-alone Abarth model to emerge from Mazda’s Hiroshima facility in the near future. Alfa’s Spider, however, will be made in Italy, per CEO Sergio Marchionne’s vision for the Alfa brand. … [Read more...] about Alfa Romeo To Build Spider On Own Platform, Mazda MX-5 To Fiat-Abarth
The regulator-friendly replacement for the recently departed Land Rover Defender is on the way, and has already begun on-road testing, the automaker’s CEO confirms.Speaking to Britain’s Autocar, Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth says the new Defender adopts the lightweight aluminum architecture of the fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery.The platform and design upgrade is good news for those hoping to see the model return to North America.Speth told Autocar that the new Defender looks “fantastic,” and will be “fairly different” than other models in the Land Rover stable when it appears in 2018.The previous model, which traced its lineage back to the original Land Rover of 1948, was put out to pasture in January of this year. Passenger safety regulations pushed Defenders out the North American market in 1998, and European pedestrian safety regulations did the same for the overseas model. While owners loved the archaic, boxy body, which oozed … [Read more...] about Land Rover Defender Lands in 2018, Borrows Discovery Platform
In automotive terms, Volkswagen’s go-to MQB platform might end up having a lifespan somewhere between a Fox and a Panther.Eager to stretch its meager dollars to Gumby-like proportions, the embattled automaker has announced that the platform underpinning most of its vehicles won’t die after two generations. Nah, let’s make it three, VW brand chief Herbert Diess said.That means some vehicles, such as the stalwart Golf, will eventually ride on a platform old enough to drink in the United States.According to Reuters, Diess told the German newspaper Boersen-Zeitung that keeping the MQB platform around for a little while longer — okay, a lot — should rake in the savings the company so desperately craves.“In the past months we have worked on the cost side of MQB and made significant progress,” Diess said. “The MQB has high technical substance, so we can use it for the next two vehicle generations without further major … [Read more...] about Volkswagen Figures It Can Keep Its Favorite Platform Around Basically Forever
As the season for giving approaches, Alfa Romeo is saying it might gift its rear-drive Giorgio platform to other Fiat Chrysler vehicles.Last week, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Alfa’s Reid Bigland not-so humble bragged to journalists that the platform is so good it would actually be difficult not to share it across brands.“Modifying that platform to spawn additional FCA products is a possibility,” he said. “We’ve got a jewel here. In terms of driving dynamics, it’s best in class, so it’s going to be difficult to keep that exclusive for Alfa Romeo.”Bigland has already discussed how the platform would be used for Alfa Romeo’s five year product expansion plan. Now Automotive News has him suggesting the Giorgio platform might appear under a new, unnamed, performance-oriented Dodge or Maserati.It is also assumed to take over duties for the LX platform for the Charger sometime after 2020.Alfa Romeo spent over … [Read more...] about Alfa May Let Other FCA Brands Borrow its RWD Platform