Ford, GM, and the Future of the American Sedan

The current auto market hasn’t been kind to the sedan. Long the go-to for those requiring a spacious ride, the four-door car has been pushed aside in our anxious, post-911 world as drivers seek to mask their existential securities behind the wheel of a high-riding crossover or SUV.

There are a few other factors edging sedans out of the buyer’s eyes: small vehicles have gotten much better at maximizing interior space while larger vehicles have additional seating to help accommodate more people when necessary. Coupled with the advancements in engineering, and the near-parity on gas mileage between large and small vehicles, and buyers are splitting their needs to the extremes, leaving the Goldilock’s just-right of sedans by the wayside.

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Alfa Plan CUV

Alfa Romeo’s roll out to the North American market has been a slow process. Their current offerings, the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, have been lauded by critics but aren’t exactly racing of dealer lots.

Fighting a historical reputation for poor reliability, Alfa has faced an uphill battle. Being under Fiat-Chrysler’s struggling banner hasn’t helped them make a huge impact. Despite their racing pedigree, it may be that their sexy Italian swagger doesn’t fit into a marketplace that trips over itself for bigger and dumber trucks.

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Hyundai to Electrify N

Like BMW has M and Lexus has F, so, too, Hyundai has N: a tuning house cranking out high-performance versions of their volume sellers.

This fall sees the release of the i30 N and Veloster N, followed by the i30 Fastback N. Each offers a sizeable power increase over the standard model, and updates the suspension, braking and handling to accommodate the greater output.

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Golf R Gets Colorful

Volkswagen is expanding the palette for their top-end Golf by introducing 40 custom color options. Known as the Volkswagen Spectrum Program, the options will be available for the forthcoming 2019 Golf R.

Though the Spectrum Program introduces some new hues to the VW lineup, Volkswagen also looked to their past for points of reference. From the MkIII Sirocco’s Viper Green Metallic to the Ginster Yellow of the 1997 GTI Driver’s Edition, these options tie the nameplates storied history with their most current engineering prowess.

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2019 BMW Z4 Unveiled: A Fun Toy(ota)

BMW has finally released official images of the upcoming Z4 roadster. The ‘proper’ unveiling is set for Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the end of the month, but in an effort to get ahead of leaked spy pics, they’ve released these pictures.

Offering few variations from the concept, the slightly-tweaked production model boasts an interior full of weight-adding tech, one of the biggest must-haves for those looking for a small droptop to toss around sunlit streets.

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Volvo Show their (Rear) Bias

Front-wheel drive is boring. So goes the perception. Having the wheels supplying the power as the same wheels that control direction is an inherent compromise that sacrifices speed for turning ability (or vice versa.)

I can’t say this is an unfair argument. Take a roundabout in an RWD car than an FWD drive one, especially after some heavy rain, and the one that left you smiling more is the winner. Dollars to donuts that it’s the one that pushes that beats the one that pulls.

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Subaru Recalls, Replaces Ascents

Recalls can have a devastating effect on manufacturers. Wide coverage of an existing issue can create real problems with brand perception, be it Toyota’s unintended acceleration, or pretty much anything Fiat/Chrysler.

Unlike in the tech world, however, where products can hit the market with glaring issues later addressed by patches, the car world doesn’t have the same luxury. You’re not going to download a new back bumper for the Tesla Model 3 that was just delivered.

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