In the world of luxury SUV's, buyers are limited to their choices of flavors—vanilla, Rocky Road, chocolate, and strawberry. There’s the usual German engineered and slightly over-engineered variant; leaving the buyer faced with purchasing a Benz, BMW, or anything from VW’s automotive family (vanilla.) Or there’s the ever classic, “I can do anything and go anywhere, but I rather just stay on the streets” Land Rover/Range Rover as a plausible option (Rocky Road.) Skim across the pond and you’re faced with rugged, bloated “luxury” SUVs; more fitting for cattle herding, rather than a night on the town (chocolate.) Finally there’s the likes of Lexus and Acura, which over-saturate suburban streets on any given day (strawberry.) This puts a potential buyer in conundrum if they want something different than their neighbors. What if the buyer wants a little Cold Stone Creamery action, rather than the usual everyone else seems to get? Enter the Maserati Kubang.
Like Cold Stone Creamery, the Maserati Kubang, has a bit of everything mixed into one glorious package. Maserati took bits and pieces from others and remixed into their own, dare I say, delicious concoction. Ever since Fiat Group acquired Chrysler Automotive (back during the Big Three’s financial meltdown,) Fiat has gained access to Chrysler’s resources and technologies. Fiat has been slowly marrying the two. Maserati, being apart of Fiat, has long been working on producing a luxury SUV for quite sometime and finally the Kubang has been born; well at least in the concept stage.
The Kubang is said to have a heart of a Ferrari. Boosting V8 designed by none other than Paolo Martinelli. Though you maybe thinking fast, sleek, and sexy after reading that Ferrari has their fingers in the project, Maserati’s “implication has been that the Kubang will be more SUV than sport,” reports Joel Johnson of Jalopnik. Furthermore, the SUV is based on Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee platform. The Maserati Kubang will be built alongside its cousins the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. The price is still to be announced by Maserati.
Read More | Jalopnik
Hyundai CEO John Krafcik announced that the company will be offering a lifetime guarantee on the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid battery pack. For many new car buyers who are seeking more miles per gallon, hybrids are the best option. However, the daunting thought of battery replacement--often after 90,000 plus miles--would turn many buyers away. With an average battery replacement costing over $6,000, the money on fuel saved over the years would be cancelled out in just one repair bill.
The Hyundai Sonata will be equipped with a lithium polymer battery, “which are lasting in the range of 275,000 miles in the company's tests,” reports Nathan Bomey of Annarbor.com. The car itself comes with a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty, and with the added lifetime battery guarantee, Hyundai is sure to attract new buyer to their brand.
"Hyundai got where we are by being an outstanding value brand," Krafcik said. "Today we’re becoming something more in the eyes of our customers: a valuable brand."
Be on the look out as Hyundai releases its new models (Veloster) and redesigns (Genesis) for 2012.
Read More | AnnArbor
Smart recently showed off its new hybrid pickup truck. Yup, you read right, a pickup truck from the company that makes the tiny ForTwo vehicle. The Smart For-us aims to recast the vision of the pickup as green and urban friendly. We’re not too sure how that will pan out, as most pickups are used as utility vehicles or off-road beasts. By the looks of the Smart For-us, it looks like it would be afraid to tread on grass, let alone the American roads. Though a concept idea, this “truck” would be powered 55-kilowatt magnetoelectric motor, achieving about 80 MPG. Though great on gas mileage, the Smart For-us leaves much to be desired by the average truck buyer.
Read More | Jalopnik
The death of a legend left many asking "Why?" Honda has always been pushing the envelope in reliability and fuel efficiency, from the days it rocked Detroit with its Civic CRX HF, a car which was fun to drive, yet provided the fuel efficiency people wanted; to its current line-up which holds true to that same spirit. However, the lack of a true sports car has haunted Honda's line-up from they day they killed the NSX. While Detroit pushed ahead with its pony cars, Honda was left in the dust put-putting along.
Well those days are hopefully soon to be over. The rebirth of its sports car, the Acura NSX will push the industry and consumer standard of what we expect a sports car should be. As we all fight for greater fuel efficiency and alternative fuels, that leaves the word of sports cars a thing of the past. Or does it?
Read More | Autoblog