Today’s midsize sport utility vehicle comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, some sleek and sporty and others tall, boxy and utilitarian. Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press There was a…

2014 Honda Pilot Touring Road Test Review

Today's midsize sport utility vehicle comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, some sleek and sporty and others tall, boxy and utilitarian. There was a time that all SUVs were the latter, back when every single one was based on a body-on-frame truck-type chassis and designed to perform well off-road. Not anymore.

The Honda Pilot might look like a traditional sport utility vehicle, but its tall, boxy styling is just that, styling. Under the sheet metal it rides on a modified version of Honda's midsize car and minivan platform architecture, a unibody that's strong and tough enough to live up to 99 percent of SUV buyers' expectations, which include hauling family and life's gear over paved roads that are sometimes covered with snow, trekking across the occasional dirt road during summer vacation at which time a small trailer may be in tow, and doing it all in relative comfort without breaking the bank when it comes time to fill up the tank.

To this last end the Pilot gets Read Full Story
First, Toyota launched the sporty rear-drive 86, which is marketed in North America as the Scion FR-S. Then it teamed up with   BMW to develop high-end performance coupes. Now the Japanese automaker…

Toyota stuns Detroit with FT-1 sports concept

First, Toyota launched the sporty rear-drive 86, which is marketed in North America as the Scion FR-S. Then it teamed up with BMW to develop high-end performance coupes. Now the Japanese automaker has debuted a pulse-quickening sports car concept at Detroit's North American International Auto Show. Clearly Toyota is serious about shaking its staid image as a builder of "bland cars that your parents drive."

The unveiling was one of the few real surprises of the show, as Toyota had kept it under a tight veil of secrecy, with no teasers or leaks leading up to the big reveal. The concept, which was designed by Toyota's North American Calty Design Research group, hints at the possible direction a new Supra might take.

The front-engine, rear-wheel drive concept is named the FT-1 (for "Future Toyota 1"), and is the result of a two-year development project described as a dream assignment and a labour of love for the designers. "Our team was heavily influenced by Toyota's sports Read Full Story
Concept cars may grab all the attention at car shows, but the big news is the introduction of new bread-and-butter models. There’s   perhaps no segment that’s as fundamental – and…

Chrysler introduces new 200 midsize sedan at Detroit auto show

Concept cars may grab all the attention at car shows, but the big news is the introduction of new bread-and-butter models. There's perhaps no segment that's as fundamental - and as hard-fought - as the mid-size family sedan market, and at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Chrysler officially unveiled its new mid-size 2015 Chrysler 200.

Following in the footsteps of the smaller Doge Dart, and capitalizing on Chrysler's marriage to Fiat, the new 200 is built on the Compact U.S. Wide (CUS) platform, which is based on the well-received Alfa Romeo Compact Wide platform. This move frees the 200 from its old Chrysler Sebring roots and promises to deliver what Chrysler calls "sporty European handling dynamics and steering precision, with ride and comfort characteristics tuned for North American roads."

Power will come from either a 2.4-litre Tigershark four-cylinder delivering 184 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 delivering Read Full Story
Mini has achieved great success spawning a wide variety of offspring from its original retro hatchback, including updated versions 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept set to debut this week in Detroit.…

VW to show Beetle Dune Concept this week in Detroit

Mini has achieved great success spawning a wide variety of offspring from its original retro hatchback, including updated versions of the classic Mini station wagon (the Clubman) and panel van (the Clubvan), and even a four-wheel drive version (the Countryman). Now it looks like Volkswagen might be thinking of tearing a page from the Mini playbook, with an updated version of the once-popular aftermarket-built "dune buggy" set to debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Volkswagen accompanied its announcement of the Beetle Dune concept with a single teaser image and a smattering of technical detail.

The Dune Concept is based on the R-Line Beetle, with its body raised by five centimetres and oversized wheels fitted to provide increased ground clearance. Up front there's a beefy-looking bumper underguard, with matching underguards at the rocker panels.

Under the hood the Beetle Dune concept retains the R-Line's 210-horsepower turbocharged Read Full Story
If you hadn’t heard of Formula E before, well, you have now. And you’ll likely be hearing a lot more about it in the months and years to come. The premise of Formula E is simple: it’s…

New Formula E series demonstrates electric racecar at CES

If you hadn't heard of Formula E before, well, you have now. And you'll likely be hearing a lot more about it in the months and years to come.

The premise of Formula E is simple: it's a new fully-electric FIA championship that will compete on 10 city-centre circuits around the globe - including Miami and Los Angeles - beginning in September 2014. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will compete in the series, racing to capture the attention of a new generation of motorsport fans while pushing the development of electric vehicle technology and increasing its overall public acceptance.

Formula E's racecars are single-seat open-wheel affairs capable of speeds in excess of 240 km/h. The first car was designed and built by French-based Spark Racing Technology together with a consortium of leading motorsport names including Dallara (chassis), Williams (battery design), McLaren (powertrain and electronics), Renault (overall system integration) and Michelin (tires). The first Formula Read Full Story
Toyota has sold more than five million Prius models around the world since the nameplate’s introduction in 2000, but that’s still Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press a small fraction…

2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Road Test Review

Toyota has sold more than five million Prius models around the world since the nameplate's introduction in 2000, but that's still a small fraction of cars sold during that time. Still, Prius sales dwarf every other gasoline-electric hybrid ever introduced, even Toyota's own Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid models. In order to build on the Prius success story, the Japanese automaker smartly expanded Prius into a brand. It's more of a sub-brand being that the four Prius models within continue to wear Toyota's namesake logo and are sold from Toyota retailers, but the move shows that Toyota is well aware of Prius brand power.

That power has now been channeled into the Prius Plug-in Hybrid. Toyota, which has almost singlehandedly built up global acceptance of hybrid-electric propulsion to the point that most every automaker, including sports car and supercar makers, has a hybrid or plug-in electric in production or at least on the drawing board, needed a plug-in just to stay on the Read Full Story
It was a month ago that Lexus teased worldwide audiences with a single close-up image of its "newest Lexus F model," and the   promise that the car would deliver a "bold, gritty experience…

Lexus reveals new RC F super coupe ahead of Detroit

It was a month ago that Lexus teased worldwide audiences with a single close-up image of its "newest Lexus F model," and the promise that the car would deliver a "bold, gritty experience synonymous with the famed Lexus F heritage."

Now, as the North American International Auto Show gets ready to open in Detroit, the Japanese luxury brand has revealed that the promised car is indeed the new RC F coupe, as was expected. Supporting the latest press release is some substantial technical information and, better yet, a full gallery of photos.

The 2015 RC F is based on the all-new RC coupe that was revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show last November, but it features wider wheels and tires, an active rear wing (similar to that on the LFA supercar), and unique styling details. These details include a bolder spindle grille, stacked angled exhausts like on the IS F sedan, and a plethora of air scoops, cooling ducts, and stabilizing fins.

The hood is also higher than the RC coupe's Read Full Story
Prior to the entirely new 2014 model, the last time I drove an Impala was more than a decade ago. It was the old General’s version Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press of a mid-to-full-size…

2014 Chevrolet Impala LT Road Test Review

Prior to the entirely new 2014 model, the last time I drove an Impala was more than a decade ago. It was the old General's version of a mid-to-full-size "ahem-cough" luxury car, and a good indication of why the automaker that once was the world's largest slid to second in command and soon after almost went belly up in the global auto sales battlefield.

That was then, this is now, and the 2014 Impala is as clear an indication that a new, better-trained General has taken control of the Detroit-based company. What's good for Detroit is also good for Canada, or at least Oshawa Car Assembly with respect to the Impala, where the big sedan is manufactured alongside the Camaro and Equinox. That it looks a bit like the Camaro from the front is hardly a coincidence, Chevrolet doing its darnedest to add excitement to its large car division so as to pull customers back from Chrysler's 300, Dodge's Charger, Ford's Taurus, Hyundai's Genesis, Kia's Cadenza, Nissan's Maxima, and Toyota's Avalon, Read Full Story