December 27, 2012
Acura- The upcoming NSX means Acura will finally again offer something beyond overpaying for Civic and Accord derivatives. Auto press to call this “revolutionary”.
Alfa-Romeo- 2013 becomes the next “maybe…but no” year for Alfisti in the USA.
Audi- The company celebrates their new status as the Car and Driver “win every comparo” marque, unseating BMW. Readers welcome the change with a new slew of accusations.
Bentley- Found a way to make a turbo V8 cost less, yet go more quickly than the same model which has a bigger motor with more cylinders. We’re sure this is progress, somehow.
BMW- Reviews of the 5 and 7 series essentially state that BMW has lost its place of leadership in sport sedans…which might be the only real “Change” seen since 2008.
Buick- In an attempt to lure buyers that aren’t actually dying yet, the company continues to put star athletes in a restyled Chevy Cruze.
Cadillac- GM’s luxury division sets its sights on BMW’s 3-series, but this time doesn’t bring a Cavalier to a car fight. Signs are promising.
Chevrolet- The new Corvette is set to debut, leading to new questions of how GM will screw up the interior THIS time.
Chrysler- FIAT’s American luxury arm is reportedly looking at offering the 300 with a smaller, turbo engine that’s faster than the current HEMI model…because if Bentley did it…..
Dodge- In the latest effort to draw attention to its own trucks, Sam Elliott challenges Denis Leary to a showdown outside the Coors Brewing Plant.
Ferrari- The upcoming Enzo successor, the F70, will reportedly be the first hybrid from the Maranello company…as well as the first hybrid to average less than 20 mpg.
Ford-With fresh sheetmetal and powertrains doing very well in the market, Ford responds to criticism of its MFT system by making it available in more models. I hope I made that up.
GMC- The “Chevy that’s not” brand looks forward to the new full-size trucks debuting at NAIAS, with external improvements like HID headlights and…that seems to be it.
Honda- Honda just revamped the Civic, as the outgoing model did badly in compa…wait, didn’t I write this last time?
Hummer- A pleasant thought, but a dead brand.
Hyundai- Hard at work creating a Jeff Bridges-voiced “Hyundai Lawsuit Sales Event” ad campaign.
Infiniti- I joked last time that I wasn’t sure this division still existed. I’m not joking anymore, does it still exist? What? As a Red Bull sponsor?
Jaguar- Is finally giving us the sports car we’ve asked for since the last one went away during the Ford Administration. In other words, they’re ahead of British Carmaker Schedule.
Jeep- Puts rear doors on Wranglers, has sold the hell out of them for the last couple of years. Think anyone from the AMC days is kicking themselves?
Kia- The “Handsome Hyundais and Hamsters” brand looks at wooing the Bible-Belt audience, re-hiring Motley Crue to perform “Shout at the Devil” in the next commercial.
Lamborghini- When asked why the ergonomics in their vehicles remain difficult, they reply that the “comfortable cabins all go to Audi”.
Land Rover- The Evoque showed the new styling direction for the brand, while the next Defender must show essentially no styling progress since 1968…or it won’t be bought.
Lexus- The “Relentless Pursuit of Perfection” brand is quietly trying to settle legal action, this time accusing them of stealing their new front-end styling from the “Predator” movie monsters.
Lincoln- Ford’s luxury marque debuts the new MKZ, which brings elegant bodywork and swooping lines finished with the ass-end of a 1970 Torino GT. The real punchline is that it’s universally hailed as the “best view of the car”.
Mazda- The 2014 Mazda 6 sits on dealer lots, because they can’t sell a “2014” until 2013 even though they were delivered to dealers in 2012. Time for a second 32-oz boilermaker.
Mercedes-Benz- After recent reviews on BBC’s “Top Gear”, all AMG products come with 3 complimentary sets of spare rear tires.
Mercury- Those of us that remember the great Capris, Cougars, Montegos, and Marauders will be avenged. Oh, yes.
Mini- BMW’s subcompact specialists spent a fortune on advertising the fact that 4-door Minis exist. Like Robert Plant said, “…and it makes me wonder…”
Mitsubishi- This marque, basically doomed in the US, fights for its survival by introducing an ugly, underpowered, low-profit subcompact. Gee, wonder why they’re failing?
Nissan- Now that the Altima, Maxima, and Sentra all are basically styled the same, concerns for the 370Z mount dramatically.
Porsche- The new Boxster is likely the best-driving car in the freakin’ universe. This is another headline I get to cut-and-paste every few years.
Saab- Designed from planes, maligned by GM, stymied by product, doomed sooner rather than later.
Scion- The Toyobaru sports car finally makes the “youth” brand worthwhile…but insurance costs on said car will likely be more than most youth can afford.
Subaru- Am I the only one that misses them being weird?
Suzuki- (ding ding ding) BRING OUT YOUR DEAD1 (ding ding ding)
Toyota- The brand so often associated with quality has had years of monstrous recalls, and is looking at over a billion dollars lost over what they insist are faulty floor mats. Yeah, some of us are kinda smug right now.
Volkswagen- So, the Golf-which had originally spawned the Jetta-is now upmarket from the Jetta, despite being smaller. Everyone got that?
Volvo- The Swedes descend from Vikings. The Chinese owners, from the Khans. Potential 2-fronted global takeover? We’ll have to wait and see.