It’s Friday once again, which means it’s time for another round of my Five For Friday: Five Thoughts about the Auto Industry for April 12, 2013. Chevrolet Cruze turbodiesel fuel mileage, a hybrid Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the end of the line for the Toyota Matrix, the sad case of the deceptive Subaru WRX Concept, and a bigger BMW X6 - let’s look at my take on the most noteworthy and interesting automotive stories from the past week.
01. 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel Fuel Mileage Announced
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel isn't going to be cheap - it features a price tag more than $7,000 higher than that of the base edition of the sedan - but it is going to be frugal at the fuel pump. GM released the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel's EPA rating this past week, and the small car boasts an around-town figure of 27-mpg backed by a very impressive 46-mpg on the highway. The latter elevates the turbodiesel Cruze above competitors like the Volkswagen Jetta TDI and puts it closer to Prius territory. In fact, the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel matches the smaller Prius c in highway fuel mileage and actually surpasses the Honda Civic Hybrid.
02. Will Hybrid And Diesel Mercedes-Benz C-Class Models Boost Sales?
Chevrolet isn't the only company that will be introducing a turbodiesel drivetrain into its entry-level sedan lineup in the near future. Mercedes-Benz has announced that the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will offer not just a turbodiesel option, but also a hybrid edition. The company will also be adding a convertible body style to the vehicle, all in an effort to achieve sales parity with the luxury segment's compact car bogey, the BMW 3 Series. Currently, the 3 Series dominates the C-Class from a sales perspective, and Mercedes-Benz hopes that by matching its Teutonic competitor niche-for-niche it will be able to attract a wider range of buyers to showrooms.
03. Good-Bye Toyota Matrix
Although few buyers are aware of its mechanical underpinnings, the compact Toyota Matrix is essentially the hatchback edition of the Toyota Corolla sedan. With the Corolla about to gain a fresh platform, Autoguide is reporting that there are no plans to similarly revise the Matrix and keep it soldiering on alongside its four-door counterpart. The Matrix, which at one time was built in partnership with General Motors (and sold as the Pontiac Vibe) hasn't enjoyed the same level of popularity as the Corolla sedan. Autoguide claims that Toyota will be making the fate of the Matrix official by the end of May.
04. Next-Generation Subaru WRX STI To Look Nothing Like NYIAS Concept?
Pictures and video of what looks to be the redesigned Subaru WRX STI have been floating around the Internet all week. In most circumstances, an early look at a hotly anticipated performance car would be a cause for celebration amongst enthusiasts, but these images have become more of a source of disappointment. The reason? The car looks almost nothing like the sexy Subaru WRX concept that was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show at the end of March. In fact, instead of the sleek lines and dramatic styling of the concept, the vehicle that has been seen being tested resembles the current Impreza sedan, mixed with a bit of Mitsubishi Evo slab-sidedness. A lot of the excitement surround the car has evaporated, but there is some hope that what has been photographed is merely a mechanical test mule and that beautiful body work is still a possibility for the WRX STI.
05. Get Ready For A Bigger BMW X6
The BMW X6 has never really been about practicality - rather, it has stood as a testament to those who want an in-your-face SUV that provides startling performance given its extremely heavy curb weight. Fans of the X6 will be getting even more ostentatiousness for their money with the next generation of the vehicle, which, according to Autocar, will ride on a longer version of the X5 platform and provide looks that are even more attention-seeking than the current model. The updated BMW X6 will be displayed at the Moscow International Motor Show in August, an event that is gaining in prominence as a greater number of automakers take an interest in the burgeoning Russian market. The X6 is slated to go on sale shortly after its show debut.
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