Five For Friday: Five Thoughts About The Auto Industry For November 30, 2012
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 November 23, 2012. A diesel-powered Mazda Mazda6, a diesel Volkswagen Beetle convertible, the death of the Volkswagen Eos, Honda’s 2013 Civic do-over, and digital test drives of the still-secret Chevrolet Corvette C7 - let’s look at my take on the most noteworthy and interesting automotive stories from the past week.
Five For Friday: 01. 2014 Mazda Mazda6 Sedan To Offer Turbodiesel Engine
It’s finally happened: a Japanese automaker will be importing one of its passenger car diesel drivetrains, and that company is Mazda. At this week’s L.A. Auto Show Mazda announced that later on in 2013 the Mazda Mazda6 mid-size sedan would debut a turbodiesel four-cylinder motor in North America. The company was coy about how much grunt the 2.2-liter mill would generate, but it should be in the neighborhood of 160 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. Destined to be sold alongside the 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, the revelation makes the all-new Mazda6 sedan that much more appealing for those seeking a family fuel miser.
Five For Friday: 02. New Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Features Diesel Drivetrain, Too
The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible – which has also been completely redesigned – bowed at the L.A. Auto Show featuring two gasoline engines and a turbodiesel drivetrain. This makes the Beetle Convertible the only drop top oil-burner on the market, and with exceptional fuel efficiency (28-mpg city and 41-mpg highway) and 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque on tap, the car is a winner in more than just one category. The VW TDI setup is finding its way into more and more products as the German brand steadily normalizes the concept of diesel-powered passenger cars in the United States.
Five For Friday: 03. Volkswagen Eos Gets The Axe
How many four-passenger convertible models can you realistically sell if you are Volkswagen? The answer would appear to be “one.” After years of shrinking sales, Autoblog is reporting that the Volkswagen Eos will be put out to pasture in the near future. The Eos is a solid drop top that features a retractable steel roof and better-than-average driving dynamics, but it was also priced close to the premium segment and never seemed to attract buyers who were more willing to jump up a rung and snag something with a glitzier badge instead. The writing was on the wall when all but a single drivetrain – VW’s ubiquitous 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder – were eliminated from the car’s options list in recent years.
Five For Friday: 04. Will The New 2013 Honda Civic Wash Away Last Year’s Bad Taste?
Honda has revealed its emergency refresh of the much-maligned 2012 Honda Civic at the L.A. Auto show. A small price bump of $160 pays for things like revised exterior styling, a re-tuning of the Civic’s uninspiring chassis, and higher quality materials in the vehicle’s passenger compartment.
It is commendable that Honda acted so quickly in an attempt to repair the damage done by the introduction of a cheaper-feeling Civic that badly misjudged the compact car market and didn’t live up to the expectations of long-time Honda buyers. The question becomes: is it too little, too late? Or can Honda somehow recover its lost mojo and stand up to the wave of extremely competitive compact sedans that now litter the segment?
Five For Friday: 05. Chevrolet Teases C7 Corvette In Gran Turismo 5
Can’t wait to drive the upcoming C7 Chevrolet Corvette? General Motors has released a heavily-camouflaged prototype of the iconic sports coupe that can be piloted in the popular Sony Playstation franchise Gran Turismo 5. While fans won’t get a peek at what many are hoping is a dramatic re-work of the traditional Corvette design, they can scope out a current version of what the test mules rolling around test tracks across the country are capable of doing in a high performance environment. Chevrolet plans to release the Corvette into the wild on January 14 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.