Episode 1047 – They’re Comin’ to America, STi for the BRZ, Ford Upgrades Transit Diesel

January 11th, 2013 at 11:28am

Runtime: 7:39

Foreign automakers keep adding more manufacturing capacity in North America and that is especially true for one country. Tom Doll, CFO of Subaru of America, tells Autoline it needs figure out how to do an STi version of the BRZ “before the tuners figure out how to do it themselves.” Ford is making some significant upgrades to its 3.2 Liter Power Stroke diesel going in the U.S. version of the full-size Transit van. All that and more, plus we have some pretty educated guesses as to who will win the North American Car of the Year award.

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All right it’s Friday! But before we get to the latest news don’t forget that on Monday we will be broadcasting live from the Detroit auto show brought to you by our signature sponsor Chrysler. We start at 1 PM ET/18:00 GMT Monday and Tuesday AND 1:30PM/18:30 GMT Thursday for first-ever Autoline Supplier Symposium. Now let’s get to today’s news.

Foreign automakers keep adding more manufacturing capacity in North America and that is especially true of Japanese car companies that are fleeing the high cost of the yen. Honda just announced that it is moving production of the Accord hybrid out of Japan and to its plant in Marysville, Ohio. Yesterday we reported that Nissan will stop importing LEAF’s from Japan and will build them in Tennessee. Today Nissan announced it will move the Murano from Japan to its plant in Mississippi. In fact, Nissan released this teaser shot of a concept design for the new Murano and other future crossovers, a concept they’re calling the Resonance.

In another sign the U.S. auto industry has recovered from the recession, Ford and GM plan to hire thousands of white-collared workers this year. The Blue Oval will hire around 2,200 salaried workers in product development, manufacturing and IT. Interestingly, Ford will turn to social media to help recruit those positions. And General Motors announced it will add around 1,000 high-tech workers for a new IT center in Atlanta. The company is looking to hire software developers, project managers, database experts, business analysts and other IT professionals.

But while things have turned around in the U.S., the European car market is still looking bleak. Honda will lay-off around 800 employees at its factory in England by the second quarter of the year.

Renault is showing off a new small crossover called the Captur, which will make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It will be offered with gasoline or diesel engines and standard models will come with keyless entry, hill start assist and rear parking sensors. The Captur is based on the same platform as the Clio and will be built at Renault’s factory in Spain.

The Subaru BRZ and it’s kissing cousin the Scion FR-S have become a favorite for many enthusiasts. But let’s face it, the car is underpowered. Wouldn’t an STi version of the car be just the ticket? Tom Doll, the CFO of Subaru of America thinks so. He tells Autoline that Subaru better figure out how to do an STi version of the BRZ “before the tuners figure out how to do it themselves.” He says Subaru wants to make sure that owners “get the real deal.”

FORD UPGRADES TRANSIT DIESEL (subscription required)
Ford is making some significant upgrades to its 3.2 Liter Power Stroke diesel going in the U.S. version of Transit full-size van. That includes injector nozzles with eight spray holes that can deliver up to five injections per combustion cycle. Ford says this will make the diesel nearly as quiet as a gasoline engine. In addition, there will be some modifications to reduce NOx emissions. The engine is built in South Africa.

Here is a video of an internet prankster that had us over here at Autoline rolling-on-the-floor laughing. The man’s name is Rahat. He made a costume that looks like a car seat. And then he drove his car to the drive-thru window of several fast-food restaurants, and the reactions of the workers are priceless.

So who is going to win the coveted North American Car Of The Year? We’ll have some pretty educated guesses coming up right after this.

(NACOY can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

The topic on Autoline This Week is all about the North American Car of the Year award. I asked two of my fellow jurors, Karl Brauer, the editor-in-chief of TotalCarScore.com, and Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press, to come on the show, review the three finalists and predict which car will win. And I also asked them to predict who will win the Truck of the Year award. Take a look.

Well there you go, the Cadillac ATS and Ram 1500 look like the odds on favorites, which, of course, is exactly how you Autoline Daily viewers voted when we polled you several weeks ago. The actual winners will be announced first thing Monday morning. Of course we’ll cover the news on Autoline Daily, but don’t miss our LIVE broadcast brought to you by our signature sponsor Chrysler, 1PM ET/18:00 GMT Monday and Tuesday AND 1:30PM/18:30 GMT Thursday for first-ever Autoline Supplier Symposium.

And that wraps up this week, thanks for watching, we’ll see you Monday.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

114 Comments to “Episode 1047 – They’re Comin’ to America, STi for the BRZ, Ford Upgrades Transit Diesel”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    More cars, more models (all coming to the U.S. and already here); too many IMO. There has got to be some losers (besides the Suzuki’s and Mitsubishi’s). Wonder who else will succumb or maybe never get a foot hold.

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I have to agree with the choices for Coty,and Toty.Just I voted too…..no surprise.And yes,the other full size pu oem’s have got to step up their game,and fast if they want to compete with the new Ram 1500.Not sure what the off shore pu oem’s have done lately,other then fatten up their offerings.

    Nissan and toyota are letting their small/midsize pickups lapse into mediocrity just as ford did with the ranger.I wonder how long it will be before they start to whine that Americans no longer want small pickups.get a grip oem’s.Either keep up with technology or fold and go home…but don’t blame us for not buying your ancient offerings.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The BRZ and FR-S are “underpowered”? Yeah, they are “underpowered” compared to a Corvette, or a Mustang GT, but are comparable in straight-line performance to the cars they get compared with, like MINI Cooper S, and recent Mazda Miata.

    Sure, they will want to have a faster version at some point, but the current one is a lot faster than my base MINI, which is not “underpowered,” at least to me, and many other people.

  4. HtG Says:

    Here’s a piece on the launch of the C7. It seems GM wants to make the car more desirable to the younger cohorts. On another website some weeks ago, a commenter clucked about how Corvette owners enjoyed low insurance rates because they were careful drivers and didn’t crash much. He didn’t appreciate it when I pointed out how aged the owners actually are. Bad HtG!

    (sorry, I wasn’t able to link, but it’s at Bloomberg)

  5. HtG Says:

    3 I’ve driven an MX5 race car with about 200hp. Lemme tellya, Kit, that’s a different beast from the street car. Put down the hammer and it goes there.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Tacoma and Frontier have lapsed into mediocrity, and they are too big. The current Tacoma is 75 inches wide, only 4 inches narrower than an F150 or Ram, and gets barely better gas mileage. What’s the point?

    Maybe the upcoming “world” Colorado/Canyon will be better entries in the “smaller pickup” category. We shall see.

  7. Bradley Says:

    I am not in the market for an ATS type car. However, even if I got over my bailout anger; the commercials for the car have steered me away.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Which commercials annoy you? I guess none of them have caught my attention too much, positive or negative.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 The only Miata I’ve driven is a first generation one. It was fun, because of being an open car, the handling, and the slick shifting. It probably had acceleration about like my base MINI. I agree, that 50% more power would have made it a lot more fun, at least on twisty roads, and especially on a race track.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    The FR-S and BRZ could use a little more torque, IMO,specially if you live in a hilly area, otherwise here in Fla is fine, hp is adequate unless you try to pile up a stack of speeding tickets, the car is about handling. It’s ideal for winding country roads, not for a race track and since the odds of driving on a windy road and not a race track is more likely, I can see the appeal.

  11. HtG Says:

    9 I can see why BRZ people might want more power and grip, but like the MX5 it becomes a different car. A weakness of my Miata was that it was tough to push the tail around a turn with just the throttle(too little power, unless the road was wet). Though if you were to raise the rear tire pressures a couple pounds….

  12. ColoradoKid Says:


    Have you driven the SubarYota Twins yet Kit ? If so you should understand that the ‘ underpowered ‘ comments are in relationship to the Chassis’s capabilities and not what the competition is capable of doing .e.g. When driving them you’re constantly aware that the chassis really needs so much more power to challenge it in the slightest .

    HtG – Cheap insurance for Corvette owners ? On what planet might that be that the other commentator was talking about .

    Lexus rumor – Some are saying Lexus may be debuting an IS wagon along with the sedan ala the old SportCross . Tell you what . With Mercedes about to sell a chunk of itself to the Chinese as well as start stuffing Nissan engines under the hood …. BMW force feeding their Self Igniting Turbos down our throats etc …… if Lexus sends over the SportCross version 2.0 ….. they’ve got themselves a guaranteed customer at their doorstep .

    Lastly …. sorry I know I promised TB but this needs to be said ;

    Cadillac ATS …. you have met the enemy … and its name is Lexus IS … your defeat is imminent … your demise a matter of time .

  13. ColoradoKid Says:



  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #6,Kit: Yeah,the one thing both oem’s did was to ‘fatten’ up,and very mild (read,very little) refresh.Nissan’s claim to fame for this year is a different frontend spoiler and a small spoiler on the tailgate that they claim improves mpg.I guess they never heard of direct injection,VVT,and some other improvements that MOST EVERYONE else is using.Same same with toyota,no major improvements to anything,except the inflated price considering the lack of modern tech.Yeah buddy,it has to be OUR fault ;}>

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK, you will salivate over this:


    Possible “issues” with composite materials AND lithium batteries, in the same product.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Toyo and Subaru need to offer after market add ons for extra power quickly, otherwise whatever the tuners come up with, will surely void the warranty and then the “improvement” will end up costing you big time should it need repairs

  17. ColoradoKid Says:


    Yeah that thing has become the “Friday the 13th ” of the aeronautical world . The story’s been a ‘ Hot Topic ‘ for the last week or so .

    IMHO ? Methinks just like all the cars today getting recalled left and right the ( bad ) Dreamliner is yet another example of trying to cram way too much technology into far too little space and those nasty laws of Physics ( as it applies to the individual problems ) all catching up with them .

  18. HtG Says:

    16 the first couple K should be spent on driving instruction. No ifs or buts

  19. ColoradoKid Says:

    Lithium batteries

    Heard the latest with the LEAF ?

    A bunch of owners in So Cal have banded together to file a formal complaint against Nissan ….. because …… during the hotter days of summer last year their batteries were losing upwards of 60% of their charge … while the car was off !

    Nissan’s trying to address the complaints but from what the press is saying those owners are extremely PO’d . Honestly though if they for a moment understood the properties and behavior of Li’s especially in excess heat or cold … they should of seen this coming …. as should every car maker using Li’s ;-)

  20. G.A.Branigan Says:

    We’ve discussed,many times on here,and for a number of years,the ‘probable’ problems with the batteries in extreme temps.Ain’t no surprise to most of us here.

  21. Bradley Says:

    The only ATS commercials I have seen, which have young adult males driving the car with no mods on exotic roads. The script and dramatics do not seem smart and sophisticated. Two qualities I would expect from any luxury brand.

  22. T. Bejma Says:

    From a couple of days ago, more news about GM supporting communities since some people think they don’t…

    “In 2012, the GM Foundation awarded more than $1 million through its Plant City Grant program, funding the efforts of nearly 200 nonprofit organizations located in 43 of the cities where our employees live and work. For example, GM’s Arlington Assembly Plant awarded $50,000 to six local charities in 2012, including Tarrant County’s Community Food Bank and the Arlington Independent School District Foundation. Through these two grants and many more like them, the GM Foundation is building stronger communities across the country.”

    “This year, GM is pleased to continue supporting nonprofits in our local communities through the Plant City Grant program. Each facility played a role in selecting the 2013 recipients, which will be announced throughout the year.”

  23. T. Bejma Says:


    That is why GM has always had a separate heating/cooling system for the Volt and I think you meant to say that the lawsuit originated in Arizona, unless there is another one…

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    Then we must conclude that if you live in a place that gets very hot or very cold, don’t bother with an EV.

  25. ColoradoKid Says:


    Separate heating and cooling aint gonna help the problem those LEAF owners ( and every other Li using car owner ) are dealing with …. the batteries are losing their charge when the car is off …. not in use .

    #24 I always knew you was a smart guy there Pedro !

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23, Yep, it looks like the “main” law suit is in AZ. See:


  27. Kit Gerhart Says:



  28. T. Bejma Says:


    I am sure the Volt has the battery heating/cooling system but I also think that Tesla and Fisker have them as well.

  29. T. Bejma Says:


    The heating and cooling systems run EVEN WHEN THE CAR IS OFF.

  30. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I remember one of our discussions on these batteries in extreme temps was followed by some sort of article/AAH show maybe,that talked about ALL THE REAL WORLD TESTING that was being done/had been done.To that I say…”yeah…right”.Now,which world exactly is your ‘real world’?

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The batteries are losing capacity, as happens with batteries in cell phones and laptop computers. If the batteries are permanently losing significant capacity in a year, that is not good.

    From the autoblog article, it seems that Nissan had predicted that, in Phoenix, the batteries would retain 76% or original capacity after 5 years. It sounds like that may have been highly optimistic.

  32. Rumblestrip Says:

    There are several tuners who already have come up with turbo kits for the BRZ and the FR-S including Accelerated Performance in Toledo who has already made 400+ horsepower in a pump gas kit.

  33. ColoradoKid Says:

    OK … one last for the day . In response to #22

    Here’s just what I see or have seen over the last three years ;

    The local Symphony ; Does Cadillac , Lincoln or Chrysler help support it ? Nope … that’d be Mercedes Benz

    The resort town I frequent ; Is JEEP GM or Ford involved ? Nope … that’d be Volvo not only sponsoring the town but supplying vehicles to the Police Fire Department etc

    Art Museum ; Lincoln , Chrysler or Cadillac anywhere to be seen ? Errr … nope again . That’d be BMW

    FIS Skiing events … lets not even guess .. That’d be Audi

    US Bobsled Team ; Does GM follow thru on its NASCAR related relationship with Bodine …. dig its heels in and sponsor the team as well as help CONTINUE the development of the sleds ? Why no they do not … handing the whole kit and kabboodle over to BMW

    etc etc etc ( to quote Yule Brenner )

    Honestly TB . Lets face it . When it comes to making ones presence known to the demographic that most reflects your customer base …

    All of the Big Three stink at it and have been out gunned and out played by the overseas manufactures to the number . BTW Sorry , but one little garden no one’s ever heard of hardly counts

    Now here’s an idea . Instead of GM investing those millions into VaporWare IT … how’s about they invest in some genuine engineering , innovation , as well as marketing expertise rather than the Smoke & Mirrors marketing they’re playing at ?

    Gee . There’s a thought ! A quality product expertly marketed . Hmmn . Sounds like a winner to me .

  34. ColoradoKid Says:


    All they would of have to of done was to ask the computer manufactures about the weaknesses and tendencies of Li batteries and their unsuitability in an Automobile .

    Actually . If my memory serves me correct . Steve Jobs along with as engineers from Apple tried to explain that to Elon Musk as well as Fisker when they came round knocking begging for alms . Of course they like Nissan , GM etc couldn’t be bothered to listen to the folks that had been dealing with Li’s for years now …. could they ! ;-)

  35. HtG Says:

    While it’s not GM, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is notable for supporting for science and its understanding. (brutal shot at other car companies’ past glories reserved)


  36. T. Bejma Says:

    LEAF batteries are air cooled.

    Volt and Tesle are water cooled/heated.

    How the inferior design of the Leaf batteries has turned into a GM bashing session is beyond me.

    I’ve had enough of the comments here today, maybe tomorrow they will make more sense.


  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe GM is supporting those in need, rather than the idle rich, as BMW, Benz, Audi et, al. seem to be supporting. Hmm…

    GM supports food banks. BMW supports the art museum. No, I have nothing against art museums, and visit them occasionally, but those in need, which GM is helping, are probably more in need than resort towns, even Cocoa Beach, Florida.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    See the C7 unveiling at 7:00 pm Sunday at:


  39. C-Tech Says:

    @ #33 Sorry if GM, Ford, and Chrysler don’t sponsor your personal orchestra. There are 1000′s of worthy foundations and charities and these companies are 3 and have X number of dollars to distribute. Given the FACT that these other companies are making money in the U.S. they SHOULD also contribute to those causes and communities in the U.S. I am sure there is some debate within these companies as to whether they should even make any contributions to charity. Some economists believe it is better to increase dividends or shareholder value so the shareholders can make those contributions individually.

  40. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I have to agree.While GM/Ford?Chrysler derive most of their sales from the ‘average’ American,it just seems right that they have a more grassroots approach to who they donate to.

    As for bmw/audi/mercedes contributing to what I call the ‘snotbag’ stuff,they should since that’s the ‘uppercrust’ of America.Those car companies relate to me as much as I can or would,relate to them.That shit bores me to tears as fast as nascar does,lol.

  41. HtG Says:

    Last night on AAH Jason Vines explained how dealers across the country are central charitable givers. We also have the example of the Ford Foundation.

  42. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG: About those dealers,would that be all dealers? I ask this because I remember seeing many ads from the dealerships in the valley in regards to charities,but I don’t recall any of the ‘snotbag’ dealerships having anything other then the occasional regular commercials.I never gave that much thought before.I’ll have to give it less now,lol.

  43. htG Says:

    I don’t think Jason was specific), as the context last night was the power of the dealers association, NADA. Vines said local dealers are ever the first ones to be called upon, and they just write a check.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Ford Foundation is one of the largest such foundations, and does a lot of good work. The Sloan Foundation is smaller, but also supports worthwhile causes. There is also the Sloan-Kettering hospital, one of the premier institutions for cancer research and treatment in the world.

  45. G.A.Branigan Says:

    That is very true.I wish there was a breakdown on that dealers contributes to what,if the contribute at all.Interesting…

  46. htG Says:

    Someone explain to me why GM is doing a poor job of unveiling the C7. The expectation is killing me.

    T minus 2.5

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 They are taking lessons from Apple?

  48. Steve Says:

    BRZ under powered? Wish my MX5 had that much power. Would be nice if Mazda made a more powerful version of the MX5 then wasting time on that rotary engine.

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    If you cover the emblems on these new CUV’s I wonder how many people can tell them apart from a distance? They all look so similar.

  50. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ T.Bejma: I ran across this article this morning.Is there any truth in it?


  51. ColoradoKid Says:

    A little video ‘ joy ‘ to end things on a positive note this week .

    Get yer Supercar Geek on and grab yourself a beverage . Almost 5 minutes of automotive rush here ;


  52. dcars Says:

    I would like to see an economic impact that GM/Ford have on the US. I think it’s very nice that other manufactures build here and donate to various charities,but the part that disturbs me the most is that they try to pass them selves off as American car companies. Beating the dead horse about high american made content is miss-leading. Actual US economic impact from an American owned company is huge.

  53. C-Tech Says:

    @ #41,#42,#43 Many dealers will sponsor local charities, that is buy advertising on their programs, flyers, scoreboards, t-shirts, etc. to provide money for the charity, team, school, etc. You don’t get many dealers just donating straight cash to a charity. They hit up the employees for that. Now a political candidate or party, straight cash…..hmmm.

    There are fewer import dealers, and many are corporately owned. The local General Manager cannot make donations with calling corporate hq and getting approval in triplicate. By the time that is done, the season may be over.

  54. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Which means what C-Tech? The corporate import dealerships don’t contribute to any charities? This I did not know.That kinda sux actually…

  55. HtG Says:

    Would Monsieur care for an evening article about rare earth metals?


    T minus 48h 20m

  56. Danny T Says:

    I just wish the local Chrysler plants would pay property taxes and not get all the tax abatements, sure they provide some jobs and a good size payroll for the community but they should pay taxes like everyone.

  57. bowtietc Says:

    I love how people say that foreign cars that are made in this country help our economy but i say American car companies are the ones that really help our economy, so buy that caddy ats instead of the lexus the profits stay here !!

  58. T. Bejma Says:


    This article and website explain a lot of it dcars…

    “Chrysler, Ford and GM are just three of 16 major global automakers competing in the U.S., but they employ two-thirds of America’s autoworkers, purchase nearly two-thirds of the auto parts manufactured here, produce 55 percent of the autos assembled here and conduct most of America’s auto research and development.”

    “Why do Chrylser, Ford and GM contribute so much more to our economy? Because they conduct the bulk of their engineering, manufacturing, marketing and finance work here. Four out of 10 Chrysler, Ford and GM employees are based in the U.S. At Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai/Kia, BMW, Mercedes and VW (the seven largest foreign automakers), only five in 100 employees are based here. That eight-fold difference translates into millions of U.S. jobs and tens of billions of dollars in parts sales, R&D and capital investment each year.”


  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Interesting, and enlightening.

  60. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Thanks T.B., that surely provides more prospective to the discussion; buy what you want but don’t discount the impact local companies provide our country.

    #46 and 47; I think Chevrolet’s roll-out of the new C7 is being done quite well. (drooling for the final unveil)

  61. C-Tech Says:

    @ #54 It is not that corporate dealerships do not donate to local charities, the local GM does not have as much leeway TO donate to a local charity. A local dealership owner can make a spot decision for which charity (symphony or little league), how much, and how (t-shirts, buy a page in the program, donate a van, etc.). The local GM of a corporate dealership has much narrower limits (buy a page – yes, t-shirts – maybe, donate a van – call corporate hq for approval). a corporate owned dealer has to get the public relations dept. or corp. advertising involved in many decisions which an owner just makes outright.

  62. C-Tech Says:

    Pavlov’s dogs – 1900 Corvette C7′s dogs – 2013

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m surprised more hasn’t been “leaked,” intentionally or otherwise, but what they are doing is working, for getting people interested. I’ll be watching the AW link, or whatever I find that might be better.

  64. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Makes me glad I only buy American.

  65. ColoradoKid Says:

    @ HtG ( and any other classic F1 fan )

    Jackie Stewart’s favorite race cars … with commentary by the man himself ;


    C7 leak – If what Automobile Magazine just let loose is real ( next cover ) Chevy did it again ! Taking something truly great ( C6 ) and evolving it into an OTT , vulgar POS . We’ll see

    G.A. Makes me glad I don’t !

  66. HtG Says:

    64 Everybody! at ALD is an F1 fan! So here’s an extended interview with Mika Hakkinen…


  67. HtG Says:

    Oh yeah, T minus 32

  68. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Well,that is too bad the c7 MIGHT be a pos.It’s a car and doesn’t hold much for me one way or the other.

  69. T. Bejma Says:

    Lot of people out on the enthusiast sites are liking the looks of the C7…

  70. Chuck Grenci Says:

    While I’m certainly eager to see what it looks like I’ll also be interested in what lies under the skin. I’m pretty sure that Chevrolet will be bringing a lot to the party; since the C5, nether a sub-par car issued, in my opinion. Anticipating nirvana for this Vette enthusiast.

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Taking something truly great ( C6 ) and evolving it into an OTT , vulgar POS . We’ll see”

    Some people are always so positive. Yes, we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.

  72. HtG Says:

    I’ll predict right now that older folks won’t like it and will squeal about it. The C7 is aimed at younger people. Read it in Bloomberg straight from Ed Wellburn

  73. pedro fernandez Says:

    Throughout its history, Corvette styling changes have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary and it has worked well, why mess with a good thing?

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I thought the styling of the C5 and C6 was too generic, but they certainly looked ok, and performed very well, even in base form.

    For appearance, C1′s are still may favorite. I’m probably in a minority, but I was never that crazy about C2′s, when they were new, or now. Most ‘Vette enthusiasts seem to love them.

  75. C-Tech Says:

    @ #72 Because as an engineer at GM, if you can change what works and get away with it, just do it.

  76. HtG Says:

    73 from the magazine cover Jalopnik showed this morning, Kit, it seems that the original grill opening was updated for C7.

  77. Kit Gerhart Says:

    75, Sounds interesting.

  78. T. Bejma Says:


    Now I’ve got it. Symphony, museums, resort towns, doesn’t like change, negative all the time, doesn’t like the C7…

    CK is an Grumpy Old Dude… ;-)

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    71, Yeah, the “baby boomers” my age have generally bought their last Corvettes, so the C7 needs to appeal to younger motorheads with money. If they make it look a little like the Italian exotics, and perform as well for 1/3 the price, that might be a winning formula.

  80. Drew Says:

    Cadillac ATS’s interior stands for: Atrociously Small Interior.

  81. Kit Gerhart Says:

    79, I drove an ATS and found found it quite comfortable. I wasn’t in the back seat, though.

  82. cwolf Says:

    Rear seat leg room in the ATS is lacking for taller people, yet is only a minor negative in the scope of things. How many times have you seen rear seat passengers in any similar up-scale competitors?; I bet not many! The intent of these cars are not designed around family use.

  83. HtG Says:

    I sat in the rear of ATS, as I do in most cars. My first impression was how comfortable the seating position was and how similar to the front seats’. Headroom was impressive since I have a long torso. Leg room was tight only because I had pushed the front passenger seat all the way back. It’s some great packaging, if you ask me.

  84. pedro fernandez Says:

    The ATS has 2 inches less leg room than the 3 series, looked at Edmund’s and the ’13 Malibu also has 2 inches less rear leg room than all its competitors, did the GM brass decide to give buyers 2 less inches of rear leg room across their model line-up? At a time when Americans are getting fatter, I find it inexcusable why GM could not at least provide the same rear leg room as the rest of the field

  85. HtG Says:

    didn’t the Malibu get wider for these fatter americans of which you speak?

  86. pedro fernandez Says:

    Pleasingly plump people also need more leg room, not just wide seats.

  87. HtG Says:

    try sitting in ATS,Pedro. The way the seats sprawl you out might mitigate the absolut leg room. Also, the 3 series has gotten quite big, while ATS is designed to be very turny.

  88. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Malibu has a little less rear leg room than most of the competition, but an inch more rear head room than Accord, Sonata, and Altima, according to Consumer Reports charts.

    It may be kind of “old news,” but Accord is, again, CR’s favorite generic front-drive sedan.

  89. pedro fernandez Says:

    Can you blame them Kit? it has been the most consistently reliable, well built car in the segment for decades now, great resale value and durability as well. BTW the thing most noticeable for rear seat passengers is leg room, shoulder and head room, not so much, if your knees touch the front seat-back you will notice.

  90. HtG Says:

    I was surprised that the Malibu had such limited rear legroom for a car in its segment. That was my first thought when I sat in it.

  91. Kit Gerhart Says:

    88 No, I’m not surprised. I haven’t driven a recent Accord, but I took a look at the new one at a dealer, and, to me, the interior is very attractive, which was not the case with the previous one. They may have learned a lesson in “what not to do” with the 2012 Civic, and taken it to heart.

  92. ColoradoKid Says:

    C7 ?

    If this is really it ….. I am gutted !


    Cause if this is the real deal then Chevy in their ultimate wisdom has taken a car ( C6 ) that I’d be proud to show up anywhere in and ( cough hack cough ) evolved it into at best a Viper/Reventon/F12/Camaro PhotoShop pastiche … and at worst a vulgar and hideous characterization of what a Corvette should be .

    Here’s hoping this [ preview ] is yet another Internet bit of vaporware . But somehow I’m doubting it . Chevy/GM screwing up something good completely and utterly has become SNAFU with the General of late …. so why not the Vette as well ?

  93. ColoradoKid Says:

    #91 BWTM ….. meant to add I wouldn’t show up in the C7 assuming this is it ……. anywhere ! ;-)

  94. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC will have a live reveal of the C7 on their website tonight at 7pm. This is like the Lebron James announcement a couple of years ago.

  95. pedro fernandez Says:

    Reveal over, seems to me they are paying homage to the Aztek with this Frankenwheelie.

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ll wait until I see it “in person” to form my opinions on the new ‘Vette. I really didn’t like the new MKZ in pictures, but when I actually saw one, it looked ok. The same could be the case with the C7.

  97. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The big reveal is over…..what a snooze fest.The C7 is a convoluted mix of shape.Caddy like sharp lines and an attempt at some nice curves.Maybe it will appeal to the kids.The C6 looks much better to this ol phart….

  98. HtG Says:

    love it

  99. HtG Says:

    50% stiffer chassis, 500% stiffer steering mechanism, carbon hood and roof

    what a beast

  100. HtG Says:

    did you see how emotional Mark Reuss got?

    did better than me

  101. ColoradoKid Says:


    A counterpoint to HtG’s enthusiasm ;

    I thought the digital previews were hideous .

    The reality ….. is much much worse .

    Its like I’ve entered the Twilight Zone and that beautiful …but slightly bad around the edges Girl Next Door has been turned into Kim Kardashian …… Botox …. Abysmal Facelift …. _____ Job …. Too Much Makeup and all ….. only its a PhotoShop job of the worst ( Lady Gaga KK etc ) imaginable all rolled up into one

    The bets from me ? All of GM’s performance claims will be proven to be Hyperbole at best ….. the C7 will be a laughing stock in the eyes of the World …. and once the Early Adapters have purchased theirs …… Sales will tumble into the Abyss

    As to TB and his no doubt rebuttal ….. I’ll simply ask this

    Does GM Have ONE solitary single ORIGINAL Thinker in its entire midst ?

    If the C7′s design ( cough ) gives any clue ……. Not a one !

    ( hmmn … since when did GM takes its design strategies from H/K I wonder )

    FYI HtG . Yeah I got emotional alright . Emotionally and Physically Sick that is …..

  102. ColoradoKid Says:


    + 1 baby ….. with about a hundred more to go with it ! ;-)

  103. ColoradoKid Says:

    C7 design summed up ;

    Take the very worst angles of the Camaro

    Cheaply tack on some Lamborghini Reventon cues …

    ……and a couple of Aston Zero 77 angles

    Try pathetically to capture the aggressiveness of the Ferrari F12

    Toss in a dash of that pretentious Cadillac ‘ Stealth Fighter ‘ garbage

    Shove it all in a high speed blender and hope for the best ….. even after the god awful mess that it is spills out

    To say I hate it is being far too kind

    NAIAS ….. won’t be wasting my time commenting on the rest of it either ….. the only possible saving grace being IF Lexus releases a SportCross version of the Is .

    See y’all in a week . After tonight I don’t think I can take much more from this years show

  104. C-Tech Says:

    New Corvette, very polarizing design, may be a good thing, better than boring. I like the front end, hate the rear end (I don’t like the new Camaro styling either) even if they say its not influenced by the Camaro (yeah, right). If I had a few millions to spare I’d be creating a new rear fascia with proper ROUND taillamps and make a small fortune.

    @ #102 ImAKidding you crack me up! When the new C7 passes your boss’s Porshe and get better mileage than the BMW you drool over while delivering pizzas I’ll be LMAO with the rest of them.

  105. G.A.Branigan Says:

    IMHO,GM’s engines are as a rule,built pretty solid and run good.Their performance engines included.So I see maybe some teething pains with the mechanicals,and some definite gremlins in the sophisticated electronics that would be sorted out in a short while.The mix of styling cues,too me,indicates to me that there was no clear direction.That mix of styles followed into the interior too,ie:that hideous passenger side grab rail (?) on the console.Just what were they thinking? Definitely a ‘polarizing’ design ;}>

  106. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I think if they didn’t debut with the black wheels and black accents, the appearance would have been better (less Vadar’ish) so I will delay making any final decisions on styling. But that same styling is also performance oriented so I see this as a good thing. All other ‘mechanicals’ considered, I think the rest of the car could be a home-run.

    And lamenting (all the way back to my childhood), the price (Autoweek projected at around 52k), again my Corvette enthusiasm will be constrained to just looking at them (even though, bang for the buck in the sports car world remains top of the heap).

  107. C-Tech Says:

    @ #105 Agree with you. I guess the convertible will be even more, $56K?

  108. T. Bejma Says:

    No surprise, ATS won North American Car of the Year. Ram 1500 wins truck.

    Looks like the ALD crew (and commentors) know how to pick ‘em… ;-)

  109. RonE Says:

    I’m excited about the new Vette. I’m looking forward to seeing it and reading the performance reports.

  110. cwolf Says:


    No surprise at all,TB! Ram and GM are rightfully deserving for this years award.

  111. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I agree on the rear facia. The first change they make for the second model year will probably be to round, or maybe oval tail lights.

  112. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Other than that, Mr. Martin, how do you like the C7? :-)

  113. cwolf Says:

    I’m not sure round tail lights would be fitting for the design of the back end, but think GM could have been a bit more creative than using a Camero looking tail light. They should have been something unmistakably “Stingray.” The rake of the roof looks stollen from a Celica. Maybe shortening the windshield and extending the front of the roof would help. Or,better yet, similate an older Vette roof and add a split window.

  114. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, maybe round wouldn’t go with the design, but what they have is way too Camaroish.

    The C2 Stingray had round tail lights, though.