AD #1735 – FCA Backs Off Alfa Plans, A Convertible Optima?, More Takata Problems For Honda

November 2nd, 2015 at 11:51am

Runtime: 6:56

- Honda Upgrades CR-Z Despite Low Sales
- More Takata Problems For Honda
- A Convertible Kia Optima? Really?
- New App Puts You In The Cockpit
- FCA Backs Off Alfa Plans
- Why Military Is Turning To Auto Industry

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38 Comments to “AD #1735 – FCA Backs Off Alfa Plans, A Convertible Optima?, More Takata Problems For Honda”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Damn,that CRZ has an ant eater nose.I know they can make it uglier,but thankfully my mind won’t allow me to see that,lol.

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The kia convertible,I think it would do well.Nice styling and affordable.I’ll bet they do it.

  3. David Sprowl Says:

    A Drop Top Kia? Heck yea! But then again I’m a big Drop Top fan.

  4. dcars Says:

    Maybe Sergio is hoarding his cash for his GM purchase plans. Time is running out for his bid, if he’s going thru with it, he has to do it now. A Fiat/GM merger is a bad idea for the US auto industry.

  5. HtG Says:

    I won’t say what I think the CR-Z looks like. But it does look like it would fit snug.


    15 years ago I read a book by a retired Air Force general who argued the military should be buying tech from ‘off the shelf’ civilian companies, because advances were happening so fast. Looks like Rausch is feeling it.

  6. HtG Says:


    I don’t expect to see Sergio M. fire the exec who misdirected all that capital to Alfa Romeo.

  7. Mike N Says:

    Sergio is going to destroy Chrysler/Dodge before he is through. WHY did I buy that Dart?

  8. Brett Says:

    Convertible Optima, no. Convertible Genesis coupe, yes!

  9. HtG Says:

    NOT from the KIA press release

    “The suicide doors of the A1A Optima swing open on rear-mounted hinges, adding a touch of whimsy and fun….”

    This car looks like Seoul had to be persuaded by the US execs.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The CR-Z needs a lot more than a styling refresh. I learned that about 5 years ago when I checked out and test drove one before buying my Prius.

    For a start, the CR-Z needs a powertrain transplant. The two seater CR-Z is only a little quicker, but much thirstier than a Prius, a roomy, 5 passenger hatchback. Also, the CR-Z has lots of cabin noise, by today’s standards. Also, as I remember, the A/C runs off the ICE, so shuts off when the car is stopped, and engine shuts off. Most hybrids use electric A/C that runs off of the big battery.

    Since Honda is not very good with hybrids, they should make the CR-Z into an Si, a sporty, quick, and relatively affordable two seater. That would be a fun car. The current CR-Z is, in a word, underwhelming.

  11. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Seems some of the Japanese car designs (of late) have headed off to ‘avant-garde’ land. Well, when too many head down that street (pun intended), :) all you get in my opinion, is goofy (looking). Handsome doesn’t have to be breathtakingly different. After all, not everyone wants their car to say look at me because I’m different; I would want my vehicle to say, look at me, I’ve got it right.

  12. aliisdad Says:

    No question here as to why the CR-Z might be a little slow selling!!!! UGGGGLLLLYYY!!!!

  13. Lisk Says:

    If Kia goes ahead with the Optima convertible, I expect a runaway success just like the Murano convertible and the soon to be introduced then discontinued Evoque.

  14. Rob Says:

    Kia; Sadly the SEMA cars are mostly pipe dreams. I like the drop top suicide doors but my guess is crash requirements will prevent this from ever reaching production.

    CRZ Uh I was always told best to not say anything at all.

  15. MJB Says:

    When did Toucan Sam start designing cars?

  16. T. Bejma Says:

    2015 Colorado smokes the 2016 Tacoma…×4-comparison-test

  17. HtG Says:


    The pistol is in the drawer, Marshall Rommel.

  18. G.A.Branigan Says:

    And that was with the 3.6 LFX….good job T.

  19. G.A.Branigan Says:


    take the capsule,ss

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    I suggest you stare at a 1st gen Lexus LS or Acura Legend to realize just how ugly some of these new Japanese designs are now!

  21. Anthony Thomas (@djfourmoney) Says:

    The CR-Z should be made into a performance car and forget trying to turn it into an affordable and sporty 2 seat hybrid.

    Who on earth considered a hybrid sporty without a serious boost in power? Owners shouldn’t have to buy the car and then pay another $5-6K for a supercharger kit to boost the car’s performance.

    The aftermarket is treating Honda owners like BMW owners, you guys pay way too much for aftermarket parts…

    Optima Convertible? They can build it if they want, the first 10,000 or so would be sold and then nobody else would be interested in it.

    Alfa Romeo should be delayed to give the other divisions the updates and models they need; agreed John.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 A greenish matte finish Veloster has been in my condo parking lot lately, and I kind of like it, for a sort of weirdo car. It is a turbo/manual.

    As far as the CR-Z, I was always indifferent about it, appearance-wise, but much more negative about the car overall, because it doesn’t work very well. It seems that everyone else posting here also thinks it is ugly. Anyway, it’s no wonder it doesn’t sell well. Ugly, along with sub-par performance is not a good combination.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    Honda just can’t seem to get hybrid “right”. They need to take some cues from Toyota.

  24. Drew Says:

    I fondly remember the 1983 Honda CRX. It was a 2-seater, based on the Civic. The 2nd generation was a great evolutionary improvement on the 1st gen’s style. I view this recent CRZ to be the spiritual successor to the CRX, except it is neither economical or fun to drive.

    So Kit, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    In terms of the Optima convertible, a convertible with access rear doors is like hairspray for Michael Jordan. Convertibles are NOT for rear seat occupants. The wind swirling around their head will result in complaints and no future back seat riders regardless of the ease of access. I own both a Miata and a 1964 Thunderbird convertible. The Bird is a novelty, but I don’t take rear seat riders out of the subdivision unless I want to pay for the rear occupants’ hair dresser bills.

  25. Brett Says:

    I believe the term is “surface excitement” in Japan. A lot of the newer cars are sporting too much “surface excitement” for my tastes.

  26. merv Says:

    that honda cr-z is nasty,no wonder it doesn’t sell. bring back the crx

  27. HtG Says:

    25 I think it’s all they’ve got left. Crash regs and efficiency needs are forcing cars to look more and more the same. Surface tension and details are not controlled. (of course, everything has to look good in ‘dealer gray’)

  28. HtG Says:


    So vw wants EPA to believe the company didn’t know about these extra cheats. Because their engineers can’t test their own cars?

    It’s astonishing management has done this to the workers. Maybe the explanation is they know they’re dead meat, so they’ve been gutting it out.

    Like I said before, Holy Shit.

  29. cwolf Says:

    I doubt there has ever been a car with suicide door that didn’t have a problem with wind noise.
    The VW diesel mess also includes up to 10,000 6 cylinders, mostly Audi’s. The company has already cried “Foul”, but if it’s not a “fooling” module then what else would one call it when it, too, quacks and looks like the same duck they denied that existed in the first place… that is, until they got caught?

  30. HtG Says:

    Didn’t EPA say the device switches off ‘one second’ after the test ends? That’s an interesting detail for them to have stated. And vw is saying any device didn’t operate in a ‘forbidden manner.’

  31. HtG Says:

    Go read the Automotive News piece. It’s got details of how the 3.0 engines worked in EPA testing.

  32. HtG Says:

  33. Drew Says:

    HtG – I wonder if VW used information from their stability control sensors to cheat diesel emissions. The sensors can identify if the vehicle is on a single axle dyno (e.g., no wheel rotation on the non-driven wheels) then initiate the defeat mode. If so, I wonder what happens on AWD vehicles or on dynos that have both axles on rollers.

    Does anyone know if the EPA uses dynos with two axle rollers?

    “Cheaters never prosper!”

  34. Joe Says:

    So, does Sergio broom out Harald Wester for the failing Alfa gambit, th way he did to Laura Soave when she couldn’t meet his over optimistic plans for Fiat here in NA.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 Hmmm. I wonder if they are also cheating on the smaller diesels, that make up the bulk of the volume in Europe.

  36. cwolf Says:

    With out little doubt the deceit was intentional, but the boldness just blow me away! Despite John’s caution towards a too drastic penalty, I now wonder if any size penalty is too great unless VW sacrifices a whole lot more big shots who would normally find an escape goat for.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If they are cheating on the 1.6 liter and smaller diesels in Europe, and the competitors have not, VW have probably “stolen” tens, or hundreds of thousands of sales from PSA, Opel, Ford, Renault, Fiat, and any other mass market car companies. The last I checked, probably a couple years ago, VW seemed to have “best in class” fuel economy in several cases with their diesels sold in Europe.

  38. Tony Gray Says:

    OK how the heck does and exploding airbag get into a 2016 vehicle???

    Makes one wonder…