Toyota seems to maybe be on the verge of ending their tasteless vow of mediocrity. There is much talk about the possibility of a new Supra that is brewing, some say it will be a hybrid, others say it will be a supercar like the Nissan GTR, and some even would say both. Toyota will be on thin ice with this project though, they have vastly disappointed enthusiasts all over the world with their modern “beige” attitude, and the quality of their cars has greatly suffered for it. A new Supra would grant them the chance to hop back in the ring with the big boys, and hopefully get their engineering back on track because it is performance and racing programs that drive technological progress over all else. Toyota must get it right, let’s see what that would mean. Read the rest of this entry »
Mercedes-Benz, long a leader in making new segments and forcing others to follow its lead, has changed course with one of upcoming model. Very recently, Mercedes-Benz North America announced the expanstion of one particular USA plant, for the production of the upcoming MLC, which has already been rumored to be a competitor to the already-on-sale BMW X6, a car that hasn’t exactly set the automotive world on fire. Read the rest of this entry »
Hey look, a Passat diesel. Good idea. The diesel Jetta has been a huge success here in America—dealers can’t seem to hold onto them for long at all (This might explain the high sales of the Jetta despite its unfavorable reviews). The Passat diesel will launch this engine even further into the mainstream, as those who look at hybrids will finally have an alternative to carting an enormous battery in the trunk. Kudos, VW. Keep up the good work. The fact that it will have the DCT transmission as standard will make believers out of those who aren’t (I’m looking at you, Mr. Hybrid Driver). That said, when I need a daily driver, this car looks like a mighty good idea. Plenty of room, no hybrid battery to make me worry about extra costs, and diesel gas mileage? Great plan.
It looks excellent as well. Unlike a lot of other midsize sedans on the market, it doesn’t call negative attention to itself (Camry, pop that blister. Avenger, that nosejob was a failure). It’s understated and easy on the eyes, but still carries a look of discernment and good taste; this is exactly what Volkswagen needs for the Passat. Some will most definitely scoff at the idea of Volkswagen trying to compete in the mainstream in this segment, but they’re misplacing their criticism. Those who bought the old one for its differences will still feel at home here. I sat in one in Philly at the auto show last winter, and the car didn’t feel cheap (despite my fears that this would suffer the fate of the Jetta). My only gripe? It’s still not on sale just yet. With the currently hot-selling Jetta, attractive new Passat, upcoming Golf R, and the intriguing new Beetle on the way, Volkswagen is once again a large blip on my radar screen.
Images courtesy of Motortrend.com. See their full road test and gallery here: