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New York – 2014 Bentley Flying Spur

The 1% will be happy to know they now have more choices.

With a sticker that starts at $200,500 and climbs rapidly from there, the newest Bentley is not going to be on a lot of grocery-getter lists. It’s huge and its expensive. It is the Number 2 car in the Bentley lineup with the Mulsanne sedan at Number 1, and the Continental GT Coupe at Number 3.

If you go to the New York Auto Show, you will see one in purple. Well, not purple.

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First Impressions of the 2013 New York Auto Show

Where is the energy?

The show just seems subdued this year. I’ve been coming to this show for a long, long time, and it seems quieter, with less excitement in the hallways and on the show stands. There is plenty of nice iron everywhere (always is at the New York Show), as usual, and lots of ogling of same, but its all low-key and muted.

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New York: 2014 Jeep Cherokee
Mar27

New York: 2014 Jeep Cherokee

“Evolve, or die.”  –Eckhart Tolle

With the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, it appears that, despite bringing back the name of the Jeep that everyone loved, Jeep has finally given up on trying to recreate the mojo of the 1984-2001 XJ Jeep Cherokee.  God knows they tried; the wrapped-in-an-American flag Liberty of 2001 tried, the boxy Liberty of 2008 tried harder, the 2006-2010 Commander tried, and even the car-based Patriot tried.  But none of these vehicles captured the classic, Dick Teague-styled looks of the XJ Cherokee.

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New York: 2014 Kia Soul
Mar27

New York: 2014 Kia Soul

Kia created the original Soul during a different time in the company’s evolution.  It was before they hired Peter Schreyer to head their design function, and therefore when Kia was a design also-ran.  The original Soul, while cute and funky, was really little more thank Kia’s take on the Honda Element, first-generation Scion xB, and Nissan Cube.  A funny thing happened, though:  the Soul is Kia’s third-best seller, and completely destroyed the xB and Element in sales for 2012.  So, now that it’s time to refresh the Soul, Kia had to tread carefully.  Meet the 2014 Soul, which looks a lot like the 2013 model.

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New York: 2014 Toyota Highlander
Mar27

New York: 2014 Toyota Highlander

Once upon a time, Toyota sold station wagons.  There was one called the Camry wagon, which was based on the Camry sedan.  Then, as buyer ditched wagones en masse, Toyota started offering a tall wagon-ish vehicle called the Highlander.  Sharing its platform with the Lexus RX, the original Highlander looked very much like the old Camry wagon, only taller.  Just look at the shape of the D-pillar compared to the old Camry Wagon’s.  But now crossovers proliferate across the land, and many of the Highlander’s competitors are new or refreshed, so it’s time for Toyota to up its game.  Meet the 2014 Highlander.

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New York: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, Golf TDI, and GTI
Mar27

New York: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, Golf TDI, and GTI

Today in New York, Volkswagen hosted the North American debut of the seventh-generation Golf lineup.  We’ve seen photos of these cars online before, but it’s nice to see them in the metal.  Built on VW’s new modular MQB platform – which I firmly believe is VW’s not-so-secret weapon for its designs on dominating auto industry profits, the new cars are larger but lighter than the models they replace.

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New York – 2013 Audi A3 Sedan Reveal

The folks at Audi held a North American “reveal” of the new A3 sedan last night before the start of the New York Auto Show this morning, and we were invited to see just what the Audi folks have going for their newest interpretation of the A3 model line.

First, let me just tip my hat and note that Audi does a great job coordinating these press events, and their treatment of scruffy auto journalists is top-notch. They never load up the attendance list so that you can’t get to any of the executives, and, in fact, everyone is quite accessible to the aforementioned scruffy auto writers.

Let’s move on.

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New York: 2014 Cadillac CTS
Mar27

New York: 2014 Cadillac CTS

Back in 2003, the Cadillac CTS represented a number of firsts for GM’s luxury brand. The first mainstream car created in Cadillac’s Art and Science design language. The first car on Cadillac’s bespoke rear wheel drive Sigma platform. The first Cadillac to offer a manual transmission since the Cavalier-based Cimarron. The second-generation CTS, launched for the 2008 model year (and of which yours truly is an owner) raised the bar in terms of design, performance, and interior materials. However, after six model years on the market with very few changes, the second-generation CTS has gotten a little stale. Time to shake things up. Meet the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS.

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