Subaru Unveils 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid
Subaru unveiled the new 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid earlier this month at the New York International Auto Show. The Crosstrek hybrid will be the first alternative fuel vehicle debuted by Subaru, a company specializing in all-wheel drive vehicles focused on appealing to the outdoorsy, camping set.
The Crosstrek is a modified version of Subaru’s popular Impreza. The hybrid model will reportedly offer modestly improved gas mileage over the standard model. The hybrid will be equipped with stop-start technology which will shut down the engine at red lights. The electric engine will start the car before the gas engine kicks in once the car gets moving. The Crosstrek hybrid will feature a 2-liter engine with 148 horsepower and all-wheel drive. The hybrid version will weigh about 300 pounds more than the gas version.
The hybrid version will reportedly get 34 mpg on the highway, which is only one mpg better than the gas-powered Crosstrek. Subaru has managed to take hybrid technology off-road, but the benefits are limited as mpg improvements are minimal. The technology advancement should lead to additional Subaru models offered as hybrids, which increasing improvements in fuel efficiency. Subaru has not announced pricing for the 2014 Crosstrek hybrid but the car should be available at dealerships this fall.
Subaru also debuted a new high-powered WRX concept car in New York. The WRX concept featured a turbo-charged engine and air cooler, but is sleeker and wider than the original version. The Impreza WRX is currently offered in five models starting with the base model (MSRP $25,795) and going up to the WRZ STI Limited (MSRP $37,645).
If you are interested in learning more about new offerings from Subaru contact the sales team at Tindol Subaru near Charlotte to have all of your questions addressed.Pin It Tweet
AL East Bias - 4/29/13 Edition
In my bi-weekly column for IhateJJRedick.com I wrote about the AL East and its preponderance of punch and judy shortstops. Also, Francisco Cervelli broke his hand over the weekend thus fulfilling my prediction for a decline in his performance.
The American League East is suddenly over run with weak hitting, punchless shortstops. Injuries to Jose Reyes and Derek Jeter, Boston’s ongoing shortstop quagmire, and declines from JJ Hardy and Yunel Escobar have left the AL East with a growing collection of unproductive shortstops. Jeter isn’t expected to return to the Yankees lineup for another couple of months. His absence has left Joe Girardi with the daily task of choosing between Eduardo Nunez (.467 OPS) and Jayson Nix(.612 OPS). Their names might as well be Punch and Judy. Jose Reyes’ severe ankle sprain has left the underwhelming Blue Jays with Maicer Izturis and Munenori Kawasaki and his career .505 OPS at short. JJ Hardy has been in a slump that’s now spanned two seasons for the Orioles. Hardy has been responsible for more cans of corn than Del Monte so far this spring. The Rays signed Jays’ castoff Yunel Escobar to bolster their production at shortstop but Escobar has rewarded Tampa’s $5 million investment with four runs scored and a .174 batting average in 2013. The Red Sox recently demoted Jose Iglesias to make room for free agent acquisition Stephen Drew. In 42 at bats for theBoSox Drew has just five hits and 15 strikeouts.Pin It Tweet
Lincoln Banks on Revamped MKZ
Lincoln attempted to shake off decades of association with over-sized luxury vehicles like the Continental and Town Car when it rolled out the MKZ last fall. The MKZ marked Lincoln’s first foray into the compact car segment. Lincoln hoped that the MKZ would help remake a historically stodgy image. The first incarnation unfortunately fell short of expectations due to production issues. Lincoln, and its corporate owner Ford, hope that those problems are forever in the rear view mirror.
Production delays left thousands of MKZs unfinished and undeliverable. Customers felt the brunt of the problems as some had to wait months for their new vehicles. Ford has resolved the production issues and happily reports that approximately 10,000 2013 MKZs are now in showrooms.
The automaker, and dealers, have spent millions on rebranding Lincoln with the MKZ as the signature piece. Ford hopes to position Lincoln as a premium luxury brand alongside the likes of Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Ford is hoping that the MKZ will help Lincoln attract image conscious buyers. The sleek and stylish MKZ could also give Ford and Lincoln a foothold in the rapidly expanding Chinese auto market.
The MKZ is offered in a hybrid model in an attempt to draw in environmentally conscious consumers. The MKZ hybrid scored an impressive 45 MPG rating from the EPA. The standard combustible engine MKZ is rated 22 MPG City and 33 MPG for highway driving. The hybrid version has been widely popular in New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles with dealers having trouble keeping them in stock. The base model MKZ and hybrid both have a MSRP of $35,925.
If you’re interested in test driving the MKZ or MKZ hybrid, or one of Lincoln’s more traditional models, head over to Reedman Toll Lincoln of East Penn near Philadelphia.Pin It Tweet
EPA Rates Chevy Spark EV at 119 MPG
The 2014 Chevy Spark EV received a much deserved boost from the Environmental Protection Agency when it was rated at the equivalent of 119 miles per gallon. Chevrolet will roll out the electric powered Spark in California and Oregon over the summer. The 119 MPG, combined between city and highway driving, makes the Spark the most efficient car available for public purchase according to GM.
The Spark EV will come equipped with 10 airbags and an eight year/100,000 mile warranty on the battery. Sales of the Spark EV could be hampered by the relatively low gasoline prices. If pump prices creep upward as summer approaches the Spark EV could represent a viable alternative to cost conscious buyers. At this point Chevy has not revealed any plans to make the Spark EV available in states other than Oregon and California. Chevy has not announced a MSRP for the Spark but FoxNews.com recently speculated that it will be listed for less than $32,500. As an alternative fuel vehicle the Spark EV will be eligible for a $7500 federal tax credit.
The Spark EV can travel up to 82 miles on a single charge of its battery which compares favorably to the Fiat 500e range of 87 miles per charge. The Chevy Volt can only travel 38 miles per charge due to its smaller battery and gas-powered generator. The hybrid Volt has an MSRP of $31,645.
The gas-powered version of the Spark mini-car has an MSRP of $12,245 which is a lower price point than its competitors in the ultra-compact market. The Fiat 500 Pop has a starting price of $15,500 and the Scion iQ starts at $15,265. The Spark is rated for 38 MPG on the highway. The Spark is equipped with 10 airbags just like the Spark EV.
If you’re in the market for a more fuel efficient vehicle, or simply interest in a Chevy, check out the specials at JBA Chevy outside of Baltimore.Pin It Tweet
New York City Adds Nissan Leaf to Taxi Fleet
The New York City Taxi fleet just got a little bit greener. Six Nissan Leaf electric Taxis are hitting the streets of NYC as the city moves towards a more environmentally friendly fleet. New York currently has 13,237 medallion taxicabs. The city has a stated goal of making one-third of those medallion taxis electric by the year 2020.
According to a recent FoxNews.com article the use of electric taxis could reduce gas emissions by 90,000 tons annually. The use of electric vehicles will also cut down on the maintenance costs of the huge taxi fleet. Electric vehicles have no costly belts that need to be periodically repaired and don’t require oil changes.
The Nissan NV200 minivan has already been adopted by New York City as a new taxi model and will hit the streets in the Fall of 2013. The NV200 is a commercial passenger van with a starting MSRP of $31,990.
The Nissan Leaf has been roundly praised by owners for its performance and efficiency. The Leaf boasts a staggering 130 City/102 Highway MPG. The Leaf has an MSRP of $28,800 but is eligible for a Federal refund as an alternative fuel vehicle. The refund lowers the initial cost of the base model Leaf to $21,300. The Leaf can go up to 75 miles on a single charge and requires no gasoline unless you travel beyond the single charge range.
If you’d like to learn more about the Nissan Leaf, or the NV line of commercial vehicles, consider a trip to Team Nissan in NH for some assistance from their expert sales staff.Pin It Tweet
Buick Turns Heads with Riviera
Buick garnered some much needed attention at the Shanghai Auto Show last week when they unveiled the new-look Riviera. The concept car takes the name of Buick’s luxury coupe that was discontinued in 1999. It’s no coincidence that Buick chose to unveil the revamped in Shanghai. Buick has enjoyed wild success in China and the future presents incredible growth opportunities.
The new Riviera concept car was designed as a joint effort between China GM and GM’s Pan Asia Technical Automotive center. The car features Buick’s new hybrid technology which the automaker is calling W-PHEV. You could call it a hybrid of a hybrid in that it offers both wired and wireless charging options. The vehicle has a sensory recharge panel on the underside which enables wireless charging.
The Riviera concept also features numerous fuel-saving advancements such as grille shutters and diffusers, and wheels that can open and close to battle wind resistance. The fuel-efficiency features are managed by a computer-controlled aerodynamics package.
The Riviera is also equipped with several enhanced safety features including ten cameras and 18 sensors built into the exterior to provide the driver with a visual rendering of the car’s surroundings. The vehicle is equipped with 4G LTE technology that allows for real-time traffic updates and road condition information.
Buick hasn’t released any information regarding the Riviera’s return to showrooms but they did renew the trademark name Riviera last year. If you’d like to learn more about the Riviera, or other popular Buick vehicles, contact the excellent sales staff at Pitre Buick GMC in Albuquerque, NM.Pin It Tweet
Rolando McClain is the Biggest Idiot
What should the Baltimore Ravens do with this dope?
The Baltimore Ravens signed linebacker Rolando McClain, formerly of the Oakland Raiders, to a one-year contract for $700,000 earlier this month. McClain had been suspended, and eventually released, by the Oakland Raiders (bastions of etiquette) for his numerous off-field transgressions and lack of on-field productivity. The Ravens were giving McClain a no-risk attempt to make good on his immense physical gifts. McClain returned the favor by getting his dumb ass arrested over the weekend after an altercation with police in his hometown of Decatur, Alabama.
In high school I developed a theory I call “The Bigger Idiot Theory” that’s served me well in a variety of situations over the past two decades. It simply states that no matter the professional, academic, athletic, or social situation that you find yourself in, there will always be someone there more ill-equipped and out of place than you—the bigger idiot. When I started at a private high school I quickly discovered that my new classmates were essentially the same numbskulls I’d just attended middle school with, only now they had different names and wore navy blazers. The same thing happened when I went to college. After about two days of feeling nervous, I realized that my new classmates were just older versions of the same idiots I had graduated from high school with just a few months earlier.Pin It Tweet