This week’s posts covered the life cycle of cars from the Lexus LF-CC concept scheduled to debut at the Paris Motor Show at month’s end to General Motors’ recall of Chevy, Pontiac, and Saturn vehicles. In between, Ford unleashes its all-new 2013 Fusion hybrid sedan onto the (mostly) unsuspecting car journalists while the upcoming 2014 Chevy Corvette C7 continues to be unveiled one spyshot at a time. Oh, and a fully loaded 2013 Buick Encore cost less than $30,000.
Monday, September 17
Toyota teased the autosphere by revealing its latest concept, the Lexus LF-CC, weeks ahead of its official debate at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. A mid-sized coupe, the Lexus LF-CC is most likely the next iteration of the Lexus IS sedan. Details are scarce: as can be seen from the image, the LF-CC sports Lexus’ massive “spindle” grille and will be powered by an all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain developed by Toyota. The new IS can’t come too soon. With stiff competition from the usual suspects like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, plus the new Cadillac ATS, the aging Lexus IS needs a serious boost to keep up.
Tuesday, September 18
Ford says its 2013 Fusion Hybrid is America’s most efficient sedan. This latest version of the popular sedan gets an EPA-estimated 47 mpg in highway, city, and combined driving. This tops the official rating of the Toyota Camry Hybrid by 40/38 city/highway, and the Volkswagen Passat TDI. In fact, only dedicated hybrids like the Prius (at 51/48) gets more; the Fusion even ekes out more miles from each gallon of gas than the Honda Insight. Time will tell how Ford’s EcoBoosted, exclusively four-cylinder lineup will play against the Accord and Camry, the titans of the segment, and newcomers Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, and the Volkswagen Passat.
Wednesday, September 19
More shots of the upcoming 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 have found their way unto the Internet. This time, though, images are closer, although in this case it mostly means we get a better look at the new Corvette’s anti-spy-photographer camouflaging. However, the photographers did snag a quickie of the interior. Interestingly, it’s as heavily camouflaged as the Corvette’s exterior, but we can still eke out a little information. For example, you can see that General Motors has significantly redesigned the steering wheel and its controls. Other interior close-ups include the top half of the Chevrolet Corvette’s passenger seat and another closeup of the driver side.
Thursday, September 20
General Motors has announced pricing for the 2013 Buick Encore will start off at $24,950, including a $750 destination charge. Standard features on the 2013 Buick Encore include 18-inch wheels, a seven-inch, high-definition infotainment system with IntelliLink connectivity; and Bose Active noise cancellation. Four different models are available, along with a convenience package. This package bumps the price up to $25,760 and includes dual-zone climate control, a remote starter, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, fog lights, and a 120-volt outlet. The jury’s still out on the 213 Buick Encore. It’s based on the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact, meaning that no matter what, this is going to be a small crossover. On the other hand, downsized crossovers are just about to become all the rage, and if Buick can get the stuff-to-dollar ratio right, it could be a hit.
Friday, September 21
General Motors is recalling a total of 430,956 of its vehicles according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. with two recalls, one major, the other minor. The major recall involves the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6 sedans for model years 2008 through 2010, and model year 2007 through 2010 Saturn Aura sedans; the three sedans all share their basic underpinnings. The issue is the shifters of four-speed automatic models, which may break. The second recall involves the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic and its body control module, or BCM. According to the NHTSA, the Sonic’s BCM may not sense if the turn signal lamp is working properly.