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And it wasn’t just externally where things had changed. Sure, underneath was basically the same front-wheel-drive chassis as the Mk2, but the heavily revised suspension, we quipped, gave it "a far more compliant and comfortable ride at speed". What's more, "the Cavalier is a car you know is going to be a joy to drive almost as soon as the wheels start to turn", due to its "stability" and "crisp" turn-in.
While with its design the QX50 may stick to tried and tested brand methods, big changes should be coming under the bonnet. The QX50 Concept revealed at Detroit was used to preview the brand’s new variable-compression turbo petrol engine –a downsized petrol 2.0-litre power unit that will replace the ageing 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine currently used across the brand’s line-up.
With it time to bid our long-term Nissan Micra a fond farewell, let's conclude whether this fifth generation car is more than just style over substance.
My goal for the weekend was the Sierra Nevada mountain town of Bishop, California, or just north of Bishop. I was delivering a spare engine to a friend. I’ll take any excuse to do a weekend adventure. The engine was a Lancia V4 (the engine I was delivering, not the engine in the Thor). It (the Lancia engine) had been rebuilt by the experts at Alfa Italia in Burbank and they wanted it out of there. I and several friends wrestled the engine up the Thor Vegas’ steps, rested it on a couple sheets of plywood, wrapped it in cardboard and tied it into place securely. With that I turned north.
No class of the new car market is more talked about nowadays than the crossover category. What started out as a niche bodystyle barely a decade ago is now one of the most desirable around for new car buyers, and to keep up with demand new models are being launched at a rate of knots. One of the hottest new arrivals comes from SEAT; the all-new Arona small SUV.
"I sent it out and had 100 copies made," Miller recalled. "When it was finished, I went proudly in to see Mr. Ford. He looked at it and said, 'I like it. I need five more. My two brothers, my sister, my mother and my grandmother.' I didn't tell him I had 94 copies left."
It’s stomping the major routes that our Vauxhall still shines. On a fast-moving motorway, the Cavalier is surprisingly subdued, with minimal wind or road noise, demonstrating that all those hours in the wind tunnel were fruitful. And this 2.5-litre V6 engine has even more grunt than the 2.0-litre in our test, delivering effortless roll-on performance, despite being paired to a rather sluggish four-speed automatic gearbox. It’s easy to see why 'the Cav' was the repmobile of choice.
"Probably no major industrial company in America's history was ever run so poorly for so long," Halberstam said of Ford. "Only its sheer size saved it, that and, in the war, the government's dependence upon it for military production."
Many of Ford's operating problems were solved by adopting simpler practices, Miller said. Ford, for instance, paid workers in cash -- a cumbersome task -- because Henry Ford had seen workers going into bars to cash paychecks and didn't approve.
After its debut in the 2016 Civic, where it’s an upgrade over the base 158-hp, naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the 1.5-liter spread to the ludicrously popular CR-V crossover as an upgrade over the standard 184-hp, naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four. In the Civic it’s rated at 174 horsepower—except in the supertasty Si, where it spins out 205 ponies. In the CR-V, it lights off at 190 horsepower.
The upcoming SUV will be based on the same underpinnings as the Skoda Kodiaq – a car that scooped our Large SUV of the Year award back in January. Both five and seven-seat versions will be offered and, like the Ateca, will be geared towards agility rather than off-road prowess.