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Pure electric Nissan IMs concept creates the elevated sports sedan

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(January 16, 2019) DETROIT — The Nissan IMs concept, with its revolutionary new proportions and stretched interior space — including a unique "Premier Seat" 2 + 1 + 2 seating architecture — is designed to create an entirely new vehicle segment, the elevated sports sedan. The pure electric all-wheel drive concept vehicle with full autonomous drive capability, made its world debut Tuesday at the 2019 North American International Auto Show.

2019 Fiat 500 Abarth



GOLDSBORO, N.C. — There was an outcry from some driving enthusiasts when Fiat decided to outfit the performance-oriented 500 Abarth with a six-speed automatic transmission for the 2015 model year. The Abarth, according to these enthusiasts, properly started life in 2012 with a five-speed manual transmission. The problem for Fiat — most people favor automatics these days and Fiat needed to listen to the masses for increased sales.

2019 Toyota RAV4



CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. — Toyota has taken its best-selling compact RAV4 crossover up a notch — perhaps two notches depending on your definition of a notch — with its all-new fifth generation. After experiencing several varieties of the stylish new RAV on Pacific coast highways and mountain roads, we think Toyota has done enough to keep its prized vehicle at the head of the class.

2019 Ford Ranger



SAN DIEGO — Back in 2011, after years of lackluster sales, Ford bumped off its mid-sized Ranger pickup. Dodge/Ram did the same with its Dakota, and then a year later GM pulled the plug on the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Those moves effectively ceded the mid-sized truck segment to just two players: Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier.

Vehicle of the Week

2019 Lexus ES 300h — Luxury and fuel efficiency



By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Most luxury hybrid sedans and crossovers are of the high-performance variety — combining a potent gas engine with a couple of electric motors to create scads of horsepower, instant torque and enviable acceleration while at the same time slightly elevating miles per gallon. Lexus has taken a different tack with its all-new 2019 ES 300h hybrid sedan opting for optimal gas mileage (43 mpg city, 45 highway and 44 combined using regular gas) at the expense of neck-snapping performance.

Here's the Thing

Autotrader lists some interesting certified pre-owned January deals

(January 15, 2019) ATLANTA — Automakers finish each year with a flurry of ads and deals, but for car shoppers who delayed their purchase, January can be a good time to take advantage of a typically slow month for dealership sales. In particular, certified pre-owned vehicles are worth checking out with most dealerships likely seeing an influx of trade-ins from the close out of the previous year.

"January can be a good time to shop for a car without all the busyness of the holiday season," said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader.

National gas price average inches up for first time in three months

(January 15, 2019) At a penny more expensive on the week, the national gas price average ($2.25) increased for the first time since October. Despite the increase, today’s average is still cheaper month-over-month (-14 cents) and year-over-year (-28 cents), according to AAA.

“The price of crude oil has been slowly, but steadily increasing since the beginning of the year, which is starting to push up pump prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The price per barrel (WTI) increased $3 from last Monday to close on Friday to settle at $51 per barrel.”

Genesis G70, Ram 1500 and Hyundai Kona win North American awards

(January 14, 2019) DETROIT — Hyundai Motor Group won two of the three categories in the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year competition announced this morning at the opening of the 2019 North American International Auto Show.

The South Korean automotive company won Car of the Year with the Genesis G70 and the Utility of the Year with the Hyundai Kona. The all-new Ram 1500 continued to amass awards winning the Truck of the Year category.

Inside the Industry

BMW unveils 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive30i Roadster to arrive in March

(January 16, 2019) WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Following the unveiling of the all-new BMW Z4 M40i First Edition Roadster at Pebble Beach Lodge to kick-off Monterey car week, BMW unveils the 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive30i Roadster, which will arrive in March, and the 2020 BMW Z4 M40i Roadster, which will follow.

Agility, performance and precise handling have always been top priorities for the Z4 family but the new two-seater’s body, powertrain and chassis have received the greatest amount of development work to make sure the new Z4 Roadster arrives with a genuine sports car performance pedigree.

Mini celebrates sporting spirit, British flair with 60th anniversary edition

(January 16, 2019) An original that constantly reinvents itself — firmly rooted in tradition yet always open to change: this is Mini, 60 years after the launch of the small British car that brought worldwide popularity to unique properties such as go-kart feeling and the creative use of space.

Pricing for new Mercedes-Benz A-Class to start at $33,495

(January 16, 2019) Mercedes-Benz USA today announced pricing for the all-new 2019 A-Class Sedan — Arriving in U.S. dealerships in early 2019, the Mercedes-Benz A 220 Sedan will start at just $33,495 including a $995 delivery charge, while the A 220 4MATIC Sedan will start from $35,495.

Abandoned Car of the Week

Texas Chevy in retirement



For the second time in as many years, Chevrolet came up with a totally new car in 1959. From the front and rear the 1959 Chevrolet resembled nothing else on the road. The headlights were placed as low as the law would permit and the most visual new change was the flat, wing shaped tailfins. This 1959 was found in a field in Blanco, Texas.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)