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The Honda Accord was the only midsize sedan named to the prestigious 2013 Automobile Magazine All-Star’s list. Automobile Magazine editors used a combination of factors to determine the list of ten All-Stars including results from performance testing, feature evaluation and overall value analysis.
“The Accord continues to demonstrate it’s the one to beat in the hyper competitive mid-size sedan segment,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda. “And to be recognized by a top automotive publication like Automobile Magazine as one of the most significant models of the year further validates our effort to deliver a best-in-class vehicle experience for our customers.”
Since its introduction last fall as an all new model, the Accord has captured numerous industry accolades including being named a Car and Driver Magazine’s 10Best, Ward’s 10 Best Engines and a North American Car of the Year Finalist. Prior to being named an All-Star, the Accord won Automobile Magazine’s highly competitive eight sedan comparison test where editors applauded the model’s ability to ‘aspire to standard’s that should apply to more expensive machinery.’
This is the 18th time a Honda vehicle has been named an Automobile Magazine All-Star since the awards inception in 1986, and this is the first time the Accord has been awarded an All-Star designation. Past Honda All-Stars include the Civic, Element, Prelude, Odyssey, Fit and Ridgeline.
For more information on the Automobile Magazine All-Star list, please visit: http://www.automobilemag.com/features/awards/1307_2013_automobile_magazine_all_stars/.
Connect with Honda:
Media Newsroom (for journalists) http://www.hondanews.com
For consumers: www.automobiles.honda.com
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No, a Ford Expedition did not drive from Russia to Canada via the North Pole, but that’s exactly what a team of intrepid explorers accomplished recently. Using specially-modified buses with massive tires, the group slowly drove 2,485 miles in 70 days over drifting ice, occasionally using a pickaxe to clear a path and staying on guard for chasms that could open up and plunge the team into the frigid arctic waters. Average speeds were about 6 mph, “at the speed of a (farm) tractor.” While the big tires technically allowed the buses to float if the need arose, the team preferred to stay out of the water to keep the suspension from getting coated in thick, hard ice. Falling in on foot would mean almost certain death.
According to Phys.org, the buses were powered by Toyota diesel engines, but were built with prototype parts from a previous driving expedition to the North Pole. Right now, the machines are parked in a garage in Canada’s Resolute Bay while the the team rests up with family back home. They plan to continue their trek to back across the Bering Straight to Russia. If successful, the team may eventually offer a version of their buses for commercial sale.
Expedition drives from Russia to Canada over North Pole… originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 May 2013 08:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
One of the highlights at the 2013 M Festival was the now annual M Corso. A day before the 24 hour of Nurburgring race, the “Green Hell” becomes available to 200 M Festival visitors who celebrate the iconic race track in their own M cars.
While two years ago we toured the “Green Hell” aboard the BMW 1M, this time we were behind the wheel of a BMW M6 Gran Coupe, without a doubt of the most polarizing M cars at the event.
Prior to the start of the M Corso parade, BMW fans from around the world roamed around to see the latest and greatest M cars, some of them quite unique. From E30 M3s to Z8 Roadsters, 1Ms and M3 GTS models, the 2013 M Corso lineup was one of the most interesting ones to date.
A few cars that stood out the most were a Lime Green BMW M6 Coupe, a 3.0 CSL two Frozen Red M3 and M5 models, and plenty of heavily modded 1Ms and M3s.
Shortly after the typical track briefing we were lined up to begin our journey around the famous Nordschleife. The 200 cars caravan was met with enthusiasm by side spectators that decided this year to get closer to the cars on the track and express their admiration for the M brand. The friendly hand-waving, horn-honking parade lap at very slow speed, and while some of us were aching for some high-speed chases, the effect on the fans and the drivers was the one we all expected: a bond tied together by the love for ///M and their cars.
For someone going through this parade the first time the emotions can be quite high, especially if you factor in the waving, clapping and smiling that came from a warm crowd eager to see some action. Many fans joined the cars on the track and at times we had to safely avoid the human blocks formed on the track, making this experience even more rewarding and memorable. Basically during the 30 minutes ride we had the opportunity to not only chat with race fans peaking inside our car but also to rev up the engine, as requested by many fans.
Two years later and the M Corso doesn’t stop to amaze us and we are already looking forward to a new experience in 2014, but for now enjoy the exclusive and comprehensive photo gallery.
Tesla has had quite a good run lately. Their stock has nearly tripled in the past six months; the Model S has been showered with accolades including Motor Trends 2013 Car of The Year, Automobile Magazines 2013 Automobile of The Year and Consumer Reports recently awarded it the highest score of any car they have ever tested. Think about that for a minute. Consumer Reports has been testing cars for over seventy five years, they now test about 80 cars per year and the Model S achieved a score of 99 out of 100 which is the highest any car they have tested has ever scored. Ladies and gentlemen, the electric car has arrived.
I’ve had the chance to take a Model S on a short drive before, but last week I had a brand new 85kWh Model S for the afternoon, courtesy of friends Phil & Nancy Blackwood. The Blackwoods were in BMW’s MINI-E program as I was but elected not to lease an ActiveE as I did; citing the need for more range than the 94 mile EPA rated ActiveE would deliver.
Like me, a few months after they got their MINI-E back in 2009, the Blackwoods installed a solar array on the roof of their house. As was the case for me, it only took a few months of driving electric to convince the Blackwoods that they would be driving electric from then on. Once you experience that revelation, the decision to go solar is an easy one. Having the ability to make your cars fuel by capturing sunshine is just too good to pass up and many other electric vehicle owners have done exactly what the Blackwoods and I have.
So wanting to drive electric but needing more than 100 miles of range the choice was clear; they would buy a Tesla Model S. The Model S is available in two battery sizes. The 60kWh battery is EPA rated at 208 miles of range and the 85kWh battery is rated at 265 miles. The 60kWh version starts at $71,070 and the 85kWh costs $81,070. There is also a performance version which costs $96,070. They all qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit which is not included in the above pricing. Some states also have additional incentives for zero emission cars. For example I live in NJ and electric cars are tax exempt so that would account for an additional $5,000 to $7,000 of savings over a comparably priced gasoline car. The car I drove was an 85kWh, (non performance version) and with options cost about $86,000 before the $7,500 federal tax credit.
When Motor Trend tested the 85kWh performance version it achieved a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds. The non-performance version such as the one that I drove has a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds. I’ve driven cars as fast as this, but the experience of driving an electric car this fast is really surreal. Having 325lb-ft of instant torque at your disposal at any speed, combined with the ultra quiet and vibration-less cabin is hypnotizing. All you want to do is punch the accelerator at every opportunity. It handles like a sports car, partly because of the low center of gravity. The battery pack which is the heaviest component of the car is located beneath the passenger compartment, and employs the same modern body-on-frame architecture that the BMW i3 will use. I believe this is the best way to properly engineer an electric car and I am very happy BMW agrees. Internal combustion vehicles can never have such a large percentage of the vehicle’s weight at or even slightly below the axle line and this is a great advantage for improved handling.
Once inside the Model S it’s apparent the cabin is very spacious for a car of its size. Cargo space is also plentiful and in addition to the rear hatch area there is a large front trunk or as Tesla calls it, a “frunk”. This is also due to the dedicated electric vehicle architecture. Since the entire drivetrain is below the passenger compartment, there is more interior and cargo space available. Again, the i3 will share this advantage and BMW has said the interior volume of the i3 will be nearly as much as in a 3-Series, even though the car is much smaller.
However the i3 will not have a 17” touchscreen display that is basically the entire center console and controls just about everything in the car like the Model S has. It’s huge, very clear, full of features and intuitive to use. You can open and close the sunroof by sliding a bar back and forth, browse the internet, get directions, view your energy consumption data and much more. The rearview camera display uses half of the screen and is necessary in my opinion as looking back from the drivers seat doesn’t offer the best rear view. You also have access to any song you want to hear, all you need to do is use the voice command and call out the song you want. The car finds it over the internet and plays it. I used all day and only once did I have trouble getting the song I wanted to play.
Charging times at home can vary depending on whether or not you buy the optional 20kW onboard charger. The car comes standard with a 10kW charger which would take about 9 hours to fully charge a totally depleted battery. The optional 20kW charger costs $2,700 and cuts the charging time in half. It’s important to note that these charging times are for a fully depleted battery which is good for 200 to 300 miles depending on driving conditions. However let’s say you drove 60 miles one day and then plugged in. With the 20kW home charger you would be back to 100% charged in about an hour, without it two hours.
The 85kWh Model S also comes standard with Tesla’s Supercharging feature allowing owners to charge the car at Supercharger locations for free. Telsa allows their customers to use their Supercharger network at no cost and has promised that they will always be free. Therefore if you happen to live near a Supercharger you can basically charge your car there all the time and never pay a penny for your fuel for as long as you own the car. Superchargers can charge the car more than 50% in about a half hour.
Tesla is installing their Superchargers along major corridors across the US. It’s a proprietary network and other electric vehicles will not be able to use it. Tesla wasn’t satisfied with the industry standard J1772 connector that all other electric vehicles use so they designed their own connector. It’s sleek, much smaller than the J1772 connector and can charge from all sources of electricity from 120V to the 480V Supercharger supply. I like Tesla’s connector much more than the J1772. It’s sleek and lighter and easier to plug in. Telsa also provides Model S owners an adaptor so they can charge the Model S from any standard public charger that uses the J1772. Even the charge port has a unique location and is hidden beautifully behind the driver’s side taillight, eliminating the need for a dedicated fuel filler door.
It doesn’t take long to realize Tesla really took nothing for granted and really started with a clean sheet of paper when designing the Model S. Aerodynamics is very important for efficiency with EV’s and Tesla managed to achieve a .24 drag coefficient for the Model S giving it the lowest Cd of any production car today. The first thing you notice when you walk up to the car are the door handles. They retract into the door to reduce aerodynamic drag but as you walk up to the car with the key they automatically slide out to allow you access.
After getting inside you realize there is no “ON” button. To turn the car on you simply step on the brake and the car silently comes to life. Brilliant. Tesla eliminated everything you usually need to do before you step on the brake and put the car in gear. You don’t need to unlock the door to get in, or put the key in the ignition or even turn it on. You just walk up to the car with the key in your pocket and the door handle automatically extends out to you. You then get in, simply step on the brake, put it in gear and you’re off.
I’ve driven just about every modern electric vehicle and nothing really compares to the combination of luxury and performance of the Model S. My ActiveE is a great car, and I would say the fit and finish of the ActiveE is much better than that of the Model S, but the performance of the Model S is just astonishing. I know many BMWBLOG readers are true performance enthusiasts, and some probably wouldn’t even consider getting an electric car. Do yourself a favor and go to a Tesla store and arrange a test drive, even if you can’t afford one or have no intention of ever buying one. It’s just an experience every car enthusiast should have. The neck-snapping torque will put a grin on any petrol head’s face, I promise you. I can only hope the cars in BMW’s i brand captures the same exhilarating driving experience the Model S provides. Being a premium performance brand, and based on their track record I have no reason to believe otherwise and look forward to driving the i3 and i8 later this year.
It seems others agree the Model S has the goods also because since it’s launch the Model S is selling very well. In fact for the first quarter of 2013 it has outsold all other luxury cars in its class. (Link to CNN story).
I was thinking of the best way to summarize the Model S driving experience and then I read what Consumer Reports Jake Fisher wrote about it and realized he nailed it: “It accelerates, handles and brakes like a sports car, it has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is far more energy efficient than the best hybrid cars.” That pretty much says it all.
What, you didn’t think that Kia was going to let Hyundai have all the big-dollar fun, did you? Hyundai may have blazed a trail upmarket with its Genesis Sedan and more recently, the Equus, but its corporate sibling, Kia, has arguably been autodom’s hottest brand the last few years, with increases in style, tech, consumer consideration and sales that are the envy of the industry. So it’s no surprise that it isn’t stopping its North American product onslaught with its just-introduced 2014 Cadenza sedan, it’s reportedly readying its premium-minded rear-drive Quoris cruiser for a launch here next year.
That’s according to a new report from Automotive.com, which spoke with Kia officials at the media launch of the Cadenza. The oddly named Quoris (“derived from the English words ‘core’ and ‘quality,’” says Kia), will likely nuzzle up against its Equus stablemate when it debuts, carrying an estimated $50,000 to $70,000 price tag. To our eyes, the Kia looks markedly more contemporary than the Equus inside-and-out (no surprise, it’s a much newer design). And there’s even more reason for optimism on Kia’s behalf: the Hyundai Equus has been doing just fine on the sales front – even before its recently introduced facelift. So it’s not unreasonable to interpret the luxury sedan market as open to the idea of owning a full-size luxury sedan from a non-traditional country.
In other news, Kia recently exhumed its elderly Sedona minivan, dusting it off, putting a little more frosting on its flanks and trotting it out to customers anew for 2014. The people mover’s odd, Lazarus-like reanimation moment apparently isn’t lost on Kia executives, who still very much want a modern minivan. According to the same report, an all-new Sedona, likely informed by 2011′s funky KV7 Concept, is still a ways off – but we could hear more about it as early as later this year.
Kia to make push upmarket with Quoris next year, new Sedona also likely originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Like presumably any other 17-year-old out there, Zach Sobiech was ecstatic when a Nissan GT-R rolled into his driveway. As you can see in the image above, he had an ear-to-ear smile as he got to spend a week driving his dream car – but what you can’t see is that he was just weeks away from losing a four-year battle against a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma.
Nissan found out about the teen and his dream of driving a GT-R, and actually did something about it. Says Mike Disser from Nissan Marketing Communications, “The team at Nissan was inspired by Zach’s story. Loaning a GT-R to Zach to help make one of his dreams come true was an opportunity to do something uplifting and rewarding for a very special car-guy.”
“You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living”
Diagnosed with the cancer at the age of 14, Zach fought back with inspiring optimism and an infectious smile, but he ultimately lost his battle with cancer on May 20. In the video posted below, Zach says “you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living,” and hopefully, his heartwarming spirit will live on with those who watch it. Zach’s love for the GT-R starts to show around the 5:30 mark, but we definitely suggest that you grab a box of Kleenex and watch the entire 22-minute video.
This video was posted on his 18th birthday
One of the industry’s top online sources for new-vehicle research—Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com—recently announced good news for both the Honda family and yours: Backed by the site’s in-depth analysis, three of the automaker’s vehicles have been named to the honor roll of 10 Best Family Cars of 2013.
The Honda CR-V topped KBB.com’s compact SUV comparison test “by offering exceptional comfort, a smooth ride, and an excellent value,” according to the site, which went on to note that, “All of those characteristics, along with some premium items like a leather interior, navigation system and rear-seat entertainment, make the Honda CR-V an excellent 5-seat family car.”
For those who need more room, KBB.com prefers the Honda Odyssey, twice noting that the minivan is proof “Honda understands families.” The Odyssey’s versatile second-row seating system came in for particular praise, but the site further reported: “the same cleverness that designed them permeates the whole vehicle.”
The final Honda name on the list is a familiar one, with the all-new Accord leveraging its three decades of family success to once again stand out from its rivals. While the name remains the same, the Accord itself is all new, “with new looks, more fuel-efficient powertrains and class-exclusive safety features like a side camera that sees where your eyes can’t,” detailed the website.
“Honda prides itself in designing vehicles around the needs of our customers,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of Product planning and Logistics at American Honda, upon hearing the news. “There’s no better validation for this effort than being recognized for having vehicles that excel in the areas critical to the family buyer.”