While Subaru posted its best sales year ever in the United States in 2013, over half of its sales came from the success of the new Forester and popularity of the Outback. Its midsize Legacy sedan, on the other hand, saw sales tumble 10.3 percent. The company known for its all-wheel drive models hopes to right that trajectory with the 2015 Legacy. The all-new sedan sees a slight bump in fuel economy and a commitment to giving buyers a better product to compete against segment stalwarts like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
The refreshed sedan wears Subaru’s new design language, which was teased by the Legacy Concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. However, the production version takes the hard, crisp lines down several notches, and it is bordering on boring at first glance. The best detail of the new design is the new hexagonal shield grille at the front that lends a little upscale panache over the current car’s simple, rectangular front end. The coupe-like roofline has also been toned down from the concept, but it does smooth out the rear better than the current gen. Continue reading
The iconic Morton Salt umbrella girl has warned “When it Rains it Pours” since 1914. The mascot in the yellow dress has had it right for 100 years, and at no time has that been truer than during this year’s incredibly tough winter. There’s been plenty of salt being poured this season, but for municipalities across the country, there might not be enough of it to keep going. The Associated Press is reporting that the weather across the US has been so cold and snowy that road salt is in alarmingly short supply, a situation that has triggered price spikes, rationing, and cities looking for alternative ways to keep their roads clear.
According to the news agency, buying salt right now can be two or three times as costly as it was early in the season. The AP quotes the general manager of Ice Melt Chicago, a salt distributor, as saying, “So the municipalities that could buy bulk salt early in the year at $53 a ton are now paying $130 a ton a week ago … and I heard the prices have gone up to $175 to $180 a ton. It could easily go to $200 a ton or more.”
Many towns around the country are trying to keep a lid on costs by restricting usage to key areas including hills and intersections. Some are mixing what salt they have left with sand, while others are using liquid cheese brine and Beet Heet, processed molasses from sugar beets.
And it’s not just the salt that’s more expensive – with more storms comes more man hours, more overtime, more fuel for plow trucks and more wear and tear on equipment. When it snows, it pours, too.
-Chris Paukert | http://www.AutoBlog.com
News Source: Associated Press
Image Credit: Cosmo1976 via wikicommons CC 3.0
The Subaru Brat is the automotive equivalent of a teenager with a mullet: weird, a little reckless but brimming with enough self-confidence to make it cool.
The Brat came from Subaru’s desire to compete in the burgeoning light pickup market of the late-1970s. To get around the so-called Chicken Tax that added a 25 percent tariff on imported pickup trucks, Subaru threw two seats in the bed, which technically allowed it to be classified it as a passenger car. The result was a great, weird combination of a complete lack of safety, with a low price and lots of driving fun. Continue reading
Hottest Hatch Hits The Ice
-Steven J. Ewing | http://www.AutoBlog.com
Three cheers for the handbrake. For driving enthusiasts who live in climates where the winter months produce seemingly endless days of snowy, icy conditions, nothing cures the seasonal blues quite like finding yourself on an empty road, pulling the handbrake, halting the rear wheels and happily drifting around a turn. Hooligans, we are. And it’s all great fun.
Upon sitting in the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R for the first time, I immediately noticed its handbrake – or, should I say, lack thereof. Like many modern cars, its parking brake is electronic and can only be applied when the brake pedal itself is depressed. While I initially thought this would be a total buzzkill during my recent Ice Capades adventure in northern Sweden, the truth is, after a few minutes behind the wheel, I couldn’t have cared less. This car is a silly, little monster, perfectly tuned for wintertime fun.
The story you are about to read is a First Drive in perhaps the most literal sense. Yes, it is the first time Autoblog has driven the new Golf R. But if I called this a road test, I’d technically be lying. The term “road test” implies a car was tested on a road, and while I spent many hours behind the wheel of the hot new Golf R, at no point was any of my driving done on an actual road, paved or otherwise. My seat time was limited to courses carved out on a frozen lake, where the Golf R’s electronic wizardry, combined with state-of-the-art studded winter tires, would be the only tools I needed to see what this car is all about. Spoiler alert: it’s a riot. Continue reading
Subaru is giving its EyeSight driver assistance camera system a major upgrade for the 2015 model year with new color cameras, as well as reducing its size by 15 percent over the rather bulky original system.
Subaru locates its EyeSight hardware inside the vehicle at the top of the windshield, which is unlike most other camera-based systems that have their hardware mounted somewhere in the front fascia. The benefit is that these rather expensive components are protected from any detritus that may hit the car, but the original system’s size ate up a chunk of the driver’s outward view. Thus, the shrinkage should be appreciated by new owners. Continue reading
For those of you who can’t get enough of the 2015 Chrysler 200, The Pentastar put together a short video following its new sedan down the line at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. As with the best new-baby albums, you’ll see it take its first bath, be doted on by family members, put on its first pair of shoes and get all dressed up for an introduction to the world.
The only thing missing are its first words. You can follow it down the line in the video below.
-Jonathon Ramsey | http://www.AutoBlog.com
News Source: Chrysler Group LLC via YouTube
Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Jeremy Korzeniewski / Jeff Ross / AOL