How do you update an already retro design? You flatten its roof, make it look more masculine and hope the design attracts more male buyers. Longer, lower and wider than the New Beetle, the new Beetle is based on an all-new chassis (related to the Golf's), fitted with either a 170-bhp 2.5-liter 5-cylinder and a 6-speed automatic or the 200-bhp direct-injected 2.0-liter turbo mated to VW's dual-clutch 6-speed automatic. Manual transmissions, says VW, will come at a later date. Also coming later (in 2012) is the super-efficient 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine, which is expected to give this 4-seat front-driver highway fuel economy of 40 mpg. The Beetle Turbo, of note, has multilink rear suspension, whereas the standard Beetle has a twist beam.
R&T Overview:Cadillac continues to whittle away at the midsize STS luxury sedan lineup. Last year it discontinued the STS-V high-performance model. For 2011 the standard STS continues, albeit without a V-8 engine option. The simplified lineup is now reduced to a 302-bhp 3.6-liter V-6 engine with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. This is not necessarily a bad thing since the direct-injection V-6, shared with the CTS, is strong enough that few will miss the V-8. However, it doesn’t bode well for the future of the STS, which has been eclipsed by the more popular CTS, since there is nothing left to cut. Yet for those who still need larger accommodations than the CTS provides, the STS obliges with greater passenger volume and a larger trunk to boot.
It’s more a case of subtle updates than wholesale changes here. For example, the all-aluminium VH chassis architecture has been improved for greater rigidity and sound insulation by adding new underbody sheer panels and improving the bonding, all helping to give an extra 20 per cent in chassis stiffness (30 per cent greater for the Volante open-topped version of DB9).
Aston’s new generation 5.9-litre V12 engine delivers significantly more power than before too; peak power is now 510bhp (up 40bhp) and peak torque 457lb ft (up 14lb ft) thanks to an increased compression ratio (11:1), revised valve timing and new engine management calibration.
The ILX is an all-new offering from Acura in the compact luxury sedan class. The ILX looks to provide an entry point into the Acura line-up for first-time luxury buyers.
The ILX buyer has a choice between two different powertrains, a 150-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired to a five-speed automatic with paddle shifters; or a more powerful 2.4-liter making 201-hp through a six-speed manual transmission. The ILX includes a long list of standard features such as keyless access with push-button ignition, heated exterior mirrors, aluminum wheels, speed sensing wipers, leather steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth cellular and audio connectivity, Pandora internet radio, power glass sunroof and a rearview camera. Standard safety features include electronic stability and traction control, active front head restraints, tire pressure monitoring, six airbags and anti-lock brakes with panic assist. Premium and Technology packages provide even more luxury features such as a navigation system with real-time traffic, HomeLink and a 10-speaker Acura/ELS sound system.
For 2014, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated seats and a power driver seat are standard equipment on the 2.0L trim.