compact cars

compact cars

  Compact car is a largely North American term denoting an automobile smaller than a midsize car, but larger than a subcompact car. Compact cars usually have wheelbases between 2.54 metres (100 inches) and 2.67 metres (105 inches). Another definition specifies between 100 ft³ (2800 L) and 109 ft³ (3000 L) of interior volume.

The line between cars and motorcycles is getting thinner every day. Morgan’s Three Wheeler is open topped and uses the majority of bike’s powertrain for proulsion. Track day toys like the Ariel Atom promise the same type of acceleration as superbikes, and KTM , a motorcycle company, even builds a competitor to the Atom called the X-Bow . On the motorcycle side Can-Am has the Spyder , which is essentially a reversed trike. For 2015 we can add one more name to the list of motorcycle-car `tweeners: the Polaris Slingshot . The Slingshot features a design similar to the X-Bow, complete with a side-by-side seating arrangement, but it brings in the three-wheel layout of the Can-Am and Morgan.

Propulsion comes from a 2.4-liter, Ecotec four-cylinder sourced from General Motors that sends 173 ponies to the pavement. Yes, it’s time to yell "at least!" The Morgan 3-Wheeler is finally getting a competitor that can be acquired on U.S. soil without having to worry about import taxes and other headache-inducing duties.

Update 7/28/2014: Polaris has officially unveiled the long-awaited Slingshot. Read more after the jump

Click past the jump to read a little more on the Polaris Slingshot.

Source: Polaris

Introduced in 1998, the Smart ForTwo revolutionized the city car segment through its short overall length and rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration. The first-generation ForTwo went on sale in 1998 with a range of small-displacement gasoline and diesel engines and a six-speed semi-automatic transmission. The three-door hatchback didn’t reach the U.S. market until 2008, when the second-gen ForTwo was launched with revised looks and brand-new engines. The old gasoline units were replaced by 1.0-liter powerplant, while the six-speed transmission made way for a five-speed semi-automatic. Output ranged between 53 and 83 horsepower on the regular cars, while the Brabus version generated 101 ponies and was the only one to reach a top speed of more than 90 mph. Going into 2015, the Smart ForTwo steps into its third generation as vehicle co-developed with French automaker Renault .

Sharing about 70 percent of its parts with the brand-new Renault Twingo, the new ForTwo was redesigned from the ground up and fitted with upgraded engines and all-new transmissions, including a manual gearbox. The 2016 ForTwo comes with many firsts, but you’ll have to read on to find out more about that.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Smart ForTwo

Launched in 2004, six years after the introduction of the ForTwo and one year after the Roadster went on sale, the ForFour became Smart’s third automobile. Unlike its previous offerings, the ForFour offered seating for five people and was only sold in Europe. Four engines were available at launch, including a 1.1-liter three-cylinder, a 1.3-liter four-cylinder, a 1.5-liter four-pot, all working on gasoline, and a 1.5-liter inline-three diesel. Transmissions included a five-speed manual and a six-speed semi-automatic. At the time, the ForFour was the only Smart car offered with a manual. Slow sales prompted the company to axe the ForFour in 2006, after only three years of production. Rumors about Smart ’s plan to revive the ForFour nameplate surfaced in 2012. Heading into the 2015 model year, the second-gen model is finally here as a longer, four-door version of the ForTwo.

Unlike its predecessor, the new ForFour borrows its styling cues and drivetrain layout from its smaller sibling. Once a front-engined car, the ForFour evolved into a rear-engined vehicle, while keeping its front-wheel-drive. Jointly developed with Renault , the new ForFour shares about 70 percent of its parts with the third-generation Renault Twingo, while its powertrains are shared with the 2015 ForTwo .

Click past the jump to find out more about the second-generation Smart ForFour.

For 2015, 10 years after its introduction, the Toyota Yaris is getting its second restyling with revised looks inside and out, a quieter cabin, a fuel-efficient engine, and all the versatility that comes with the three- and five-door versions. The U.S.-spec Yaris debuted in 2005 with lots of spunk and clever packing wrapped in an inexpensive sub-compact. Offered in both the three-door and five-door hatchback styles, the Yaris filled a niche near at the bottom of Toyota’s lineup. Refreshed in 2011, the Yaris continued its mission largely unchanged, save for a more modern design. Now for 2015, Toyota is improving the Yaris with more refinement and a better driving experience, while still retaining its superb value proposition. Starting at just $14,485, the Yaris makes a great city car or a sweet first car for a teenager. Its 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder will keep curious teens out of trouble with Johnny Law, while the expansive cargo area and decent back seat might land them in trouble with mom and dad.

Toyota has resolved a few of the complaints that plagued the previous-generation Yaris, namely the NHV levels inside the cabin. More sound insulation and more premium interior materials help push the Yaris’ feel upmarket, while it still keeps its low price point. With three trim models and two body lengths to chose from, the Yaris is a pretty customizable hatchback .

With the updated features and added benefits, Toyota may see the Yaris climb back up the sales charts to the level of its glory days in 2008 when sales of the hatch topped 100,000 units. Selling only 21,343 units in 2013, the Yaris was apparently in desperate need of a makeover. Let’s see what Toyota has done to turn up the heat.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Yaris.

The Volkswagen Golf has succeeded in ways very few of its contemporaries have. It’s in its seventh generation for crying out loud! That’s more than what other models can say for themselves. Ever since it was released in 1974, the Golf has built a reputation as the godfather of the modern-day sports hatch. But even with its age, the Golf is still a strong presence in the hatchback market, so much so that the model is still turning heads wherever it goes. The 2015 Golf TDI is the latest in a series of new Golf models that are now available in the market. Yes, it’s got a diesel engine but it’s a new diesel engine. That counts for something.

It was also the recipient of aesthetic tweaks that makes its design fit for the times. Some might even say that the Golf looks better than ever before, which is about as big of a compliment as you can give to the hatch that most people believe blazed the trail for its kind.

Click past the jump to read more about 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI

The Volkswagen Eos is nearing the end of its road, with 2015 marking its final year in production. To commemorate its passing, Volkswagen is introducing a ‘Final Edition’ Eos. The new trim level replaces the drop-top’s Sport trim level and the entire Eos lineup gets some new exterior colors and interior accoutrements.

New for 2015 are ‘Flash Red’ and ‘Pure White’ exterior paint colors. Flash Red comes available only on the Komfort and Executive trims, while Pure White is available across the board.

The Final Edition trim gets all the niceties from the Sport trim it replaces. Vicenza wheels sized at 18 inches, bespoke Cornsilk Beige and black two-tone Vienna leather with contrast stitching in the cabin, along with silver net interior trim. The Final Edition also gets a rearview camera and rain-sensing windshield wipers for added safety.

The Eos has been a slow seller for Volkswagen since its introduction in 2006. The hardtop convertible only moved 4,178 units in 2013 for all of America. Even in its best year, 2008, the Eos only found homes in 12,837 driveways across the U.S.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Eos Final Edition.

MTM Tuning presented its own program for the Audi RS Q3 a few weeks ago, and it was an impressive kit that played into the strengths of the German crossover . We applauded MTM then for its work not knowing that another noted German tuner was on its way to revealing its own program for the RS Q3. Enter ABT Sportsline, the same company that has made it a mission to improve every Audi model, using the sophisticated science of customization.

ABT Sportsline’s program for the RS Q3 doesn’t lack anything. Really, every aspect of the crossover was taken care of. Whether it’s the improved output numbers or the new set of 21-inch wheels, the German tuner didn’t leave any stone unturned on its way to decking out the RS Q3.

We’re not surprised by the things ABT Sportsline does. When it comes to versatile kits that offer a blend of everything, this tuner knows what it’s doing. That’s the case here with the Audi RS Q3, a sporty crossover that demands our attention. ABT Sportsline gave it that, and a whole lot more.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS Q3 By Abt Sportsline.

The Nissan Versa Note is the smallest and cheapest hatch you can get from Nissan . It was built to provide the highest level of space and equipment for the lowest possible price. The car has been a solid seller for Nissan in the past, but for 2014 it is all-new. A new exterior shape comes to the car , along with a fresh interior design and new gadgets that have been pulled from some of the much more expensive cars in the Nissan family.

With a new design, revised equipment levels, improved interior space and the promise even better fuel economy, the Versa Note is offering a lot. Has Nissan had to cut corners on build quality and refinement to hit a price target? Will the increased fuel economy come at the cost of driving fun?

I was handed the keys to a top-level model with every bell and whistle Nissan could throw at it. Would the cheap five-door win me over, or did Nissan drop the ball with its reinvented people mover?

Read on to see what we thought about the 2014 Nissan Versa Note.

The Smart ForTwo will never be mistaken as a fast and powerful car and everyone knows that speed really isn’t its selling point. Knowing that has actually led us to ponder one of life’s most important questions: why would Brabus , a bastion of aftermarket power and performance, waste its time on a ForTwo?

The German aftermarket company has actually worked on the ForTwo before so an answer to the aforementioned question is really irrelevant at this point. Apparently, Brabus likes the ForTwo enough to turn it into its own version of a pocket rocket.

Recently, our master spy photographers managed to take a handful of photos of the Brabus-prepred Smart ForTwo. It’s heavily decked in camouflage so its hard to make out the exact work the German tuner did on the small city car.

It’s still unclear as to how much power Brabus has in store for the new Smart ForTwo. Rumors are circulating that this ForTwo will receive close to 120 horsepower under its hood. That’s an incredible number for a car of this size.

The 2015 Smart ForTwo by Brabus is expected to hit the showroom floor sooner than later, but before that, we’re anticipating it to be unveiled in a major auto show, possibly at Geneva in March 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Smart ForTwo By Brabus.

Tesla has officially announced its next product: the Model III. Scheduled to debut in 2017 after the upcoming Model X SUV, the midsize Model III sedan has its sights set squarely on the BMW 3 Series . Tesla’s new car will slot under the popular Model S in both size and price.

Keeping with its unconventional business methods, Tesla announced the product in an interview with AutoExpress. CEO Elon Musk says the new car will cost $35,000 and have a range of 200 miles on a single charge. The candid interview continued with Musk mentioning he wanted the new car called the Model E, but ran into red tape with Ford , which apparently holds rights to the name.

To combat the nomenclature woes, Tesla will badge the new car with the Roman numeral “III.” We have to give pause to Tesla’s naming scheme, particularly because of the combination of the Model S, the Model E (err Model III), and the Model X. It seems the world can see Elon Musk’s rather interesting sense of humor.

While the Models S, III, and X are the main focus of Tesla’s future, the company is giving early adopters a substantial power boost. Musk continued in the interview saying Tesla will offer the original Tesla Roadster a replacement battery that extends its range to 400 miles while boosting power. Musk says, “which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop.”

Updated 07/23/2014: We prepared a rendering for the future Tesla Model III. Check it out after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Tesla Model III.

Source: AutoExpress

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