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 Ford Fiesta is already a very fashionable hatchback . It’s up to date, it comes with plenty of options, and its compact body has received a host of cool liveries at various auto shows. However, that didn’t stop the Blue Oval manufacturer from enhancing the car’s trendy appeal by launching a couple of special-edition models.

This time though, Ford is looking into a popular photography trend called "color popping". It’s a technique in which pictures are converted to black and white with only a small portion left to appear in color. Don’t worry though, Ford is not trying to sell you a white Fiesta with yellow mirror covers. These special-edition hatchbacks are finished in contrasting red and black combos and offered in two distinct color schemes.

As it stands, Ford is gunning for customers "with a passion for style and an eye for quality and detail." Is it just me, or the Fiesta Black and Red Editions are the Mini Coopers of the Ford lineup?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford Fiesta Black And Red Editions.

When the Civic debuted in 1973, we were just coming out of the muscle-car era and the strangulation of the American V-8 had begun. Much like the V-8 engines of the era, the Civic’s 1,169-cc, inline-four engine produced all of 50 ponies. In 1986, Honda ventured into the performance world with the Civic, as it introduced the performance-oriented Si hatchback . With 91 horsepower and 93 pound-feet in tow, the debut Civic Si could hit 60 mph in around 10 seconds and still deliver 30 mpg on the highway. The 2014 Civic Si Sedan has more than twice the power of its distant sibling, and delivers unexpected pop for a naturally aspirated model.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a 2014 Honda Civic Si Sedan, and gave it the flogging it so loudly cried for. With its rev-happy four-cylinder, 18-inch wheels and close-ratio six-speed manual, the Civic Si Sedan seems to be — on paper at least — the perfect combination for gearheads with a family and a lighter wallet.

Click past the jump to see what I think of the 2014 Civic Si Sedan .

Posted on by Collin Woodard  

Audi ’s recent focus on compelling design and high-quality interiors has proven to be a smart move, allowing it to carve out its own niche in the luxury market and become a true competitor to BMW and Mercedes-Benz . Journalists love the company’s extreme, go-fast models and they help improve Audi’s image, but the real money comes from its mainstream sedans and crossover SUVs. While Audi has plenty of the former, ranging from the A3 all the way up to the A8, the latter is limited to just the Q5 , Q3 and Q7 .In 2016, however, Audi is set to release the Q1, a crossover SUV that will slot underneath the Q3, making it the smallest crossover SUV on sale.

While tiny crossover SUVs aren’t particularly exciting to anyone other than accountants and car salesmen, Audi appears to be planning something more exciting that just the plain, vanilla Q1. If reports are true, the Q1 will receive the full RS treatment in the form of the Q1 RS a year after the base model hits showrooms.

Image Note: Rendering of Audi Q1 shown here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Audi Q1 RS.

Source: Autobild

Things seem to be coming together for smart with the development of its all-new forfour subcompact four-seater. The last we saw of the little city car, it was trudging through the snow in a video actually released by smart. This time, the images come by way of our spy photographers. They have caught detailed images of the forfour, along with its revised interior.

You may recall that smart is developing the forfour in conjunction with Renault. The French automaker’s version will share the same basic design and functionality, but will serve as the company’s third-generation Twingo. Both the Twingo and forfour will have a rear-mounted engine and transaxle that powers the rear wheels.

While the exterior is still tightly wrapped in swirly camo, many of the exterior details are still visible. It’s plainly a four-door car with a small hood and even smaller boot. Though storage space is at a premium, the interior will likely be a decent place to travel about in town in relative comfort.

To read about the Smart ForFour’s spied interior, click past the jump.

The Mini brand was resurrected for the 2001 model year, five years after the original Cooper ceased to exist. Initially available only as a three-door hatch and two-door convertible, the new Mini quickly grew into a lineup that included the Clubman , the Countryman , the Coupe and the Paceman . The first-gen model survived for only five years, being replaced by the second-gen in 2006. In 2013, the brand new, third-generation Mini was unveiled, this time riding atop BMW ’s UKL1 platform.

Mini already debuted a brand-new diesel engine for the Cooper 5-Door , and the Brits decided to give that same oil burner to the three-door version as well. We’re talking about the 2.0-liter four-banger that generates 170 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, and enables the Cooper DS to become the most powerful diesel Cooper ever created.

Of course, it’s not overly fast from naught to 62 mph, but its 7.3-second second sprint is good enough considering the hatchback claims to return up to 58 mpg on the highway. The 0-to-62 mph figure drops to 7.2 seconds when the engine is paired to the six-speed Steptronic transmission. Sporty and efficient, a recipe that fits today’s demanding market like a glove.

Unfortunately, there’s no word as to whether this nippy fuel sipper will hit U.S. shores or not, but don’t expect to find it at a dealership near you this year. On the other hand, those of you who live in the United Kingdom can order one starting July 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mini Cooper SD.

Posted on by Collin Woodard  

Brought to the United States as a 2008 model, the BMW 1 Series was billed as the answer to the question, "What happened to the 3 Series, and how did it get so big all of the sudden?" Only available here as a coupe or convertible, the 1 Series won praise for its small size, sharp handling, and especially in the case of the 135i, powerful engine. Following that first generation, the 1 Series left the US market, as BMW sold the second generation model exclusively in Europe. The third generation will be returning to the US, but some big changes are on their way.

If a BMW is front-wheel drive, is it really a BMW anymore? In a sense, this question applies to the i3 , but as an electric car, accepting that it’s going to be a bit easier than it would be if it had a traditional drivetrain.

The upcoming 2018 1 Series, however, is not an electric car . It actually does have a traditional, internal-combustion engine, and even though it’s relatively young, it’s traditionally been rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive came as an option later, but even though it was small and relatively inexpensive, the 1 Series has always been a very capable handler. Not content to make a vehicle that wasn’t still the ultimate driving machine, BMW produced a car that was nimble, well balanced, and a hoot to drive.

The third-generation 1 Series, however, is coming our way, and the news is that it’s going to be front-wheel drive. Is this an abomination? Should BMWs only be rear-wheel drive (or all-wheel drive)? Isn’t front-wheel drive something for those other family sedans? It looks like we’re about to find out because ready or not, a front-wheel drive BMW is coming.

Note: Upcoming revised BMW 1 Series pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 BMW 1 Series.

Source: AutoExpress

The time is drawing nearer to when Apple’s CarPlay finally hits the streets in consumer vehicles. At the company’s recent 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, USA Today got an up-close look at the new in-dash iOS operating system inside a 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV. This in-car demonstration shows just how familiar the software is to the usual iOS-powered devices.

Interestingly, Chevrolet has not made an official announcement concerning when CarPlay would be introduced into its product lineup. Chevy is listed as a “committed partner” with Apple in bringing the software to market, but the automaker has yet to announce any word on what vehicles will receive the system or what the roll-out timeline looks like.

Though it is possible Chevy will incorporate CarPlay into the Spark and other models late into the 2014 model year, it’s more likely the new technology will debut for 2015. We’re expecting General Motors to make quite the hubbub about the news once things are all confirmed.

Chevy will be joined by Ferrari , Volvo , Hyundai , and Mercedes as the first crop of automakers to sell cars with hardware capable of running the iOS software. What’s more, from the video above, it appears the software will also allow owners to access tailored vehicle-specific menus. In the Spark’s case, it has a “My Chevrolet” application on its home screen.

For those with older vehicles, companies like Pioneer are developing CarPlay-compatible head units that work with nearly every vehicle. A 1965 Ford Mustang was on display at Apple’s WWDC to showcase the aftermarket potential.

Click past the jump for more about the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

The current Mini Cooper is no longer the small economy car that used to rule British streets beginning with the 1960s. Revamped under BMW ownership, the tiny vehicle that Mr. Bean used to haul armchairs and buckets of paint has grown into a fancy hatchback that’s not exactly affordable when packed with all sorts of amenities.

Nevertheless, the new Mini has become increasingly popular in the United States, where no less than ten iterations are available in showrooms. However, the German-owned company is expanding its lineup yet again by adding a five-door version of the familiar hatch , increasing the number of vehicle that have more than three doors to three. The other two are the Clubman and the Countryman .

The Mini Cooper 5-Door came a little later than expected, but it’s finally here to show off its longer body and additional rear doors. Longer and slightly taller than the regular three-door Cooper , the 5-Door’s main purpose is to satisfy customers that have been asking for a roomier Mini that provides easier access in the back and doesn’t feature bi-parting rear doors.

Set to go on sale in the summer of 2014, the Mini Cooper 5-Door is also an alternative to the Fiat 500L , as well as a thorn in the Clubman’s side.

Click past the jump to find out more about the 2014 Mini Cooper 5-Door

Note: 2013 Subaru WRX Concept pictured here.

The Subaru WRX Concept may become more than just a concept after all. First introduced at the 2013 New York International Auto Show , the WRX Concept wowed just about everyone who saw it. So when Subaru unveiled the production model soon thereafter and it looked nothing like the concpet, a lot of us were disappointed, to say the least.

But Masuo Takatsu finally has some good news for us. Subaru’s WRX Project General Manager recently told Motoring that the design of the WRX Concept could still be used in a production car. Takatsu’s proclamation was confirmed by Subaru designer Mamoru Ishii, who laid out the company’s plans for the new 2016 Subaru Impreza .

According to Ishii, the WRX Concept’s sporty and aggressive look will be given to the all-new Impreza, with the WRX following after that. A bolder, lower body and a tucked roof section are parts of Subaru’s plan for the new Impreza, two design traits the WRX Concept flawlessly conveyed.

Without divulging any more details, Ishii also indicated that Subaru is preparing for an all-new model onslaught. The new Impreza and the subsequent WRX will be leading the pack with designs that will trace their roots to the 2013 WRX Concept.

In the end, Subaru’s reasoning for holding off on using the WRX Concept’s design is really more about timing than anything else. So it’s time to give the company a break.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Subaru Impreza.

Source: Motoring

Mini has never built anything aside from countless iterations of the Cooper , but that could change over the next couple of years if the BMW board approves production of the Superleggera Vision Concept .

Showcased with great success at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este , the lightweight roadster was created in cooperation with Italian design house Touring Superleggera and a production version may arrive just in time to drag Mini out of its decade-long design hole.

Of course, the study borrows a few cues from the 2014 Cooper design language, but the overall approach is entirely different, with a new feel attached to it. It’s no longer feeding on the classic Mini , but relying on the same British heritage that spawned sports cars such as the Jaguar F-Type . The rear body fin, the low-cut windshield are there to tell us about a classic, sporty Mini that never existed.

Will these cool features make production? Probably not. But this concept car has huge potential and Mini has all the necessary instruments to take on a brand-new market. Because of its coolness and the possibility of production, we created a rendering of what we think this car may look like if it hits dealerships (above).

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mini Superleggera.

*Note: Above image is a TopSpeed rendering, not the actual Mini Superleggera.


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