There’s a big shakeup taking place in the full-size van and truck market as Ford prepares to replace its wretched Econoline with a far superior vehicle called the Transit. At first, the setup for the new Transit seems all wrong, as a uni-body is the polar opposite of the traditional body-on-frame truck construction.
The Transit is indeed a big change for a group of hard-working van buyers who are scarily familiar with all the gritty details of the Econolines they’ve run for the last 50 years. The Transit, at first, looks like a botched Euro import, but in fact, Ford’s spent years of planning, engineering and customizing the global Transit line to make sure it answers every question asked of the Econoline by American van buyers.
Part of the admirable and smart “One Ford” strategy, the Dearborn teams take a long, hard look at which of their worldwide models is best fit to tackle global challenges. In the case of the Mustang , it turns out Europe has been clamoring for it all along, so the next-gen car will be sold in Europe and in many more global markets than ever before. In the case of the large commercial van market, the Transit is simply a far better model than the Econoline in terms of fitness for purpose, modern safety and efficiency needs.
Yes, it is a V-6 uni-body without off-road options or the four-wheel-drive system of some Econolines. As we’ll discover over the full review of the lineup, these things bring only benefits but keep the core attributes: a dozen plus different body styles and engine configurations, massive passenger or cargo payload ratings, better performance and economy, more comfort, more tech and finally, more safety.
As Ford educates and comforts the long-trenched Econoline market, the two models will briefly overlap before the eventual phase-out of the E-series altogether after 2015. Let me be the first to say it: good riddance Econoline!
Click past the jump for the full review and image gallery of the 2014 Ford Transit.
While Mazda of America is busy working on its SkyActiv system, back at home in Japan, it is hard at work creating a new micro-mini vehicle. This latest micro-mini to hit the Japanese market is the Mazda Flairwagon, which is a relatively appropriate name given this new wagon has plenty of flair to show off, with its odd-shaped body.
Underneath all of the Mazda badging is a car that is not even related to Mazda in any way, as this new micro-mini wagon is really nothing more than a Suzuki Palette with Mazda badges. Unlike other rebadged cars like the Cavalier and Sunfire, Mazda didn’t really bother changing anything but the badges, which is pretty strange. Then again, this Suzuki also prowls the streets bearing the Nissan Roox name. In the Roox’s case, Nissan at least changes the headlights a little to separate it from its Suzuki donor.
Is this compact and odd-looking wagon something that will actually sell and will it ever find its way outside of the Japanese market? To find out the answers to these questions and learn all about this “new” micro-mini by Mazda, click past the jump.
We have seen the supercar , supertruck , and we are just starting to get into the superSUV , so what else could engineers possibly put “super” in front of? Well, the engineers at the Delft Institute of Technology have a new one for you, the Superbus.
Well, here we are, six years after its initial conception and we finally have and a purpose for this Lamborghini-meets-school-bus electric mass transit system, as well as a road-legal model. According to Fox News, a license plate was finally issued for this creation, which makes road testing legal, allowing its engineers to see how well it performs in real life.
You may wonder what in the world anyone would need with a 50-foot-long, 23-seat, six-wheeled Superbus. Well, the United Arab Emirates have your answer. Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two UAE members, are separated by about 75 miles of highways and want a way to connect the two cities with as little travel time as possible.
The two cities plan to build a stretch of highways connecting them and purchasing a fleet of these Superbuses to trek this journey in just 30 minutes. That’s some serious ass haulin’. We are at least three years away from seeing a production version of this all-electric Superbus, but the issuing of a license plate is a promising site. We will keep you updated on this slow development project as news becomes available.
You can catch a glimpse of this Superbus in the above video.
Apart from the Beetle , no other Volkswagen model can claim ’iconic’ status as the venerable Volkswagen "Type2 T1" Microbus . Back in its glory years, the Microbus was one of the most popular vehicles on the planet, used in more ways than anybody could have anticipated. Remember the 70’s and those ’Love Buses’? Yeah, those were the days, right?
It’s been a while since we last saw an iteration of the Microbus so you can imagine our surprise - and excitement - when Volkswagen unveiled the Bulli Concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Finally, the latest spiritual successor to the Microbus of yesteryear has arrived. Measuring 3.99 m in length, 1.75 m in width, and 1.70 m in height, the Bulli Concept is far from being green-lighted as a production vehicle, but now that a concept version has come out as a development model of the last Microbus concept that was unveiled back in 2001, it bodes well for those people that have been clamoring for a new Volkswagen Transporter to be released.
Whether we see one or not is all up to Volkswagen. But if we had a say on it, we’d be sending this vehicle to the production line in the blink of an eye.
UPDATE 08/15/11: It took a while, and it’s not set in stone yet, but if recent rumors are to be believed, it looks like the iconic Microbus will finally get its long awaited successor. Volkswagen hasn’t confirmed anything yet, but it appears that they’re seriously considering building a production version of the Bulli concept by 2014. We won’t draw any conclusions here, but at this point, we’d be very surprised if the Bulli doesn’t hit production anytime soon.
After Porsche unveiled the Panamera luxury sedan at the Frankfurt Motor Show to a rousing reception, the general consensus was that a a convertible version is already in the works, that is until rumors started circulating that decisions regarding the convertible version was still to receive an official decision.
Now, it seems that the cat is finally out of the bag after a series of patent applications on the Panamera convertible have recently surfaced.
The patents reveal that the future convertible will retain the same layout as the four-door sedan, offering the same interior space and a fabric roof.
It is expected that the convertible will feature the same V6 and V8 engines with power ranging from 300 to 500 bhp.
Based on the Volkswagen Caravelle van (not currently sold in the U.S.), the Claer T5 Bi-turbo is powered by a Porsche 996 engine. This van delivers 680 hp and a top speed of 186 mph. For a VW Caravelle fan this represents a wish come true because after all, it’s still a bus! Of course, in order to obtain these numbers Claer modified the chassis and installed a new suspension system, which has lowered the car almost 75 mm in order to improve the stability.
The most important thing regarding this car are the brakes! The tuner had to prove that its customized VW is able to stop in time and due to the Claer brake system the T5 Bi-turbo can stop now from 0-60 mph in just 128 feet.
This may just be the ultimate stealth sports car. After all, what cop would believe that a van would do almost 190 mph? No words about the price yet.
To appeal to young drivers, Toyota launched a complete line of vehicles in 2004. This new brand is called Scion . Their hope was to repeat the Lexus success story with the Scion. Don’t ask me what Scion means or where it comes from, but after only 4 years in the US, you will have a hard time to find a teenager who doesn’t know or want a Scion.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Viano hold their value better than any other vehicle in their respective segments Eurotax-Schwacke calculates depreciation after three years Viano and S-Class boast highest resale values In the latest Schwacke Automobile Forecast Index (F-SAX) – published twice a year – the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the top luxury car whilst the Mercedes-Benz Viano leads the field in the MPV category. The F-SAX looks at models with the same mileage, comparable (...) More
Transforming a carrier van into a powerful luxury van: That is the guideline for BRABUS for refining the new Mercedes Sprinter. The extensive program comprises powerful engine tuning, an exclusive appearance upgrade, custom-tailored light-
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