Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Highs and The Lows of 2015 (Part II)

Alexander Carabitses

After discussing all of the negatives of the automotive year in 2015, it is now time to end on a high note with some of the good.

Let's start with what is bound be on everybody's list of positives: the 2017 Ford GT.  Ford has balls for creating this $400,000 supercar; it also has balls for bringing the car to Le Mans in 2016.  Although Ford isn't going for the overall win, a 24 hour race will still put this car through the ultimate  test on the 50 year anniversary of when Ford kicked Ferrari's ass with its GT40s.  To those fortunate few who will get to own a new GT, just know that you people have a piece of timeless automotive history that you should cherish forever.

(Image credited to Ford)

Time for me to throw a curveball and bring in the double award winner, Mitsubishi.  Let me get one thing out of the way quickly:  Mitsubishi makes crap cars with poor styling; the one good car that they had (the Lancer Evolution) is being killed off this year. However, somehow, the brand is seeing dramatic sales increases here in the North american market.  Nobody has a clue where this came from (although that piece of shit Mirage subcompact might have something to do with it).  I commend the brand for their progress, and if their sales continue to surge forward, the brand may eventually have the cash to develop some nice vehicles again.
(Image credited to Mitsubishi)

I also want to give a shoutout to Subaru for its continued sales momentum.  Although I'm not the biggest fan of their cars, I will admit that what they have in terms of yearly sales growth is impressive.  Most people don't know this, but when the recession hit in 2009, Subaru was the only brand that didn't lose market share.  The brand continues to succeed here in the US, and I don't see anything getting in its way anytime soon.

Congratulations Volvo on winning the Motor Trend SUV of the Year award with your all-new XC90.  The vehicle is a turning pint for the brand, and while I still think the vehicle looks a bit bland, it is a far cry from what was on sale not that long ago, and, in fact, what is still on sale with some of the brand's other models.  I won't form a final opinion of the new S90 sedan until I see it in the flesh, but even if I don't like it, it will admittedly be a far cry over the S80 of old. Volvo's product plan is on track, which is great news.  Hopefully, these new models will lead to a sales renaissance for the brand in the not too distant future.
(Image credited to Volvo)

Porsche beat Audi in the 24 Hours at Le Mans.  Just for the record, this was Porsche's second year back in the World Endurance Championship.  Oh, and one more thing, Audi has been a dominant force in this series, winning this particular race thirteen times.  Enough said.
(Image credited to

Sticking with motorsports for a minute, Kyle Busch winning the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in Miami last month is a sensation, both in the world of cars and the world of sports.  Kyle was severely injured after a crash at Daytona in February in the season opening Xfinity Series race.  He returned in May (one week ahead of schedule), winning five races and the championship.
(Image credited to

I've said this many times, but I am overjoyed at the return of the large American sedan.  The Buick Avenir concept and the Cadillac CT6 show that the RWD behemoths that ruled the industry decades ago are still alive and well, while the Lincoln Continental Concept and the new Buick Lacrosse show that although the drivetrain is different, the spirit still lives on.  Thank you to the domestic auto makers for continuing to make cars like this.
(Image credited to

Finally, the biggest positive was the 2015 New York International Auto Show.  Simply put, it was the biggest auto show of the calendar year and the biggest of the 2014-2015 auto show season.  Even if one is to look beyond the McLaren 570, the Lincoln Continental Concept, and the Cadillac CT6, they will find other important product launches.  The launches of the Honda Civic Coupe Concept and the 2016 Chevy Malibu were important, as they were a sign that the two automakers acknowledged their mistakes on the then outgoing versions of those cars and planned to fix them. The new Nissan Maxima debuted, a car which bears the most recognizable nameplate in the Nissan lineup, while Lexus's best selling model, the RX, was redesigned and debuted at the show.  The "return" of Scion also took place at New York with the debuts of the iM and the iA, both of which sparked up questions on what the brand's future holds.  More stories came out of New York than any other auto show, period.
(Note: Four of the models pictured above did not debut at the show.  This collage was originally used for a private Instagram post.)

With that, I wrap up this post and Car News Commentary as a whole for 2015.  I will be back to cover the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, as well as my impressions of the vehicles I see at the New England International Auto Show in Boston, assuming I can make it up there this year.  Until then, I would like to thank my loyal readers for your continued support. I'd like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Kwanzaa; if you don't celebrate those holidays, have a great end of the year.

Thanks for reading, have a good week and a great holiday!

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