2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Crowned 2009 Truck of Texas

Posted in 4x4, auto industry, Newsworthy, Off-Roading, Trucks, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | October 19th, 2009 | 1 Response |


For the 7th year in a row, the Blue Oval has managed to claim the hearts of the seasoned auto aficionados of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) with the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor’s sweeping victory as the 2009 Truck of Texas. In addition to the prestigious title as king of the work horses, the Raptor also managed to snag best “Full-Size Pickup” and help the entire F-Series lineup clinch “Truck Line of Texas.” Combined with the Raptor’s strong finish and the impressive debut of several new models, Ford managed to walk away from the winner’s circle with a total of 18 awards, including best “Mid-size CUV” for the Lincoln MKX, “Full-size CUV” for the Ford Flex, “Luxury Pick-up Truck” for the Ford F-150 King Ranch, and best “Full-size SUV” for the Ford Expedition. Read More…

2010 Honda Accord Crosstour Boasts Impressive Whitebread Efficieny

Posted in 4x4, Cars, Foreign Cars, Honda, New Cars, Newsworthy, Pictures, Tokyo Motor Show, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | October 7th, 2009 | 1 Response |


Well, the integral design principle itself definitely holds our attention, but the betrayal and disgust we leftover from the Honda Insight still weighs heavily upon our hearts and thus makes it difficult to generate enthusiasm for the Honda Accord Crosstour. Nevertheless, we here at RL are consummate professionals and as such will strive to overcome our personal feelings in pursuit of unbiased journalism. Or at the very least we’ll try to keep the snark to a minimum.

Anyway, in preparation for its upcoming debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda has released new interior photos of the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour showing off its versatile XUV capabilities. As the name implies, the Accord Crosstour is underpinned by a modified version of the Accord chassis and will provide a less utilitarian alternative to would-be CR-V and Pilot buyers. Thus, to pander to the more active yuppies the Crosstour’s standard FWD can be replaced by AWD as an optional upgrade, and both drivetrains will be powered by a 3.5L i-VTEC V6 engine suitable for hauling a designer pop-up camper. Thanks to the coupe-like styling, the Crosstour’s interior will not feature the same rugged functionality but Honda insists buyers will still find it more than capable of accommodating their needs. “Honda has a longstanding reputation for maximizing interior space and utility in its vehicles,” said Erik Berkman, vice president of corporate planning and logistics for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Like the award-winning Honda Fit, the Accord Crosstour uses a versatile design to create an interior that functions with the practicality of a larger vehicle.” Read More…

GM Guts Production Schedule, Posts Psuedo Good News

Posted in auto industry, Buick, Cars, Chevrolet, GM, New Cars, Newsworthy, SUV, Trucks, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | September 22nd, 2009 | 2 Responses |


Adding to a string of positive reports coming from the once desolate landscape of the domestic auto industry, GM announced today they will be adding a third shift to assembly plants in Kansas, Indiana and Michigan and effectively restore 2,400 positions that would have otherwise been lost in the next round of plant closures. Some have been quick to attribute this good news to a miraculous economic recovery, but it should not be forgotten that Government Motors is backed by a limitless supply of Bureaucratic Bucks™ and thus impervious to financial woes – but we’ll stop this rant before it starts. Read More…

2010 Buick Crossover To Recieve Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain By 2011

Posted in Buick, Cars, Electric Cars, Electric Vehicles, Fuel-efficient, GM, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars, Newsworthy, Pictures, Plug-In Vehicles, SUV, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | August 6th, 2009 | 1 Response |

Buick Plug-in Hybrid Battery

Heightening the enthusiasm for all 6 of their remaining customers, Buick has announced their upcoming mystery crossover will receive a plug-in hybrid edition within the next two years. Scheduled to launch in late 2010, the as-yet-unnamed Buick XUV is intended to serve as a smaller, more fuel-efficient alternative to the Enclave and will be offered with GM’s Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder engine and an optional 3.0L direct-injected V-6. In 2011, a plug-in hybrid version will be introduced, effectively becoming the first commercially available plug-in hybrid SUV to be produced by a major automaker. Read More…

Acura ZDX Concept Debuts In NY As Dazzling Disappointment

Posted in Acura, Auto Show, Cars, Concept Cars, Foreign Cars, Luxury Cars, New Cars, New York Auto Show, Newsworthy, Pictures, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | April 9th, 2009 | 1 Response |


When teaser photos of the new Acura ZDX crossover concept vehicle leaked late last week, we were struck with this crazy idea that we might actually like it. Perhaps it was the result of too many hours spent secluded in our poorly-lit office hunched in front of our laptop for 20+ hours a day with little nutrition beyond amphetamines and goldfish crackers with which to sustain us, but for whatever reason, we were harboring this idea that the Acura ZDX was going to be a leather-upholstered, luxury version of the ass-hauling Subaru Impreza WRX STi. We were, of course, wrong.

Apparently intended to compete with the BMW X6 (good luck with that Acura, have you seen the X6 M?), the Acura ZDX Concept that bowed at the NY Auto Show is a prototype version of the luxury 4-door “sports coupe” that is tentatively scheduled to hit the Acura lineup around 2010-11. Although the specifications are always subject to change, the design language of the ZDX prototype is just unexciting enough to indicate that the final production model will likely differ very little. Beneath the hood, the Acura ZDX prototype is powered by an aluminum VTEC V6, the specifications of which Acura has decided to withhold for the time being, but rest assured that it will most likely be as uninspiring as the rest of the vehicle. Read More…

2010 BMW X5 M Premieres, Fulfills Our Comically Low Expectations

Posted in BMW, Cars, Foreign Cars, Luxury Cars, M Series, New Cars, New York Auto Show, Newsworthy, Pictures, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | April 6th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


Scheduled to drop alongside the 2010 BMW X6 M at the 2009 New York Auto Show next week, our initial review of the X5 M is far less glowing than the X6’s. Our first bone of contention lies within the fact that the X5 is just another cookie-cutter, breeder-hauling SUV, which we believe to be and a taint on the prestigious name of the Ultimate Driving Machine.

We don’t really have a second complaint, since we think the first one pretty much sums it up.

Of course, we’ll admit that we’re not even attempting to be objective with our analysis, but c’mon, we’re called “RideLust,” not “Paragon of Professionalism.” We lust after speed, performance, power, and jaw-dropping good looks – only 75% of which the BMW X5 M possesses. Equipped with the same Twin Scroll Turbocharged V8 found beneath the hood of the X6 M, the X5 M produces 555-horsepower (408 kW) at 5,750 rpm and 501 lb-ft (680 Newton-metres) of torque at 1,500-5,650 rpm. Although the real world application might yield slightly different numbers, BMW’s projections are impressive any way you slice it and pegs the the X5 M as capable of sprinting from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.2 seconds. Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, the X5 is still ugly as sin, which effectively negates any points it earned with its incredible performance.

Bottom line: we’d still kill it with fire, but we might feel a twinge of remorse since it’s bearing an M badge. Read More…

2010 GMC Terrain Makes Early, Unexciting Introduction

Posted in Auto Show, Environment, GM, GMC, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars, New York Auto Show, Newsworthy, Pictures, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | April 6th, 2009 | 4 Responses |


Scheduled to debut officially next week at the 2009 New York Auto Show, the 2010 GMC Terrain is GM’s newest entrant into the XUV market and is apparently intended to serve as a replacement for the ill-fated GMC Envoy. Unfortunately, although we’re usually quick to rally in America’s corner, we’re having difficulty mustering up any enthusiasm for the 2010 GMC Terrain. It isn’t ugly enough to draw our intense loathing, but it isn’t exactly poised to turn the automobile design world on its ear either. It’s a 5-seater sports coupe-based SUV whose primary focus is compact multifunctionality, and the only really noteworthy features are the projected fuel-efficiency figures (which are still awaiting EPA certification). Beneath the hood, the 2010 Terrain comes with two engine options (both of which boast comparable mileage), either a 264-horsepower 3.0L DOHC direct injected V6 that delivers an estimated 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy, or GM’s new 182-horsepower 2.4L Ecotec direct injected I-4 that’s expected to average 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway. Read More…

2010 BMW X6 M Pleasantly Surprises With Pre-NY Appearance

Posted in Auto Show, BMW, Cars, Fast Cars, Foreign Cars, Luxury Cars, M Series, New Cars, New York Auto Show, Newsworthy, Pictures, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | April 6th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


Surprisingly enough, we don’t hate it. Maybe it’s our guilty affection for the Dodge Caliber’s unique styling, or maybe it’s the fact that BMW’s M Division can seem to do no evil, who knows? Whatever it is, it’s working for us.

Packing some signature M Division punch inside its hot little hatch (sounds much dirtier than it is), the BMW X6 M is equipped with the BMW’s M TwinPower Turbo V8 that cranks out an impressive 555-horsepower (408 kW) and 501 lb-ft (680 Newton-metres) of torque. As per M Division standards, the X6 M’s 4.4L Twin Scroll Turbo is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, electronically controlled via either the center stack gear select or the steering column-mounted paddle shifter. To further enhance what BMW refers to as the “road hugging” experience, the X6 M has also been outfitted with a precision handling control system, including both Servotronic steering and Adaptive Drive, as well as something ambiguously referred to as “launch control.” Read More…

SsangYong C200 Debuts, We Feign Enthusiasm As Best We Can

Posted in Auto Show, Cars, Concept Cars, Diesel, Foreign Cars, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars, Newsworthy, Pictures, SUV, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | April 3rd, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


Korean automaker SsangYong unveiled its two variants of its newest creation at the 2009 Seoul Motor Show today: the SsangYong C200 Eco and Aero prototypes. If, like us, you’re unsure how excited you should be by this news, allow us to put it in perspective for you: the SsangYong C200 is roughly equivalent in size and function to the Toyota RAV4. So, “not very.”

Described by SsangYong as a “Compact Urban Vehicle” (CUV), the C200 Eco and Aero prototypes are so named to reflect their engine options, the Eco being available with a 175-horsepower 2.0-liter diesel engine and the Aero with a 1.8-liter turbo 4-cylinder. Both models are available with either 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions and are expected to be offered with either front- or all-wheel drivetrains. Initially unveiled back in October at the 2008 Pars Motor Show, the C200 models shown in Korea today are also officially labeled as “prototypes,” but are expected to be relatively true to production form. As far as exactly when said production will begin, SsangYong has confirmed nothing other than that development is progressing swiftly ahead of schedule, but rumors suggest a launch date will likely be set towards the end of 2009. Read More…

2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT Generates A Little Pre-Show Buzz

Posted in Auto Show, Cars, Concept Cars, Foreign Cars, Hybrid Technologies, Mitsubishi, New Cars, New York Auto Show, Newsworthy, Pictures, XUV by Suzanne Denbow | April 3rd, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


Although it is customarily our policy to instantly dislike any vehicle developed by a company headquartered within the continent of Asia (hey, at least we own it), there are, from time to time, a few exceptions. Most notable among them: the Subaru Impreza WRX STi, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and, as of today, the Mitsubishi Outlander GT. Scheduled to debut officially in a few weeks at the 2009 New York Auto Show, the Mitsubishi Outlander GT is a prototype variant of the next generation Outlander, which is expected to hit dealer lots in late 2009 as a 2010 MY vehicle. Borrowing heavily from the Mitsubishi Lancer’s styling (which is perhaps why we like it so much), the 2010 Outlander GT will be a much sportier, more fuel-efficient model than that of the current generation and will be equipped with Mitsubishi’s Super-All-Wheel-Control System. Power will most likely be sourced from a 3.0-liter SOHC MIVEC V6 engine, which will be mated to one of Mitsubishi’s newest feats of engineering, the Idle Neutral Logica automatic transmission.

Details regarding engine specs and projected gas mileage rates are still under wraps, but we expect to receive more information on the new Outlander GT prototype later next week during Mitsubishi’s pre-auto show press conference. Read More…