Autonomy is Right Around the Corner, Yet Car Companies are Doubling Down on Driving Fun

Cars that drive themselves are coming to a roadway near you. So why are automakers so focused on fun?

Can a Toyota Camry legitimately be described as fun to drive? Toyota thinks so, and expects this to come to pass when the redesigned 2018 Camry arrives later this year.

The next-generation Camry is built on Toyota’s new global vehicle architecture, designed from the ground up to improve driving dynamism. Chairman Akio Toyoda, himself a fan of taking the long way home, has decreed that Toyotas and Lexuses must be more than just high-quality, dependable, and efficient vehicles. They must spark emotion, they must be enjoyable to drive, and they must be aspirational rather than an appliance.

Toyota is not alone. Multiple automakers are flexing their engineering muscles in order to appeal to people for whom the journey is just as much fun as the destination. Clearly, if you are a driving enthusiast, now is a great, if disconcerting, time to be alive.

Continue reading “Autonomy is Right Around the Corner, Yet Car Companies are Doubling Down on Driving Fun”

Redesigned 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport Speeds to the Border of GTI Territory

Turbocharged engine, independent rear suspension, hundreds of Nurburgring development laps hold promise

Volkswagen is the undisputed king of Pocket Rocket Mountain, and it has been for decades. If you’ve driven a Golf GTI or Golf R, especially lately, you understand why. Still, that doesn’t prevent competing automakers from trying to decode VW’s recipe and improve upon the result (at best), or mimic it (at worst).

With the debut of the redesigned 2018 Elantra GT, it’s Hyundai’s turn at bat. This time around, the company fortifies the new Elantra GT Sport model with a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine making 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, a choice between a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and hundreds of laps of Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife to fine-tune the ride and handling.

Does this new Elantra GT Sport have what it takes? A drive will determine that. For now, all we’ve got is details.

Continue reading “Redesigned 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport Speeds to the Border of GTI Territory”