In this section of the blog, you can find articles about things about cars and the automotive industry that blow our minds or just make us laugh out loud.
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Smaller-engined versions of top-end cars [w /poll]

The past year has seen an interesting development in the arena of exotic and ultra-luxurious cars – the emergence of smaller-engined versions of cars that were previously available only with super-high-output 12-cylinder options. First was the facelifted Ferrari FF, now called the GTC4 Lusso, which in addition to the all-wheel-drive V12 version became available as an “entry level” model with rear-wheel-drive, powered by a turbocharged V8 engine taken from the 488 GTB and California T. Then Bentley released the oft-rumored Bentayga powered by, the sacrilege, a V8 turbodiesel seemingly taken straight out of the Audi SQ7. Are they a sign of things to come, smart decisions by the brands from a marketing perspective, or foolish endeavors to chase short-term profits at the expense of the brands’ long-term allure?

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BMW 1-series hatch going front-wheel drive [w/ poll]

Photo credit: CarScoops

We don’t usually devote much space to spy shots here at CarSalesBase, but in this instance I figured I’d make an exception given that it might lead to an interesting discussion. In particular, after years of speculations and anticipation, we finally have the first pictures of the third-generation 1-series hatchback, which unlike the first two generations will be primarily front-wheel drive.

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Look-a-like: Bentley Bentayga and…

The Bentayga Bentayga has gotten plenty of flack ever since it came out, and pretty deservedly in my opinion. First, there is the shape with its long front overhang, which largely determined by hard points inherited from its platform twin, the Audi Q7, and which lacks the gloriously long hood that gives the Mulsanne and even the Continental GT their recognizable look. But Bentley did itself no favors with the detailing either – the oft-maligned cock-eyed front, the gauche fake air outlets in the front fenders, or the overdrawn “power curve” over the rear wheels that was cribbed from the Continental GT and forced onto a slab-sided SUV surface. But my biggest disappointment was always the rear, which is the worst thing for a luxury car – anonymous. The blame here lies mostly with the rear lights, which on top of being rather bland also remind of those of a mainstream non-premium car…

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Look-a-like: Opel Insignia and…

The new Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is a fine-looking machine, though I may be a little bit less hot on it than some of the more enthusiastic commentators on the web. In particular, I feel that its detailing is a bit under-resolved, the rear is bland, and the whole looks less sporty than the model it replaces. One thing that I have to say I like a lot on the new model is the new prominent grille, which gives the car an aggressive aura that was maybe missing from the previous model. It also gives it, however, a more than a passing resemblance to one of its more premium competitors…

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CarSalesBase.com has been bought by CarScoops!

Following months of negotiations over beers and take-away Chinese, we have come to an agreement that will see CarSalesBase merge with CarScoops.

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Look-a-like: Audi Q5 and…

The new Audi Q5, as is pretty common with cars from the German automaker, got a bit of a mixed reception. Some people are tired of Audi cars always looking like updated version of the previous generation, rather than all-out new designs. Others, myself included, appreciate the new model’s tauter lines, good proportions, fine detailing, and most importantly the front view which is much better resolved than either on the old Q5 or the larger Q7. And it’s from the front that the new Audi looks a lot like another car that made its market debut a little bit earlier than it did…

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Look-a-like: Seat Ateca and…

When the Seat Ateca came out I remember being disappointed – the car is by no means bad-looking, but I felt it should have been much more adventurous than it turned out. By taking design cues from the Leon and stretching them over a more upright, formal crossover body the Ateca lost a lot of what made its hatchback sister model so handsome and attractive. But what really killed me is that that the Ateca looks less like a stablemate to the Leon, but rather more like a smaller, 5-seat version of…

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Look-a-like: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and…

Imagine you’re a car company on the brink. There was a time that you produced some great cars, but that was decades ago, so no one really remembers that. So you decide that you need to be bold, and rather than build another “me too” hatchback you design a bold mainstream crossover will put your name back on the map. Hell, you’re desperate for success, so you even decide to resurrect the nameplate from the most-loved sports car from your past. And since you’re already started copying to ensure the new model’s success, you figure “ah, what the hell, I should crib parts of the car’s styling from a car renowned for its looks”. You do some quick research into the most frequently Googled car name and you come up with the perfect inspiration!

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Poll: how well will the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid do in the US?

Yesterday Hyundai announced that the Ioniq Hybrid will cost around $23,000 when it goes on sale in the US, which makes it some $2,000 cheaper than its main competitor, Toyota Prius. In addition, the Hyundai can claim to be considerably more efficient than the Toyota, at least on paper, promising 58 mpg combined to the latter’s 52 mpg. So far things look promising for the Hyundai, but can it really succeed where the likes of Honda Insight failed?

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Upcoming DS7 Crossback [w/ poll]

Photo courtesy of Worldscoop

This post is a bit unusual in that it is a “3 in 1”. First, it’s a scoop of the new upcoming mid-sized SUV from the DS brand, rumored to be called the DS7 Crossback. Second, I thought it would be a good opportunity to ask our readers about whether they think the carmaker is on the right track, both with this model and more broadly for the DS brand as a whole. And finally, I just could not help thinking the car reminds me two others that have come before it…

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