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NEWS
July 20, 2014 | By Al Haas, For The Inquirer
Once again, we are reminded that the Korean automaker Hyundai, like its corporate sibling, Kia, is a pretty quick study. A case in point is the redesigned 2015 Genesis, the second coming of its luxury sedan. The first-generation Genesis, which debuted in 2009, offered a lot of features for the buck, and pretty much went downhill from there. The styling lurked somewhere between bland and generic, and the ride and handling were even more forgettable. Enter the renaissance redesign for 2015, an automotive quantum leap.
NEWS
July 29, 2013 | By Al Haas, For The Inquirer
With its redesigned flagship, the 2014 S-Class, Mercedes-Benz is doing what it habitually does: reinventing the luxury sedan. There is a ton of fresh technology in this car that, history tells us, will emulate the Republican trickle-down theory and eventually become available in less expensive Mercedes models - and the rest of the industry. (An example: Electronic stability control was Mercedes' idea. It is now found in nearly every new car on the road.) To show off some of that new hardware and software, Mercedes built an automotive answer to the flight simulator at the site of a recent regional press introduction for the S-Class.
NEWS
May 31, 2015 | By Scott Sturgis, For The Inquirer
Three-way luxury battle: 2015 Cadillac CTS 2.0T Performance Collection vs. Lexus IS350 F-Sport AWD vs. 2015 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 AWD. This week: Infiniti Q50S. Price: $47,955 as tested ($45,450 base price, plus $1,400 for Navigation package and $200 for a temporary spare tire). Marketer's pitch: "Not all reflexes are biological. Some are digital. " Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com liked the "many standard high-tech electronic and safety features . . . muscular V-6 engine; roomy trunk" but not the lack of "a frugal four-cylinder engine; disappointing handling when pushed.
NEWS
December 2, 1994 | By Al Haas, INQUIRER AUTOMOTIVE WRITER
It's been a while since I've been this ambivalent about a new, $55,000 luxury sedan, especially one as good as the redesigned Lexus LS 400. When it comes to the engineering and manufacturing excellence that goes into an LS 400, I'm as big a fan as anyone. But they really should have done something more with the car's body when they restyled it for 1995. Like others in the motor press, I was expecting a more dramatic departure from the bland, undistinguished styling of the previous car. What Lexus provided was a mild re-skinning that did little to help individuate the LS 400. Yes, the new body is a bit more sculpted and athletic-looking than its predecessor, but it is still a design without distinction - and that's the Achilles' heel of this fine automobile.
NEWS
January 20, 1995 | By Al Haas, INQUIRER AUTOMOTIVE WRITER
If Buick were a country instead of an automaker, we could refer to it in travelogue terms: "Buick, land of contrasts, where yesterday meets tomorrow. " Tomorrow at Buick is the Riviera, a low-end luxury coupe that features the most original and exciting body styling to come along in this decade. Yesterday is cars like the Park Avenue, which is an older automobile aimed at an older clientele. The Park Avenue, Buick's large, front-drive luxury sedan, is not an unattractive car. Like the women in Rubens' paintings, it is nicely proportioned in a full-figured way. But, I'm not sure that voluptuous look flies anymore.
NEWS
January 7, 1994 | By Al Haas, INQUIRER AUTOMOTIVE WRITER
The Buick Park Avenue Ultra is obviously not one of those domestic luxury cars that have been given a sporty look and suspension in an effort to woo the yupadoos who buy imported sport sedans. Rather, it is an unabashed traditional luxury sedan aimed at a mature audience. Lots of room, a great ride, mucho hedonism and the silence of the lambs are what we're peddling here, gentle people. And just to make sure that sales mission isn't misunderstood, Buick has tossed in a number of traditional styling cues, including an exceptional use of chrome, bumper guards and simulated-wood interior trim.
NEWS
August 21, 1987 | By S.A. Paolantonio, Inquirer Staff Writer
Cherry Hill Mayor Maria Barnaby Greenwald, the Democratic candidate for the Sixth District Senate seat, has been driving a 1987 luxury sedan temporarily given to her by the owner of a Ford dealership that leases police vehicles to Cherry Hill Township. Greenwald said yesterday that Thomas Hatzis, the owner of Winner Ford in Cherry Hill, lent her the car "for a few weeks" while she decided which new car she intended to buy. She said she did not receive any special treatment from the dealership.
NEWS
March 20, 1992 | By Al Haas, INQUIRER AUTOMOTIVE WRITER
You and I obviously made some defective career choices. We should have gotten work with Mazda as automobile designers. This became apparent to me when I learned how Mazda's design manager went about styling the new 929 luxury sedan. Shunji Tanaka didn't just sit down at his drawing board and come up with a body design for the Mazda flagship. He did a lot of rather appealing research first. His research consisted of traveling around the world, visiting art museums and galleries in order to enhance his understanding of Western and Eastern culture and design.
NEWS
February 17, 2012 | By Stephen Braun, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Rick Santorum grew wealthy over his four years working as a corporate consultant and media commentator after leaving the Senate in 2006, his newly released federal tax returns show. He made more than $3.6 million and drove an Audi luxury sedan - details that could be at odds with his effort to attract blue-collar voters in the GOP's forthcoming presidential primary in Michigan. Santorum, 53, has presented himself in the Republican primaries as a social conservative and a Washington outsider, stressing his family's coal-mining background and his appeal to religious and working-class voters.
NEWS
March 29, 1987 | By Al Haas, Inquirer Automotive Writer
Jim Randle, the appropriately low-key Englishman in charge of Jaguar engineering, steps to the side of the little stage in front of the banquet room. The curtain parts, revealing the new 1988 Jaguar XJ6. The luxury sedan is perched on a revolving disc and set against a rose backdrop that evokes the desert surrounding this rambling resort hotel. The $40,000 automobile's polished chrome and superb maroon finish wink and glisten in the soft track lighting. In the front row of folding chairs, Sir John Egan, the chief executive who was knighted for doing for Jaguar what Lee Iaccoca did for Chrysler, peers intently at the new car as if seeing it for the first time.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 31, 2015 | By Scott Sturgis, For The Inquirer
Three-way luxury battle: 2015 Cadillac CTS 2.0T Performance Collection vs. Lexus IS350 F-Sport AWD vs. 2015 Infiniti Q50S 3.7 AWD. This week: Infiniti Q50S. Price: $47,955 as tested ($45,450 base price, plus $1,400 for Navigation package and $200 for a temporary spare tire). Marketer's pitch: "Not all reflexes are biological. Some are digital. " Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com liked the "many standard high-tech electronic and safety features . . . muscular V-6 engine; roomy trunk" but not the lack of "a frugal four-cylinder engine; disappointing handling when pushed.
NEWS
July 20, 2014 | By Al Haas, For The Inquirer
Once again, we are reminded that the Korean automaker Hyundai, like its corporate sibling, Kia, is a pretty quick study. A case in point is the redesigned 2015 Genesis, the second coming of its luxury sedan. The first-generation Genesis, which debuted in 2009, offered a lot of features for the buck, and pretty much went downhill from there. The styling lurked somewhere between bland and generic, and the ride and handling were even more forgettable. Enter the renaissance redesign for 2015, an automotive quantum leap.
NEWS
February 23, 2014 | By Al Haas, For The Inquirer
In South Korea, Kia calls its first full-blown luxury car the K9. That name just wouldn't do in the United States, allowed a faintly smiling Michael Sprague, the automaker's high priest of American marketing. So, when it makes its imminent debut in this country, it will be known as the K900. Good move. Who wants the most expensive car the company ever made to evoke Lassie? How many prospective buyers would welcome the vision of their friends leaving little packets of Purina Dog Chow under their wiper blades?
NEWS
July 29, 2013 | By Al Haas, For The Inquirer
With its redesigned flagship, the 2014 S-Class, Mercedes-Benz is doing what it habitually does: reinventing the luxury sedan. There is a ton of fresh technology in this car that, history tells us, will emulate the Republican trickle-down theory and eventually become available in less expensive Mercedes models - and the rest of the industry. (An example: Electronic stability control was Mercedes' idea. It is now found in nearly every new car on the road.) To show off some of that new hardware and software, Mercedes built an automotive answer to the flight simulator at the site of a recent regional press introduction for the S-Class.
NEWS
July 22, 2013 | By Al Haas, For The Inquirer
When it comes to compact luxury sports sedans, the BMW 3 Series has been the perennial gold standard. And when you are that good, you become ripe for emulation by automakers who want to get into your game. The 3 Series was certainly a role model for the first Lexus IS, which debuted in the 2001 model year. The IS external dimensions were very close to those of the 3 car, and it was even powered by an inline six, just like the BMW. And now, we have the 2013 Cadillac ATS, a brand new model at least as Bimmer-like as the first IS. If you look at the specs for this freshly coined compact Caddy, you will see that its wheelbase, length, width, height and track widths are all within an inch of the corresponding 3 Series measurements.
NEWS
June 16, 2013 | By Al Haas, For The Inquirer
The new-for-2013 Lexus ES 300h is the automaker's first resident in the entry-level luxury hybrid subdivision, a growing community. To do this, it substituted a four-cylinder gas engine, two electric motors and a 36-module battery pack for the V-6 in the conventional ES 350. In the process, it came up with a midsize entry-level luxury sedan with an EPA city mileage estimate of 40 m.p.g. - almost twice what the ES 350 gets. In addition to the hybridization, the 300h benefits from two significant changes in the ES for 2013.
BUSINESS
July 5, 2012 | Scott Sturgis
Do people who want luxury care about fuel economy? Lexus is betting that the answer is yes. Thus comes the unveiling of the 2013 ES300h hybrid. The entry-level luxury sedan will make the sixth hybrid in the Lexus lineup when it joins the fleet in mid-August. "There really isn't anything that competes with it that gets close to the mileage numbers," Lexus marketing vice president Brian Smith said during the recent East Coast unveiling of the entry-level luxury sedan's new look and new power train offering.
NEWS
February 17, 2012 | By Stephen Braun, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Rick Santorum grew wealthy over his four years working as a corporate consultant and media commentator after leaving the Senate in 2006, his newly released federal tax returns show. He made more than $3.6 million and drove an Audi luxury sedan - details that could be at odds with his effort to attract blue-collar voters in the GOP's forthcoming presidential primary in Michigan. Santorum, 53, has presented himself in the Republican primaries as a social conservative and a Washington outsider, stressing his family's coal-mining background and his appeal to religious and working-class voters.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2012 | By Al Haas, For The Inquirer
Freshly minted green cars. Groundbreaking automobiles like the 2013 Ford Fusion. Indoor demonstration rides in Toyota hybrids. The dashing new Porsche 911. These are among the innovative sights that will vie for the hearts and minds of the 250,000 car-crazed and perfectly normal people expected to attend the Philadelphia Auto Show that opens Saturday at the Convention Center. The annual extravaganza will feature hundreds of new cars and trucks, including more than a dozen soon-to-be-released vehicles on display for the first time in this region.
NEWS
October 16, 2008 | By JACK SMITH For the Daily News
THERE'S NOTHING like a recession to cause you to rethink your priorities. For instance, for the past few months, I'd had my eye on that new Bentley Azure convertible, the one with the wire-mesh grille and the Connolly hide upholstery, but now . . . well, you know. It's this darned economy. So you see? Right there by deciding to pass on the Bentley, I've not only saved myself about $330,000, my idle chit-chat also has become far more interesting and sympathetic than it otherwise might be. But luxury is as luxury does.
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