Automotive Month in Review: December 2013

RelayRides blogger and automotive expert, Brad Iger, shares the first in a new monthly automotive segment called Automotive Month in Review. 

Hey everyone, welcome to a new monthly segment we’ve aptly named Automotive Month in Review. Here we’ll bring you up to speed on the newest announcements for new vehicles and upcoming tech trends in the automotive world. So what’s on the menu for December?

2015 Ford Mustang

After months, maybe years, of rumors, hype and speculation, this month Ford finally released the official details about the upcoming sixth generation of the pony car. Highlights? If you’re a fan of Ford’s “corporate design language” as found in models like the new Focus and Fusion, you’ll likely be a fan of the new Mustang, as it largely abandons the retro look in favor of a design that’s closer in line with the rest of Ford’s offerings.

Also, as ridiculous as it may sound, 2015 is the first year ever that the Mustang will be getting a fully independent rear suspension as standard equipment. Expect a noticeable improvement in both ride quality and handling. Also for the first time in decades, the Mustang will be offered with a 4-cylinder engine. Don’t roll your eyes just yet, as this guy comes with a twin scroll turbo and will actually be a step up from the 305hp V6, which will remain as the base engine.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz’s most popular line gets a major overhaul for 2015. Aside from the modernized look, the introduction of the CLA model line means the C-Class is no longer the runt of the family. Accordingly, Daimler will be moving the C-Class up the food chain, and in turn, offering more luxury and performance along with it. Expect to see a lot more tech handed down from the new S-Class model as well, including touchpad controller for use with the new 8.4 inch center display that’s included with the Multimedia Package.

2015 BMW M3 and M4

BMW’s most recognizable sport coupe gets a major overhaul for the 2015 model year. BMW is really shaking things up this time around. First off, the M3 coupe is no more. Instead, BMW will be changing their naming conventions, and separating coupes from sedans in the first number of the model designation. So basically, 1-series will be sedans, 2 series will be 1-series coupes, 3-series will be sedans, and 4-series will be 3-series coupes. Get it? Neither do we.

In any case, that means the new M3 coupe is actually called the M4. As has become the trend in recent years, the new sport coupe gets less engine but also less weight. Despite the loss of the E92’s legendary V8, the new car’s twin scroll V6 actually makes more power than the outgoing engine while also increasing fuel efficiency. The optional six-speed manual transmission remains an option, much to the glee of enthusiasts who mourn the slow demise of the manual transmission option, ourselves included.

Stay tuned for next month’s entry, as the Detroit Auto Show is coming up in just a few weeks and we’re expecting a whole lot of new car news to share with you for January 2014. See you next year!