VLF Automotive: Sports Cars with Guts

Michigan-based VLF Automotive produces some of the auto industry’s most stylish and powerful vehicles, delivering visceral thrills, tailored craftsmanship, and incorporating coach-built design that evokes the whimsy of a bygone era. In an age where it seems as though most premium sports car makers are chasing volume and, in some cases, imbuing their lineups with questionable styling, VLF’s trifecta of low production, raw power, and classic proportioning makes for spots cars with guts. We’d expect nothing less from Lutz. Headed…

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Rx for the Acura RLX

Perched atop Acura’s sedan lineup is the full-size RLX. Far less popular than the mid-size TLX and virtually all of its competitors, the RLX is a rare bird indeed. Last year a total of just 1,931 units were sold in America. That pales in comparison to the volume of Volvo S90’s (6,967 units) and Audi A6’s (10,561 units) sold in America last year. For heaven’s sake, even the often forgotten Infiniti Q80 (née M) had more than double the sales…

Opulent American Luxury of the 90’s

Cadillac and Lincoln delivered classic luxury in droves with their late-nineties full-size sedans. Today we’re exploring the most opulent trim levels of the Lincoln Town Car and Cadillac DeVille. In their day, these vehicles represented the lap of luxury for shoppers seeking a traditional American luxury sedan. 1997 Lincoln Town Car Cartier In the 1990’s the Cartier Edition of the Lincoln Town Car was the crème de la crème for Lincoln’s flagship sedan. Positioned above the base Executive Series and mid-level…

[Design Preview] 2020 Cadillac XT7

The upcoming Cadillac XT7 will join the compact XT4 and mid-size two-row XT5 in the brand’s crossover lineup. Expected to be based on the same front-wheel-drive platform as the Chevrolet Traverse, it will offer seating accommodations for seven or eight passengers and significantly improved efficiency compared to the Escalade. The already attractive Chevrolet Traverse provides a good template for Cadillac to express its signature design language. Up front, expect to see headlamps similar to those found on the recently introduced…

Tumbling Dice: Gambling On Tailfins

At a time when only the flashiest and most unique luxury sedans are postured to thrive in a market increasingly shifting toward SUVs, a strong case can be made for Cadillac to go balls to the wall with their sedans. Bring back the names, like Fleetwood and DeVille, bring on the chrome and tailfins. Make Cadillac sedans look bespoke, eye-catching and stylish beyond compare. Make the design proudly American, with bold lines and fearlessly shaped sheet metal.  A Cadillac emblem…

Does Recent Patent Filing Reveal Future CTS?

With a new coupe design unveiled through a patent finding, new insights are available into future Cadillac designs. With the midsize CTS sedan ready for a refresh, will it adopt the design language found on the mysterious coupe? Time will tell, but we certainly hope so. We’ve grafted on a new front and rear clip based off of the coupe design and it provides a striking refresh for the attractive but rather bland CTS. With Lexus’ designs getting increasingly adventurous,…

Design Analysis: 5 Generations of Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery made its U.S. debut for the 1994 model year, as the SUV craze was underway and Ford Explorers and Jeep Grand Cherokees became ubiquitous on the highways and byways of America. Offering the go-anywhere capability of a Jeep, the brand cache afforded by its famous Range Rover stablemate, and a unique design that was at once awkward and attractive, the Discovery was a sales hit. Over the generations it  has undergone a series of evolutionary and…

Which Generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class Looks Best?

A style icon and international status symbol, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has long been a force to be reckoned with in the full-size luxury sedan segment. Today we’ll look back at four generations of the S-Class, starting with the 1992-1999 third-generation S-Class, known as W140, and ending with the current S-Class, the W222, which was introduced in the U.S. for model year 2014. 1992-1999 S-Class (W140) Often referred to as “over-engineered” this generation S-Class was clearly synthesized during the decadent 80’s….

Design Analysis: 2019 Volvo S60

For 2019 Volvo completely restyled its S60 sedan. Adopting the design philosophy that debuted on the Volvo XC90, Thor’s Hammer headlamps, sharply creased contours and a minimalist tail light design are all present an accounted for. Compared to the last generation design the 2019 S60 looks better-proportioned, especially up front where the grille is better matched to the headlamps and the front overhang is significantly reduced. Pricing starts from an MSRP of $35,800. Inside the interior design is now aligned with…

Street Sighting: Early 2000’s Volvo S60

In our last Street Sighting we reported on the quirky Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe of the early 2000’s. Now, as Volvo prepares to release the all-new third generation S60 sedan, Third Auto revisits the original S60 model that was sold through 2001-2005 model years. Volvo boldly entered the turn of the century with a sleek new design language that debuted with the large S80 sedan in 1999. The curvy lines and shapely contours replaced the brand’s iconic boxy design and made…

Design Analysis: Generation One (2000-2006) BMW X5

The BMW X5 traces its origins back to the 2000 model year when the first generation made its debut. This was the first SUV for the automaker and joined the 3- 5- and 7-Series as well as the Z3 and Z8 in BMW’s lineup. This pre-Bangle era was when BMW hit its peak, both in terms of driving dynamics and design. The first generation X5 was an imposing and serious-looking vehicle that incorporated classic BMW design elements into a crossover…

2019 Toyota Avalon: What If…

We’ve dialed down the strangeness and gave the 2019 Toyota Avalon a more conventional front fascia. What do you think? For more design analysis from Third Auto check out another re-imagined ride with our April 2018 headline story “2019 Cadillac XT4: What if…”. 

2019 Cadillac XT4: What If…

Cadillac recently introduced the 2019 XT4 compact luxury SUV at the New York International Auto Show, where we’ll be reporting from in just a few days. The XT4 builds on the design language seen on the CT6 and influenced by the Escala concept car.