Auto News For Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - New Lincoln Continental Isn't Exactly A Bentley Continental

2015 Lincoln Continental Concept
Here are six must-read, must-watch auto news stories, reviews, and videos for Tuesday, March 31, 2015.  

FUTURE 
Jalopnik did some cool stuff with the new McLaren 570S. Or, wait a second, is it really a new McLaren, are you sure that's not the 650S? It looks like a proper supercar, sure, but is McLaren going all Aston Martin/BMW/Audi with this addiction to upsizing exact designs? 

INSIDE THE CAR BUYING BUSINESS
Larry P. Vellequette wrote an interesting story for Automotive News on why the latter portion of what's turning out to be a slightly slower March might have been the best time to buy a new FCA/Chrysler Group vehicle. If the streak of year-over-year U.S. sales growth was to continue through five years, FCA dealers needed to sell a lot of vehicles in March. We'll find out tomorrow whether they were able to do so, as GCBC will  publish brand-by-brand March/Q1 sales results, best-seller lists for cars, trucks, and SUVs, and much, much more.

INSIDE THE AUTO BUSINESS 
Car Design News' Jens Meiners quotes Bentley's Luc Donckerwolke as saying, "This behaviour is not respectable. Building a copy like this is giving a bad name to the car design world." To what "copy" is he referring? Lincoln's new Continental Concept. Ironic, isn't it, that the car shares a name with the alleged donor design, Bentley's Continental Flying Spur?

GCBC's Most Popular Auto Sales Figures - March 2015

2015 Ford Mustang V6 oxford white
Two Fords hosted the two most popular vehicle sales tracking pages at GCBC during the month of March 2015.

GCBC readers viewed the Ford F-Series' page most often; the Ford Mustang's was the second most popular. There were also three Honda products in the top ten.

Our most popular review during the month of March also involved the Mustang, a 2015 V6-powered Ford Mustang, in fact. Readers looked at our complete February 2015 U.S. brand-by-brand sales rankings more often than any other February-related sales article on GoodCarBadCar.

Ram P/U Sales: 58 Consecutive Months Of U.S. Sales Growth In Context

“Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 7 percent in February; its 58th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.” - FCA US LLC press release, March 3, 2015.

What do 58 consecutive months of year-over-year U.S. sales improvement look like? This chart is one way of looking at it. Ever since May 2010, Ram P/U sales have been on the rise. Most recently, this translated to a 24% year-over-year increase in calendar year 2014, a 14% jump in January 2015, and a 7% improvement last month.

No high-volume vehicle has even approached the level of consistent growth achieved by the Ram P/U, America’s third-best-selling vehicle line. The Audi brand’s 50 consecutive months of year-over-year improvement and 19 consecutive months of monthly sales records is similar, powered by an expansion of its model range, greater interest in entry-level luxury, and steadily improving brand image. Indeed, the Ram P/U’s parent company, FCA (née Chrysler Group) has posted consecutive U.S. year-over-year sales increases in every month going back to April 2010.

Auto News For Friday, March 27, 2015 - New Kia Optima, New Scion IA

Kia Optima
Here are seven must-read, must-watch auto news stories, reviews, and videos for Friday, March 27, 2015.

FUTURE 
The next Kia Optima appears to be a sufficiently effective evolution of the current Kia Optima. We’ll see much more when the car drops at the New York auto show next month. 

MORE FUTURE 
AutoGuide has pictures of the upcoming Scion iA, which is fairly awkward to say: eye-eh. It’s basically the next-gen Mazda 2 in sedan form.  

YET MORE FUTURE 
The Ford Focus RS won’t go on sale in North America for another year, Road & Track says. 

INSIDE THE AUTO BUSINESS 
Nick Bunkley, always worth a read at Automotive News, reports on the month of March from an auto sales perspective, which likely wasn’t as healthy as March 2014.  

2015 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ Review - Wait For It... Wait For It...

2015 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ
The Malibu was pretty good. It looked good. It drove nicely enough. It sold in decent numbers.

But that was between 2008 and 2012.

THE GOOD
• A new one's on its way

• A 2.0T is available
• Decent ride quality
• Attractive front end
• Chevy also makes Cruze, Impala
THE BAD
• Small back seat
• Laggy MyLink
• Dreadful stop-start system
• Cartoonish design elements
• Coarse 2.5L

The 2013 Malibu wasn’t so great. It didn’t look good. It didn’t drive so nicely. It wasn’t very pleasant inside. It didn’t sell so well.

But with the speed of a cat lover furiously favouriting tweets of bathing felines, GM refreshed the Malibu for the 2014 model year. Verdict: the refresh was inadequate.