A Sort of Homecoming

2012 Buick Regal eAssist 9

There is nothing like recalling past triumphs.

At the Chicago Auto Show, I had the great opportunity to present the 2011 Vehicle of the Year award to Tony DiSalle, Vice President of Marketing for Buick and GMC. The Buick Regal won this award by virtue that it was an absolutely superb premium midsized sedan. It did everything well – all I could ask from a globally-developed, German-made car.

My personal editorial policy states that I do not review the same vehicle twice. In this instance, there is an exception. While the Regal I reviewed last year had a 220 horsepower 2.0litre turbocharged engine, this one came with something completely different – an additional electric motor. As is the case with most automakers these days, the push to improve fuel economy includes taking steps to find ways to alleviate the stress on the standard internal combustion engine or find another energy source to power the vehicle.

General Motors already had a hybrid system in place that appeared in the Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura. After a couple of years off the market, GM dusted off the system, made some improvements, and installed it into three new models for 2012 and 2013. One of these new models just happens to be the Buick Regal.

V&R in 2012 – A Look Ahead

The question remains: What would make this site completely awesome?

This year already yielded some huge advances for the site. Through new connections, a wider social media presence and some leaps and an expansion of outlets for my writing, the groundwork has been laid for an extraordinary 2012.

That is, of course, if the economy would be of help on my end.

If, perchance, that the economy is indeed improving and I am able to gain traction through this phase of economic recovery, there are a lot of plans for V&R. All it takes is some hard work, some opportunities and some miracles thrown in.

Sometimes, it's good to make some plans for the upcoming year. What vehicles would be reviewed on this site (and Lavender Magazine)? What events should I attend for coverage in V&R and Lavender? What crazy ideas I might have to bring you closer to these two outlets (and more)?

Conversation Piece

2011 Chevrolet Volt 32

What if you wanted to own a vehicle that everyone's been talking about?

That would include many vehicles out in the marketplace. The BMW M5 had many enthusiasts excited when it was announced that its turbocharged V8 packed 560 horsepower. The Lamborghini Aventador effectively replaced the Murcielago with an incredible look that had the supercar crowd wanting a piece of it.

Not all the talk was about fast automobiles. Conversations about electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have not quieted since the buzz about their potential growth. The Nissan Leaf may not have a foothold here in the Twin Cities, but people are talking about it as they wished their dealers could order one for them today. The Leaf will soon be joined by other EVs – including the Fiat 500, smart forTwo, Tesla Model S and Ford Focus. The Toyota Prius recently introduced a plug-in version of their popular hybrid very soon in our market.

However, there was one "green" vehicle that generated the most conversations above all the rest: The Chevrolet Volt.