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Trends: Turbocharging, recalls and green superformance

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We’re in the lull before the global auto show season. Car companies are polishing their latest concepts before their respective debuts in the next few months. But, that doesn’t mean the summer break hasn’t given us anything to talk about.

Recalls! Recalls!
Recalls! Get your
recalls here!

When GM goes big, it goes really big. The seemingly never-ending recalls from General Motors is now down to a trickle, with CEO Mary Barra saying the vast majority of defect notices have been completed with replacement parts now more readily available from dealers. If you own a Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac (or one of the dead-brand Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Oldsmobile, or Saab vehicles) and the dealer hasn’t had parts to perform an announced recall in the past, it can probably fix you up now. Good luck.

Another era of turbocharging…

Back in the ’80s, automakers would slap a turbocharger on just about anything and festoon the side of every car with massive TURBO stickers.

This time it’s different. The turbo engines of today, like the 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost turbo motor in the Ford Fiesta are absolutely fantastic. Expect more of this in the future, as automakers look to downsize engines to make them more efficient.

Dodge: home of the world’s most powerful production sedan ever built

No, that whole line isn’t a series of typos. The folks at SRT (the super-nerdy engineers at Chrysler that make things fast and loud, like the Viper) have built something astonishing. In 2015, you’ll be able to buy a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat with, get this, 707 horsepower.

Seven hundred and seven! All those ponies come from a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine with 650 pound-feet of torque. If you’re asking if it’s fuel efficient, this probably isn’t the car for you.

There’s a new Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda just took the wraps off their fourth-generation MX-5 Miata roadster. If its looks are any indication, we’re in for a surprise. The Miata has never been an incredibly fast car. Instead, the MX-5 is gloriously sorted and one of the best convertibles ever built in history, if not the quickest thing on the block. Expect boy racer types to be lined up at Mazda dealerships as they drool all over the pavement whilst staring at the MX-5’s new aggressive sheet metal.

Heads up!

You don’t need to be an actual fighter pilot to enjoy the convenience of a heads-up display anymore. Navdy, a startup based in Silicon Valley, is bringing HUDs to the people. Now one of the most successfully crowd-funded projects in history, Navdy sits atop your dash, connected to your phone via Bluetooth and to your car using an aftermarket OBD-II port reader. It displays navigation instructions, text messages, incoming call information, vehicle diagnostic information and more. For the most part, it doesn’t matter how old your car is. As long as you have a smartphone with Bluetooth, you’re ready to go.

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