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2016 Acura ILX

Acura’s ILX compact sedan has been a near total sales dud. Sure, the idea of wrapping the Honda Civic’s bones in fancier clothes and ladling on an extra helping of refinement sounds good—and it worked in Canada!—but that’s not exactly how the ILX turned out when it hit the market as a 2013 model. Yet don’t bury the thing just yet, because Acura has announced it will debut a refreshed version at the 2014 L.A. auto show.

Acura hasn’t outlined what exactly we can expect from the 2016 ILX besides offering up the darkened image of the car seen above and the promise that it is “substantially new.” To be substantially more specific, Acura says the refresh includes “a potent new powertrain, more forceful, sporty exterior styling, and substantially upgraded interior design.”

We’d say that those ILX features-slash-bullet-points are all worthy upgrades. Instead of “modern-day Integra,” the ILX instead heads into the fight with cars wearing A3, 2-series, and CLA badging without many actual weapons. The current car has substantial road and powertrain noise, a dull interior, and a snoozeworthy base 2.0-liter four-cylinder. (The optional 2.4-liter four borrowed from the Civic Si, on the other hand, is fantastic if a bit raucous for a luxury car.) As such, fitting Honda’s new direct-injection 2.4-liter four would be a most welcome change. A sportier or at least worked-over body would keep the ILX fresh in the face of Acura’s newest darling, the larger TLX, and from the photo Acura released, it would appear new lighting—likely LED-lit all around—is in store, too.

2013 Acura ILX 2.4 40,000-Mile Long-Term Test Wrap: Effervescence in a Plain Bottle  2015 Acura TLX 2.4 Tested: Two for One in the Mid-Size Segment Acura ILX Research: Full Pricing, Specs, Reviews, and More

We’ll bring you more from the L.A. show next month, but we’re glad Acura seems to be listening to its customers—or rather its lack of customers—and making an effort to buff up the slow-selling ILX.

James Bond Lotus Esprit submarine up on eBay for $1 million

The Spy Who Loved Me featured perhaps the the second most famous James Bond car of all time, after the iconic Goldfinger DB5: the Lotus Esprit S1 that went from sports car to submarine with the flick of a switch. Now, thanks to an eBay auction, you can buy one—for a million bucks.

Okay, so the full-size movie prop offered in this auction can hardly be called a car. This static piece, fresh from a complete overhaul on the reality show American Restoration, shows the folding wheels on the left side, and the underwater fins on the right. It sits on a display platform in the same diving angle as when movie viewers first witnessed the car-to-sub transformation in theaters in 1977.

READ MORE: Rally Porsche shows its greatness…with fire

As the lads at Top Gear proved, turning a roadgoing car into a seaworthy submarine isn’t easy. Just a little over a year ago, Elon Musk purchased another Bond Lotus submarine prop, and he says he’s going to make it functional. With Musk running at a year’s head start, whoever buys this Lotus better have Q Branch working double shifts to make this movie dream into a reality.

From the C/D Archives: 1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo Original Test!  Double-O Slow? C/D Tests James Bond’s Rides Lotus Evora Reviews, News, Specs, Photos, and More

READ MORE: Here’s a LaFerrari doing a 950-hp drift at Monza

via The Verge; this story originally appeared on roadandtrack.com.

roadkill

If there is a season for deer strikes out on the highway, State Farm reminds us in a recent analysis of customer data, we’re in it — with the worst of it yet to come. Near every driver I know has a story of one or more strikes. Joey Slaughter shared results of the State Farm study over on his Team Run Smart blog, and Channel 19 regular Jeff Clark commented on not one but several strikes over the years, for instance.

And you might well have seen this story from early in the year about a driver who hit a deer and it ended up in the cab with him, by no means the first such story we’ve come across.

State Farm’s data is interesting in that it shows the top states for strike risk, with West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Montana, Iowa and South Dakota making up the top five for the likelihood of a deer collision this year. When similar State Farm data were reported in 2011, the national picture looked like this: 

All of which begs the question of how best to avoid a strike. General consensus is to try not to once it’s too late and a deer is up ahead in your lane — keep to the current lane of travel, slow down as much as safely possible to mitigate damage and keep the safety of those around you in place. Swerving to miss a deer could well just make matters worse.

All the same, utilizing bright lights at night to illuminate darkened areas off to your sides when possible will keep you at least aware of deer when they’re around. Pay attention to those deer crossing signs, too — they’re placed there for a reason. Slaughter points to the extensive research on the subject of deer-vehicle crash mitigation by the Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation. With deer often traveling in herds, if you see one, there’s likely another close by, and crossing signs warn of known high-activity spots. 

Realizing there’s no panacea on avoiding strikes, what have you done in the past that’s worked — or not? What were the conditions like when you last hit (or closely missed) a deer? Drop a comment here and let me know. I’ll share further in a follow-up post.

You can read Slaughter’s post on the subject via this link.

Recall Throwdown: Analyzing Automakers’ Recall History in the Past 30 Years—Who Is Worst?

The number of vehicles recalled in the U.S. this year has hit an all-time high since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was founded in 1970.

According to the Detroit Free Press, automakers have recalled more than 56 million vehicles year-to-date in 2014, surpassing the 1999 full-year record of 55.6 million. (You may now add 53 2015 Ford Mustangs to this total.) As you might expect, General Motors vehicles make up nearly half of that number, at more than 26.5 million.

Analyzing Automakers’ Recall History in the Past 30 Years—Who Is Worst? Recalls Explained: How the Government Forces Automakers to Fix Things GM Recalls 97,540 Cars for Stalling, Yearly Recalls Now Total 76

However, GM’s own running tally of its 2014 actions lists them as they’re reported individually to NHTSA, which means there are some duplicate vehicles subject to multiple recalls or expansions of recalls. So that 56-plus-million number, a mix of NHTSA stats and the Freep‘s latest count through today, probably includes duplicates from more than a few manufacturers since to weed them out would require days of tedious, unrewarding combing through hundreds of recall PDFs in NHTSA’s database. We’re assuming the perennially underfunded and overworked NHTSA didn’t do the legwork for the 1999 number, either, so let’s call it a wash. Either way, 56 million is a lot of vehicles—and we’re only in October.

GM says big network can be asset as some stores fear consolidation; Hyundai seeks capacity; Porsche ahead of plan; Toyota expands recall.

Free Evaluation:

If you are looking to increase your insurance coverage on your vehicle, the insurance company may require you to obtain a certified auto appraisal.   If you have a custom car, truck or motorcycle, the insurance company won't pay you more than book value. Get a stated value appraisal to cover money spent customizing your vehicle.  Have a collector or exotic vehicle?  Book value does not justify the vehicle value  In case you are in an accident, have a certified auto appraisal done.  Contact us today for a Free Evaluation!

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Accident:

If you were involved in an accident and the insurance company deemed your vehicle a total loss, we can help.  If you don't agree with the insurance company's offer, you have the right to hire an independent certified appraiser to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Our certified appraiser will go to the vehicle location, conduct the inspection and complete a certified total loss appraisal on your vehicle.  Total loss claims do require a negotiation phase which we will take care of for you at no additional charge!

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Let Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Help After A Crash!