FAST ‘N’ CURIOUS
There are no ute plans at BMW despite the rush into light trucks that has even drawn Mercedes — via a Nissan Navara tie-up — into the work-and-play vortex. BMW once built an M3 ute for fun but global marketing chief Ian Robertson says it was a one-off. “I would never say never (on a ute) but it’s extremely unlikely,” he says.
ONE OUT OF THE BOX
The boxy little Kia Soul could become an unlikely performance hero for the South Korean brand and a potential millennial magnet in showrooms. “I like the Soul a lot. It has fantastic character, it stands out. I told my engineers I want a Soul GT,” says new performance boss Albert Biermann.
XV MARKS THE SPOT
The first spin-off from Subaru’s $1.5 billion investment in the new Impreza is nearly ready. It’s the second-generation XV compact crossover, to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in early March. Subaru is copying a VW strategy — overspending on its core model (Impreza for Subaru, Golf for VW) and spreading the engineering and quality gains over an entire family of new models.