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Auto blogMon, 01 Apr 2013 14:58:00 EST
Over the past few months, we've talked a lot about how our long-term 2013 Nissan Pathfinder functions as a daily-driver, long-hauler and all-weather warrior. And so far, it's earning high praise from most of us for being a well-rounded, pleasant vehicle in these regards. But the vast majority of people who actually go out and buy a Pathfinder will do so because of its people-and-stuff-carrying abilities. Nissan specifically engineered the new Pathfinder to be a softer, more widely appealing crossover than the sort of rugged SUV that it was before, and in doing so, the company is hoping its new CUV will find homes in the garages of many American families.
We needed to get some family impressions of the new Pathfinder, and fast.
Thing is, many of us Autobloggers live the kid-free life - at least that's true of most of us in the Detroit area where the Pathfinder currently resides. We have no doubts that the Pathfinder will get a proper family road trip workout from west coast editor Michael Harley after it shuffles over to the left side of the country, and it might also do a jaunt to North Carolina this summer with executive editor Chris Paukert and his family before it leaves the area, but in the meantime, we needed to get some family impressions of the new Pathfinder, and fast.
We love Motor Trend's annual World's Greatest Drag Race video. Now back for its fourth appearance, the idea of lining some of the world's fastest cars up for a ten-wide, straight-line, full-throttle run is, well... it's pretty freaking badass.
The lineup this year boasts some impressively fast cars to be sure. The group of ten includes the following darlings: Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW i8, BMW M4, Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Ford Fiesta ST, Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, Nissan GT-R Nismo, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Subaru WRX STI and, last but not least, the Volkswagen GTI. Give us any one of those for the weekend, and we're happy to take the keys.
It must be said though, that for a publication that draws as much water as Motor Trend does, there are some big cars that we might expect to be here instead. The Lamborghini Huracán or Ferrari 458 Speciale would have added some exotic flare to the list, and the omissions of the Chevy Corvette Stingray (for the second year in a row) and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat are real head-scratchers.
Renault believes there's enough Alpine love to restart that brand with its own model almost immediately. The launch of the Initiale Paris luxury brand it's been mulling, on the other hand, will be more restrained: a report in Autocar says that instead of launching with a first model based on the Mercedes E-Class architecture, Renault is going to introduce an Initiale Paris trim line on the new Clio and Espace. More accurately, that should be 're-introduce and aggressively market,' since Renault has used an Initiale Paris trim over the years since it introduced the concept car (pictured) in 1995, even as recently as the current-generation Laguna Coupe.
Other models will be added after the Clio and Espace, and when Renault can assess what kind of future the trim has, it will decide on the launch of a subsidiary brand. Company CEO Carlos Tavares said we shouldn't hang around waiting for a decision, though, declaring that establishing such a brand - if it even comes to that - "will be a job for at least my successor to worry about, not me."