Posts By: Ronnie Schreiber

By on January 14, 2016

2014 SRT Viper GTS

The reports of the Dodge Viper’s demise may have been greatly exaggerated. If I can borrow a concept from William Goldman, it appears that the Viper is only mostly dead.*

Back in October, when the labor agreement between the United Auto Workers and FCA was hammered out, there was a flurry of reports stating the Dodge Viper was bound for death. That was based on a contract that indicated Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly, where the Dodge Viper is hand-built, had no products planned beyond the life cycle of the current Viper model.

At the time, I said that while the news didn’t bode well for Dodge’s V-10 supercar, the death of the Viper wasn’t certain. Now, at a press conference at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that “there is a possibility that a new version of the Viper may surface.” (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2016

jeepgladiatorconcept

If there was any confusion about Chrysler’s plans to build a pickup variant of the Wrangler, something for which Jeep fans and car enthusiasts in general have clamored, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne cleared it up at a press conference at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Marchionne unequivocally stated the automaker will be making a Jeep with a bed, probably by early 2018.

Jeep last sold a pickup truck, the Comanche variant of the XJ Cherokee, in 1992. The last time they sold a CJ based pickup was in 1986, with the CJ-8 Scrambler.

(Read More…)

By on January 9, 2016

Elio Motors' display for the 2016 NAIAS

My late father told me that few people are as passionate as converts who’ve become disaffected. Some of the most vocal critics of the Elio Motors startup are former supporters, people who put down money on reservations, only to be disappointed by repeated delays in starting production.

Paul Elio most recently said production is slated to begin sometime late this year — that is if they can get the money to do it.

However, those disaffected folks were abuzz this week over a post at Green Car Congress that said a proposed rule change by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would classify three-wheeled vehicles as automobiles. That would require Elio Motors’ three-wheeler to comply with all the same Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards of four-wheeled cars. (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2016

cannacar

The big North American International Auto Show represents hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity. There are displays needed to be built, attractive product specialists to be hired, and Jumbotron screens to be rented. More than 5,000 media members from around the world are credentialed for the show. In the two days of the media preview, busy video and audio production teams work behind the scenes at the press conferences and caterers prepare food for the ravenous auto journos. Besides what goes on inside Cobo Hall, there is also spin-off business from those visiting journalists and others from out of town working the show needed lodging, food and entertainment.

Now a Detroit medical marijuana dispensary, The Clinic on Detroit’s famed Eight Mile Road, is trying to get a portion of that economic activity (and some free publicity too, I’m guessing) by running a special offer for people working at the show. (Read More…)

By on January 5, 2016

astonfisker2

Car designer Henrik Fisker is planning on launching a new vehicle, called the Force 1, next week at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in conjunction with Bob Lutz’s VL Automotive.

To make sure that the debut comes off without a hitch, according to the Detroit News, Fisker is suing Aston Martin in U.S. Federal Court for $100 million, alleging civil extortion.

Fisker used to be in charge of design for Aston Martin. The British automaker had claimed earlier that Fisker’s new design was cribbed from one of its own. (Read More…)

By on January 4, 2016

IMG_00312-610x268

As we enter 2016, the management here at TTAC has asked the staff writers to come up with summaries of our contributions to the site in 2015. Mark Stevenson gave us a pretty wide latitude, suggesting we could reference both posts that got lots of eyeballs and clicks and stories that didn’t get the attention we’d have preferred.

Before I get to my favorite posts of 2015, however, I need to get something off of my chest. (Read More…)

By on December 28, 2015
The first Ford electric car, 1914

The first Ford electric car, 1914

Ford Motor Company recently announced that it will be investing more than $4.5 billion over the next five years into its electric vehicle program and that it will have 13 electric vehicles on sale by 2020. The announcement follows the Ford company’s original investment in EV technology and the first Ford electric cars by 102 years.

Hopefully, the current spending will yield more fruitful results than did Henry Ford’s original look into EVs more than a century ago. (Read More…)

By on December 22, 2015

IMG_0112

Our friend Mr. Baruth is on a bit of a motorcycle kick lately and, while he’s not quite ready to cruise the interstate highways on a Honda Gold Wing, he recently described the Wing as “one of those brilliant products that both defines a market segment and then comes to utterly dominate it.”

The same could be said for another two-wheeler, though one that couldn’t be more different from the Gold Wing. I’m talking about the Vespa scooter: Introduced in war torn Europe in 1946 and used as basic transportation by Italians rebuilding their country, the Vespa scooter became a bit of a fashion statement by the 1960s (and an essential accessory for the Mod craze in England). It’s been adopted by the developing world as basic transport in the decades since then, and is once again becoming a fashion statement in the 21st century. Virtually every motor scooter made in the last 70 years has followed the Vespa’s template.

This post, however, isn’t about a Vespa scooter. It’s about a Vespa car. (Read More…)

By on December 17, 2015

All-NewFordGT-22-HR
Ford Motor Company has announced that, in partnership with the Corning glass works, the new Ford GT supercar will have a windshield and engine cover made of what they call Gorilla Glass Hybrid.

In case you don’t know, Gorilla Glass is Corning’s brand name for the ion-exchange-strengthened glass used in smartphones and tablets. Instead of two sheets of annealed glass laminated with a middle sheet of clear polymer — as in conventional safety glass — Gorilla Glass Hybrid replaces the inner layer with Gorilla Glass.
(Read More…)

By on December 16, 2015

saleens7-1_r

If you want to see a great example of automotive journalism, go read Raphael Orlove’s account of the unclear history of the development of the Saleen S7 supercar.

Triggered by an email tip, Raph checked into the rumor of the Saleen S7 starting its life as an Aston Martin racing car before being stolen by Steve Saleen himself. Orlove spoke to the entire cast of characters involved in bringing the Saleen S7 into reality — Steve Saleen, Reeves Callaway, UK racecar builder Ray Mallock, and Phil Frank, who designed the body — to try and clarify the matter.

Since none of their stories precisely align — and in some cases contradict each other — Orlove wasn’t able to determine the true provenance of the S7, but he did a great job of debunking the Aston Martin rumor by tracking down leads. It’s also well written and highly entertaining.

The timing of what’s essentially a story about intellectual property coincidentally got published soon after a recent auction for that same intellectual property along with what appears to be enough parts and tooling to at least contemplate building a few S7s again. (Read More…)

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic

Get No-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners Automotive News in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked