Category: News Blog

By on June 27, 2016

Compass Patriot Replacement Poster, Image: © 2016 The Truth About Cars

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ fourth-quarter reveal of Jeep’s replacement for the Compass and Patriot comes after mountains of late-in-life success for the small SUV duo.

In Jeep’s U.S. home market, sales of the Compass — known as one of The Worst Cars Today since way back in 2006 — soared to an all-time record high of 66,698 units in calendar year 2015. Through the first five months of 2016, Compass sales are up 72 percent, a gain of 16,411 sales for Jeep’s lowest-volume model.

The Patriot, meanwhile, topped the list of TTAC’s The Worst Cars Today in 2016, sales of the Patriot also having shot up to record levels of 118,464 units in 2015. Year-over-year, U.S. Patriot sales through the first five months of 2016 grew 4 percent to 52,067 units. Combined, the Dodge Caliber-based tandem essentially produce one-quarter of Jeep’s sales in the brand’s home market, outselling every other individual Jeep nameplate.

Against this backdrop of outrageous success for two critically panned trucklets with seven-slot grilles, a single Jeep candidate will step in to fill their shoes at a Brazilian debut later this year. Jeep already has a subcompact SUV: the Renegade. Jeep already has a small and affordable off-roader: the non-Unlimited Wrangler. Jeep already has an entry to challenge America’s leading crossovers: the Cherokee.

Can Jeep find space in tight quarters for yet another small SUV? If not, we’re about to see the first Jeep flop since the Commander arrived in 2005. Read More >

By on June 27, 2016

1989 Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth

An alternate title I briefly considered: Digestible Collectible: Brexitopia!

I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about the state of international politics beyond what I’ve read here on TTAC, or a few brief articles around the web. While I have my doubts that the world will end because of the “Leave” vote, I’m happy to remain relatively ignorant.

That said, I’m happy to take advantage of the sudden, favorable exchange rate drop, and of course hit the web to see what interesting stuff might be imported.

Read More >

By on June 25, 2016

BMW 600

One of these things is really not like the other.

While perusing an archive of historic Texas highway photos the other day (hey, when you’re single…), something popped up that I felt needed to be shared. In a 1962 image of Houston’s Southwest Freeway (US 59 South), standing out like a three-bean salad at a rib cook-off, was a wonderful automotive oddity.

When we pan out, you’ll see what this daring (and economical) driver had to deal with during his daily commute. Read More >

By on June 25, 2016

2015-cadillac-ats-sedan

General Motors wants better performance from its boosted engines, so it headed to the patent office with a design for a new two-stage turbocharger — one that eliminates the drawbacks of the existing setup.

According to a document published by GM Inside News, the General filed the patent on May 19. The design (mated to a four-cylinder engine) isolates the low-pressure and high-pressure turbines, calling on one or the other (but not both) at different engine speeds and loads. Read More >

By on June 24, 2016

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

A $290 million investment in General Motors’ Bowling Green, Kentuky Corvette plant could herald the arrival of a long-rumored beast.

The cash infusion, announced today by GM and reported by Automotive News, is meant for assembly upgrades and modifications, though it also supercharges speculation that a mid-engine Corvette is finally on the way. Read More >

By on June 24, 2016

Wrangler_6speed_001

The #SaveTheManuals crew can breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like the upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler won’t be an automatic-only model after all.

Spy shots of a Wrangler test mule’s interior shows a six-speed manual transmission, meaning Fiat Chrysler Automobiles got word from owners that the tranny option was worth saving. Read More >

By on June 24, 2016

2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature front

I want you to sit down for this.

The 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature we’re driving this week costs $45,215.

Mazda USA’s $45,215 sticker includes the destination fee and $300 for Machine Grey Metallic.

Yes, that’s 34-percent more than the next-most-expensive Mazda.

No, there’s not a panoramic sunroof at this price point; no ventilated seats, either. On paper, the new CX-9 produces only 227 horsepower from its 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four when filled with regular fuel. Cargo space behind the third row? Negligible. Third row seating? Technically, yes, there is a third row for the headless and legless among us, like many of its rivals. The eight-inch Mazda Connect infotainment unit is intuitive but not the swiftest operator.

And other than that, the all-new second-generation Mazda CX-9 is pretty much, well … is perfect too strong a word? Read More >

By on June 24, 2016

Volvo Autonomous Drive, Image: Volvo Cars

We’re told the future will bring us a blissful, autonomous driving experience that allows us to enjoy the scenery as we read our tablets and enjoy a Venti Macchiato, free of the burden of driving decisions and liability.

Now, for the less happy stuff: who should your safety-minded car kill if it’s forced to make an autonomous Sophie’s Choice-style decision — an occupant or a pedestrian?

A study published in the journal Science tackled that question, with researchers posing various scenarios to 1,900 participants via an online survey. The results show our sense of moral duty is matched by our sense of self-preservation. Read More >

By on June 24, 2016

Mercedes-AMG GT R (C 190), 2016, Image: Mercedes-Benz

With news guaranteed to excite tire retailers everywhere, Affalterbach is introducing an even hotter version of its low-slung GT, dubbed the GT R.

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R is billed as a more extreme way to get your AMG fix, with 577 horsepower, active aero, rear steering, and the owner’s manual carved into your face with a hunting knife.

Read More >

By on June 24, 2016

Red_Devils-Union_Jack (Wikimedia Commons)

The United Kingdom, through referendum, has decided to break off from Europe and go it alone. But what of all the auto manufacturers that produce vehicles in the island nation? And of their employees? And trade?

We won’t know the answers to those questions until the UK and European governments sort out how the two entities will work together in the future. For now, it’s business as usual. Though, thanks to Autocar, we at least have reactions from the big players in the UK’s automotive industry.

Read More >

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  • Contributing Writers

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

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