By on January 5, 2016

Faraday Future (FF) FFZERO1

Faraday Future revealed its FFZERO1 Concept in Las Vegas on Monday night. It is a striking artifact that continues to keep the company’s product plans mysterious. This “car of concepts,” as Head of Design Richard Kim called it, is an extreme expression containing select elements that foreshadow the company’s production vehicles.

We now know that Faraday Future (they like to be called FF) can design a theoretical 200+ mph, 1,000 horsepower, single-seat hypercar. Even in a world full of extreme cars, this one looks futuristic. But this is not an attempt to compete with Bugatti, Koenigsegg, or Ascari. It’s an extreme test-bed, right down to the drag reducing, heat-dissipating pair of see-through “aero-tunnels” channeling air directly through the vehicle.

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By on December 13, 2015

2015 Chrysler 200 S AWD front angle

According to a report from Allpar, Chrysler’s model mix might be getting a major re-shuffle compared to Sergio Marchionne’s much touted five-year plan shown in 2014. While Allpar doesn’t list a source, a recent investor presentation marked Chrysler’s future lineup as “under re-evaluation”.

The five-year plan called for a new C-segment sedan, which was dubbed Chrysler 100, and a slew of other new product.

With fuel prices expected to stay at their current level until at least 2020 and the market eschewing smaller cars for crossovers, the time may not be right for the Chrysler 100 in North America, reports Allpar.

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By on December 12, 2015

Volkswagen Microbus CES teaser

Multiple outlets are reporting that the vehicle seen in this teaser photo from Volkswagen is none other than an electrified version of the Microbus concept and it will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show next month. The photo follows an earlier report by Autocar (which has since been updated with the same photo and new text) that said Volkswagen would bring a new Microbus to the Las Vegas convention.

We won’t disagree. We also won’t hold our breath for a production model.

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By on December 9, 2015

2016ToyotaPrius_(7_of_10)

Toyota announced Wednesday it would lower its global sales goal for the 2016 Prius in light of low fuel prices curbing sales of fuel-efficent vehicles.

According to Reuters, Toyota’s new target is to move an annual average of 300,000 to 350,000 Prii out of the lot around the world, compared to the 300,000 to 400,000 annual sales average sought for the outgoing model. A company representative said a decline in global sales of the hybrid since 2013 was one of the reasons behind Toyota’s decision.

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By on December 7, 2015

Jeep Czech Republic Moose Test Photo

Oops! Have you tried maneuvers like this? #Jeep

One great thing about PR and marketing is that you can often turn a massive fail into a great win — like when a Slovak PR agency for Mercedes-Benz posted a picture of the new CLA Shooting Brake next to a pool.

A random commenter said he’d like them to take the Merc for a swim. Mercedes’ PR agency replied, “If your post gets more than 1,000 likes, you can choose whether we reverse or powerslide the car into the pool.”

Naturally, the post got nearly 2,000 likes within hours. Mercedes responded with a nicely done video of CLA Shooting Brake getting drowned by a Black Stig, promising they would hire their social media manager back if more than 1,000 people shared the video. In the end, Mercedes drew a great deal attention to their new rakish wagon and lost nothing.

Unfortunately for Jeep Czech Republic, sometimes a fail is just a fail — like a few days ago when the official Czech importer of Jeep posted the photo you see above of a Grand Cherokee getting up on two wheels.

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By on December 2, 2015

Renault Fluence Z.E. and Nissan Leaf Circa 2013

Nissan has announced a proposal which would end Renault’s control of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and would curtail interferance by the French government.

When we last left off, Nissan was looking to gain a voice in the alliance it made in 1999 with Renault by increasing its stake while mitigating the stake shared between Renault and Paris. The Japanese automaker has held a 15 percent non-voting stake since alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn turned around its fortunes in the early 2000s, as French law prevents affiliates owning less than 40 percent of a French-led company from voting at the shareholders’ table.

Nissan has other ideas. Read More >

By on November 30, 2015

Pirelli Tire Ladies

Playboy and the Pirelli Calendar had one thing in common (nudity), and as of the 2016 edition of the calendar, they still do (no nudity).

According to Bloomberg, the 2016 Pirelli Calendar has gone in a different direction for 2016, discarding its traditional theme of nude models and actresses for one focusing on 13 women who’ve made a huge impact on society and culture around them.

Shot by photographer Annie Liebovitz (who also has the 2000 calendar on her résumé), the subjects gracing the new year’s edition include musician/poet Patti Smith, tennis phenom Serena Williams, and commedienne Amy Schumer, the latter two posing topless while obscuring their breasts.

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By on November 30, 2015

Formula E Roborace Logo

FIA’s Formula E first brought its electrified take on open-wheel racing in 2014. Come 2016, the series will bring autonomous racing to the party, as well.

Which begs the question: Is it still racing if there are no drivers in the cars?

Through a partnership with technology investment company Kinetik, Formula E’s 2016-17 season will do away with the driver entirely in a new support series dubbed ROBORACE. Ten teams will field two autonomous cars each, competing on the same circuits as the main Formula E series in one-hour races throughout the entirety of the championship season. The cars will be identical through and through, with “real-time computing algorithms and AI technologies” making the difference between taking the checkered flag first or last.

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By on November 21, 2015

3349519_1

If you were to buy a 2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV near North Caldwell, New Jersey, you’d expect to shell out nearly $10,000 for an exceptionally clean ride from a dealer, according to Edmunds. Yet, this particular example of GM’s brashly designed full-size SUV sold for nearly 12 times that amount: $119,780.

Why?

Well, this one was driven by a garbage man.

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By on November 13, 2015

Buick Envision

General Motors announced Thursday it will import a Buick crossover from China to the United States by the end of 2016, much to the UAW’s disappointment.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the crossover in question, the Envision, is currently produced at a facility in the Shandong province. The Buick brand itself is doing well for itself in China, where it’s GM’s best-known brand, and in the U.S., where the brand is experiencing rapid growth as of late. In both instances, the main draw for Buick is its small and medium crossovers and SUVs.

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By on November 5, 2015

Beetle TDI

Update: Added background.

Volkswagen of America, in a bid to regain the trust of current diesel owners, will announce a prepaid card campaign on November 9, TTAC has learned.

The program, detailed to dealers Thursday in preparation of its public announcement, is aimed at current owners of affected TDI models regardless of whether they bought their car new or used.

Two prepaid cards will be offered to those TDI owners. The first one will be for $500 and has no restrictions on where it can be used. The second, which may be valued between $500 and $750, will be limited to use at Volkswagen dealerships.

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By on November 5, 2015

Ferdinand-Piech

Ferdinand Piëch, the man who ruled Volkswagen like the king of a Teutonic fiefdom, was likely the cause of the diesel scandal that’s erased billions of dollars of value from Volkswagen as it looks down the barrel of a gun loaded with further billions of dollars worth of recall work, fines and law suits.

Or, at least, that’s the claim made by Bob Lutz.

Former auto industry executive Lutz called Piëch’s leadership style “a reign of terror” before saying “The guy was absolutely brutal,” in his latest piece for Road & Track.

Tell us what you really think, Bob.

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