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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By on November 4, 2015

VC Euisun Chung_Genesis Brand

Hyundai officially announced late Tuesday night the launch of the Genesis luxury sub-brand and outlined what’s to come from the new marque.

The announcement comes after the possible launch was reported by Reuters on Tuesday.

According to Hyundai, the new brand will eventually sell six distinct models, starting with the Hyundai Genesis sedan and Equus which will be renamed Genesis G80 and G90, respectively, going into the 2017 model year. Those models will debut in Korea in December and in North America next spring, reported Automotive News.

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By on November 3, 2015

Ridgeline Baja Race Truck hints at the styling direction for the all-new 2017 Ridgeline pickup.

Have you recently wondered, “What would the face of the redesigned Civic look like plastered on a desert-ready racing truck?” Honda has your number. This is the new Ridgeline.

Except it’s not.

The Japanese automaker announced its return to the Baja 1000 at SEMA on Tuesday and revealed the machine that will carry HPD’s HR35TT race engine — a 550 horsepower, a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 — across the finish line.

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By on October 24, 2015

auto-mechanics-remake-famous-paintings-01

Is ‘The Last Supper’ a little too 15th century for you and lacking the necessary backdrop to coexist with your neon Ford Service sign and collection of license plates? What if Jesus was a mechanic instead of a carpenter?

You’re in luck.

Freddy Fabris of Chicago has recreated some of the masterpieces of the Renaissance era and supplanted the original characters with those who wield torque wrenches and service manuals.

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By on October 23, 2015

The future vision of car intelligence and electrification

“The future vision of car intelligence and electrification.”

That was the entire press release provided by Nissan along with the above photo. That’s it. That’s all.

So, let the wild speculation begin. Is this the next-generation Nissan Leaf? Or is it a life orb that will ship us off to fight to the death in some futuristic panopticon? Who knows?!?! It could be at least one of those things.

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By on October 15, 2015

maxresdefault1

Volkswagen Group will recall 8.5 million vehicles in the European Union’s 28 member states, including the 2.4 million vehicles it is already being forced to recall by the KBA, Germany’s transportation authority, the automaker announced Thursday.

Vehicles from the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands are included in the recall. The latest EA 288 diesel engine is not part of the recall.

Volkswagen said it will begin to rollout fixes in January 2016.

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By on October 14, 2015

2014-vahlandChairman of Škoda Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland, who was tapped to lead a new North American Volkswagen region, will be leaving the Volkswagen Group, it was announced Wednesday.

Vahland will not be taking the N.A. role which would have given him the responsibility of overseeing the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets.

“Differing views on the organisation of the new Group region have led to this decision,” Škoda said in a release on Wednesday, though the automaker was careful to point out that “this decision is expressly not related to current events on the issue of diesel engines.”

A replacement for Vahland in North America has not yet been announced.

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