Category: News Blog

By on July 25, 2016

Volkswagen Chattanooga CrossBlue

SUV sales are exploding in the United States. It doesn’t just seem as though the quality, origins, price, power, credibility, and style of a utility vehicle matter not one whit — it really doesn’t.

Critically panned and antiquated SUVs such as the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot are selling better than ever. The original Audi Q5, on sale since 2009, is on track for its seventh consecutive year of growth. Sports car builder Porsche now produces 60 percent of its U.S. sales with the Macan and Cayenne. The Buick Encore, a questionable Chevrolet Sonic-based subcompact crossover, is easily Buick’s best-selling model. Sales of the Ford Explorer are on track to rise to a 12-year high.

Easy peasy. Build it and they will come. Too small? No problem. Too big? Not an issue. Too ugly? More power to you. Impractical? Ignore the U in SUV; it won’t hold you back.

It’s therefore a great time for Volkswagen to finally release an SUV in the heart of the market.

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By on July 25, 2016

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

Forget head-scratching model names like Tiguan and Touareg. For its new midsize crossover, Volkswagen scrapped its naming-by-German-committee tradition and turned the process over to its American division.

When the new models goes on sale next year, expect a rugged, easy-to-pronounce name designed solely for the U.S. market, Automotive News reports. That name could be “Teramont.” Read More >

By on July 24, 2016

2013 BMW 750Li, Engine, N63B44TU, N63 4.4L Twin-Turbo V8, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

After ridding itself of the limp carcass once known as Rover over 15 years ago, BMW — the former parent of Land Rover — looks like it might provide V8 motivation to future Land Rover and Jaguar models.

According to Automobile, BMW wants an engine partner in order to amortize development of an upcoming 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, and Jaguar Land Rover could be that partner.

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By on July 23, 2016

elk (Oregon Department of Agriculture/Flickr)

Elk. Majestic creatures, and delicious, too. You can cut that meat with a fork. But colliding with 900 pounds of it in the smallest car on North American roads is no one’s idea of a picnic.

That’s exactly what happened last week, when a tiny, first-generation Smart Fortwo went head-to-head with a bull elk on a dark British Columbia highway.  Read More >

By on July 23, 2016

2016 Mazda CX-5, Image: Mazda

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal gave oil burners a bad name, but Mazda isn’t ditching its plans for a diesel roll-out in North America.

The automaker has an internal timeline for a stateside launch of Skyactiv diesels that will meet stringent U.S. pollution regulations, Automotive News reports. Read More >

By on July 22, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Sick of trying to motivate your Mazda MX-5 Miata’s prodigious tonnage? Thinking of giving that porker away to a friend? Help is on the way.

The next generation of automotive journalism’s favorite ride will shed weight, thanks to the use of carbon fiber, Autocar reports. That could mean smaller engines for all markets. Read More >

By on July 22, 2016

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen’s Korean sales slump just became a sales cliff leading to the Challenger Deep.

The embattled automaker suspended sales of most of its models in the Asian country ahead of a environmental review that could lead to a sales ban, Reuters reports. Read More >

By on July 22, 2016

Seventh-Generation Toyota Hilux

Toyota SUVs and pickups are popular with insurgents in overseas conflict zones, so why shouldn’t the U.S. military kick the tires on some?

The U.S. Special Operations Command just placed an order for up to 556 vehicles outfitted for “unconventional warfare” use, most of them Toyota Land Cruisers, Military Aerospace reports. Read More >

By on July 22, 2016

Detroit (Bryan Debus/Flickr)

The Automotive Hall of Fame thinks it can better tell the history of the automobile if it makes a move to the Motor City.

William Chapin, the museum’s president, wants to expand the facility’s scope and become part of Detroit’s resurgence, so he’s looking for space near downtown, according to the Detroit Free Press. Read More >

By on July 22, 2016

BMW X5 xDrive40e PHEV

Yesterday the Obama administration announced “an unprecedented set of actions” to grow the U.S. plug-in electrified vehicle market.

The initiative represents a broad collaboration between federal agencies, state governments, major automakers, utilities, and others to aid the ongoing push to make electric cars viable alternatives to the internal combustion variety.

Perhaps chief in a laundry list of public and private sector agreements is up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees for commercial scale charging — including fast charging — to create a nationwide network.

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