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By on October 23, 2019

Today’s Lancia is one of the company’s final unique product offerings. In the finest tradition of creating a sleeper, the good people at Lancia took their practical Delta hatchback to new planes of existence. Presenting the 1990 Lancia Delta HF Integrale.

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By on October 23, 2019

Since even before its debut, the Honda E has been showered with the kind of praise the American media usually reserves for controversial topics that split the nation, despite the model not being sold here. That’s likely fine. While its visual charms are undeniable, its small stature and electric powertrain probably wouldn’t do it any favors on the U.S. market. We could see it having an impressive first year before settling into a prolonged sales slump (think Fiat 500).

There are certainly alternative scenarios, but few involve Honda E supplanting the Civic. Being adorable will only take you so far. However, it seems Honda was originally willing to take a whack at it. The model’s product leader, Kohei Hitomi, said the little electric was always meant for America.  Read More >

By on October 23, 2019

Image: BimmerPost

A photo supposedly taken on a BMW factory floor and uploaded to BimmerPost appears to show a production-ready passenger car with a face only a mother could love.

It’s no secret that BMW’s signature kidney grille has expanded in recent years, first touching in the middle before heading downward for extra acreage. It’s part of the automaker’s attempt at simple yet bold vehicle design, and it seems to be working. For better or worse, they’re getting noticed. And it will certainly be difficult not to notice this Bimmer’s snout when it rolls into a dealer or driveway near you. Read More >

By on October 23, 2019

Image: Honda

Honda last revamped its subcompact Fit hatchback for the 2015 model year, tossing the entry-level model a styling refresh for 2018. Now, there’s a new Fit on the block (or Jazz, depending on market), but its availability in the U.S. remains a question mark.

Sales of most subcompact cars have followed a trajectory traced by their compact and midsize stablemates, and it points nowhere but down. If Honda feels it’s worthwhile shipping the Fit across U.S. borders, what you see here could be yours. Read More >

By on October 23, 2019

It’s certainly taking this fuel economy rollback proposal we’ve heard so much about a long time to evolve into its final form. Unfortunately, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler has indicated more changes could be needed before a final draft can be released. However, in a bit of a twist, he’s now claiming the proposal will actually be more rigorous than preexisting mandates. Kind of.

“In some of the out years, we’re actually more restrictive on CO2 emissions than the Obama proposal was,” Wheeler told a crowd at the Detroit Economic Club this week.  Read More >

By on October 23, 2019

Image: Mazda

Mazda put the future on display at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday, unwrapping a battery-electric crossover that thankfully gives us something a little avant-garde to look at.

The brand’s compact EV makes things interesting not by offering a 130-mile range and relatively small battery pack (35.5 kWh), but by employing a team of designers to boost visual appeal in an otherwise bland segment. Kodo design language is front and center here, as is a cabin designed to instill a sense of openness. Materials that only Mazda could get excited about abound. Yet that’s not the MX-30’s most striking feature.

It’s about time another automaker returned to clamshell doors. Read More >

By on October 23, 2019

Today marks the final entry in our Question of the Day series discussing bad sporty car design from the Nineties. So far we’ve covered America and Europe, and we now finish up with poor sports car designs from Japan. Read More >

By on October 22, 2019

Now that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has its upper echelon sorted, the time has come to mend the partnership properly. With the new staffers healthily distanced from the old guard of the Ghosn era, Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard is giving himself one year to fix things before considering the entire issue a “failure, on a personal level, and by our teams.”

Senard didn’t explain the benchmarks for success, and twelve months doesn’t allot much time to right a ship that’s been listing for several years. Rumors exist that Renault may even be looking to ditch Nissan for becoming too much of a burden. Meanwhile, the Japanese automaker’s former CEO, Hiroto Saikawa, estimated the company’s vast restructuring efforts would not significantly improve profitability for at least another year.

However, most of what we’ve heard from Nissan and Renault leadership includes a concerted effort to restore trust within the auto alliance and strengthen industrial ties. Contentious merger talks have also fallen by the wayside and are unlikely to crop up after Renault’s own profitability warning from earlier this month.  Read More >

By on October 22, 2019

Just over two years ago, a tentative product name discovered deep within Jaguar Land Rover’s internal communications captured the eye — and stimulated the fertile imaginations — of auto journos everywhere. “Road Rover” was a name JLR was using to describe a possible future vehicle; a year later, the automaker moved to trademark the name for safekeeping.

Since then, JLR has grappled with financial pain born of the decline of both diesel propulsion and the sedan bodystyle, choosing to fight market trends by shoring up its Land Rover division with new or updated utility vehicles, returning the Defender nameplate to the top of the line, and cutting build configurations of its Jaguar passenger cars. Parent company Tata Motors wants results, and it wants them in a hurry.

One thing not lost to the automaker’s evolving product strategy is Road Rover. There’s more news on that front. Read More >

By on October 22, 2019

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Tuesday that American traffic deaths declined for a second year in a row in 2018. Data indicates a 2.4 percent decline in roadway fatalities last year, with bicyclists and pedestrians being the only groups to see risk moving in the wrong direction.

“This is encouraging news, but still far too many perished or were injured, and nearly all crashes are preventable, so much more work remains to be done to make America’s roads safer for everyone,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a statement.

The DOT/NHTSA attributed improving automotive safety systems as the primary reason for the decline in deaths, though some of the metrics included in the report’s breakdown suggest other factors could be at play.  Read More >

By on October 22, 2019

Voting is ongoing among UAW locals this week as the union attempts to put a contract deal in place between its members and General Motors.

Thus far, the voting process has been met with mixed emotions, with one assembly plant opting to reject the proposal. Outside that plant, the ongoing GM strike was marred by the death of a picketing plant worker. Read More >

By on October 22, 2019

Image: GM

There’s a theory – and when I say there’s a theory, I mean that I quickly concocted one night as sleep began its wash over me – that says the Corvette you love most is the Corvette of your licensing year.

For me, that means the revolutionary C5 Corvette must, by law, take its place as my favourite Corvette. That bulbous rear end, those pop-up headlights, and three top options are memorable aspects to the fifth-generation Corvette. So too is the downmarket interior highlighted by miserable seats, surprisingly decent fuel economy, and remarkably strong sales figures of roughly 30,000 units per year in the U.S.

Objectively, of course, the Corvettes C6 and C7 are markedly, distinctly, better cars. They don’t abide by my favoritism rule, but they’re better cars. Thus, just as I always aspired to ownership of a new C5, I shifted that desire to the C6 in 2005 and the C7 in 2014. The Corvette’s consistently reasonable entry price has always made that aspiration relatively attainable.

But everything has changed with the arrival of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8. No, it hasn’t become unobtainable, but it’s not clear that it’s an objectively better car. And even if it is, I still wouldn’t want one. Read More >

By on October 22, 2019

If you’re like this writer, you might be surprised to learn that snails, the subject of this piece, are loosely related to the octopus. Learning doesn’t have to end when you leave school.

Snails, also known by more scientific names, are fun to step on, but can cause quite a bit of consternation and unexpected expense when they inhabit premium German automobiles. Especially ones that just took a very long boat ride. Read More >

By on October 22, 2019

Image: Nissan

Hot on the heels of Nissan’s refreshed Titan pickup reveal, the brand’s tweener three-quarter ton Titan XD has received a mid-cycle update of its own. Expect change, but less choice.

There’s good things to be had beyond the obvious changes to Nissan’s “Powerful Warrior” (!) styling and new “double boomerang” LED running lights. For one, there’s a wider-ranging nine-speed automatic in place of the previous model’s seven-speed unit. There’s more power on tap, more tech content, and nervous drivers can rest assured that Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of electronic safeguards will help keep insurance adjusters at bay.

What 2020 Titan XD buyers won’t like is their lack of menu options. Read More >

By on October 22, 2019

The UK’s Derbyshire Constabulary celebrated a major victory this week. The triumph of justice was even given its own official announcement. Did the department finally tamp down the area’s rising violent crime rate?

Nope. They caught an automotive journalist speeding — one year after he did it.

Joe Achilles was testing an Audi R8 RSW on the A57 Snake Pass last November, later posting footage on his Facebook wall. Derbyshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit noticed the video while “investigating an entirely different matter,” according to its release, and set out to prove just how fast he was going.  Read More >

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