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By on February 26, 2020

Poised deliver a super-sized sport utility vehicle to a brand that doesn’t have anything in its lineup to compete with the likes of the Chevy Suburban, Ford Expedition or their more-premium alternatives, Jeep’s returning Grand Wagoneer is probably about a year from entering production. Eager to check on Jeep’s progress, our sister site AutoGuide spoke with brand head Jim Morrison this week.

Most of the interview centered around the new Gladiator Mojave and how important it was not to taint the Jeep brand by forgetting what it’s supposed to represent — getting groovy off the pavement. Morrison also touched on the Wagoneer, however, hinting that we’ll get our first official taste very soon.  Read More >

By on February 26, 2020

With South Korea, Italy and Iran now reporting growing coronavirus outbreaks, it looks like this is going to be one of these long-haul illnesses that sends everyone to the store to stock on up on milk and bread. As you might have guessed, automakers have continued issuing warnings as the virus’ range continues to expand. On Wednesday, Toyota announced that its Japanese plans will undoubtedly be impacted by parts shortages over the next few weeks as Chinese suppliers remain dormant.

The worst of the outbreak is still located in Wuhan, where the virus is spreading out toward China’s coastal cities. Reliable figures for the number of people affected are difficult to come by. The Communist Party of China (CPC) and World Health Organization (WPO) both claim China had this one in the bag, with new cases always reported as “slowing” — an assertion you would be forgiven for doubting. COVID-19 seems anything but under control. This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told U.S. citizens to prepare for the worst as the stock market stumbled over fears of a global pandemic.  Read More >

By on February 26, 2020

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board concludes that a fallible driver-assist system, and the driver’s overreliance on it, were the main causes of a fatal March 2018 crash on US-101 in Mountain View, California.

The violent crash of a Tesla Model X that killed a 38-year-old Apple software engineer is a perfect example of both Silicon Valley excess and the teething troubles facing our tech-obsessed world. Read More >

By on February 26, 2020

Addressing a crowd at the Wolfe Research Global Auto, Auto Tech and Mobility Conference in New York City on Tuesday, Jim Farley said he sees similarities between Ford’s present situation and that of the 2009 financial crisis that nearly sunk the Detroit Three. He feels it in the hallways of Ford’s Dearborn HQ.

As automakers grapple with a number of challenges in a rapidly changing industry, Farley, who takes on the role of Ford’s chief operating officer March 1st, outlined how he plans to deliver his mandate of a global pre-tax margin of 8 percent. For starters, there’s the issue of launches. Read More >

By on February 26, 2020

Last year, Toyota and Pony.ai announced a pilot project to test autonomous vehicles in Chinese cities, with an aim to continue working together on self-driving projects in Asia. The time for strengthening the relationship is now, with Pony confirming it had received a $400 million investment from the Japanese automaker as part of its latest funding roundup.

Toyota doesn’t have an exclusive arrangement with the startup and is free to work with other companies. Pony already has other investors on board, operating autonomous testing hubs in California, Beijing, and Guangzhou. However, the investment from Toyota could mean it’s about to become a whole lot more important to the business, as the pair are already discussing new ways to collaborate once they’ve finished fielding testbed Lexus RXs to sharpen the firm’s software.  Read More >

By on February 26, 2020

Ever wonder what would happen if a division of Aston Martin decided to create a luxury sports hatchback for a select few wealthy customers? Wonder no more — it’s Tickford Metro time.

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By on February 26, 2020

vw
Series production of the Volkswagen ID.3 began last November, but examples have yet to reach paying customers. The compact electric hatchback, seen as a people’s car for a new, greener age, is the vanguard of a massive EV product offensive from the auto giant. VW had hoped to give the model (which we won’t see here) a big, showy sales launch.

That launch, scheduled for Europe this summer, may not go ahead as planned. A report out of Germany claims the car contains so many bugs, an army of over 10,000 technicians is now tasked with fixing it. Read More >

By on February 26, 2020

Image: Subaru

Turning the five-door Impreza into the lifted Crosstrek was a brilliant bit of strategy for Subaru. Sales of the jacked compact soared following its late-2012 release, rising year after year until 2018, where it managed 144,384 U.S. sales.

While the model slipped last year, Subaru is not content to leave things be. Later this year, the automaker will answer a long-standing cry from Subaru loyalists and endow the Crosstrek with moar power. Read More >

By on February 26, 2020

Those of us in a certain age bracket, which is to say rapidly approaching our fortieth year or more, recall the Honda Civic as a primarily hatchback form of transportation. Sure, a few weirdos went and got the sedan or coupe but, by and large, the Civic was a hatchback. At least in our town.

Then, it suddenly disappeared from dealer lots in North America. The seventh-gen car was available in coupe or sedan form on this side of the pond, save for the slightly oddball Si and its bent-nail gearstick. Mercifully, it reappeared in volume for the current model.

We’ve studied the Civic sedan and coupe in this series but not the hatchback. Let’s right that wrong today.

Read More >

By on February 26, 2020

We’ve had two prior posts discussing the highs and lows of automotive design from the decade most recently closed. Both those times we kept our choices in the affordable category, where starting prices were under $100,000 when new. Today we double that limit, and consider upscale designs.

Read More >

By on February 25, 2020

While many are still under the impression that Chinese automakers will never manage to wrangle the North American automotive market, Geely’s ownership of Volvo Cars and Polestar has already proven them wrong. The Chinese manufacturer purchased Volvo in 2010, with savory bodywork and sumptuous interiors doing much of the heavy lifting with consumers. Performance-focused Polestar wasn’t purchased until a few years later, but the theme remained largely the same — move toward electrification, don’t forget about safety, and try to build the sexiest car possible while maintaining an aura of respectability.

So far, it’s worked rather well. Polestar is now eager to drive that message home via its new Precept concept vehicle. The company claims the car reveals “a vision of the brand’s future direction and a clear expression of intent.” Since we’re fluent in marketing speak, we’re pleased to tell you that sentence is not entirely meaningless.  Read More >

By on February 25, 2020

The National Safety Council just released its estimates for U.S. roadway fatalities in 2019, and there’s good news to share. Deaths declined for the second consecutive year. According to the NSC, traffic fatalities reached an estimated 38,800 last year, representing a 2-percent decline from 2018 and and a 4-percent decline against 2017.

While the NSC said the decline came “after several years of spikes,” we found the claim to be mildly misleading. Even though 2015 and 2016 posted meaningful increases in roadway deaths, safer streets have been in fashion since the 1970s. Most years since then have resulted in fewer crashes, with sporadic bad periods sprinkled throughout. If you’re interested in some supporting data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. roadway fatalities per 100,000 people averaged around 26.01 in 1972. That figure fell to just 10.28 by 2014, with the combined 2015-2016 increases bumping it up to just 11.59 per 100,000 people.  Read More >

By on February 25, 2020

As we told you last week, the rampaging coronavirus outbreak and subsequent restrictions on movement has forced Chinese automakers to use technology in new ways. With sales plunging and millions barred indoors, auto giant Geely turned to online retailing, allowing customers to order and configure cars from home. The automaker even allowed for test drives to take place at the buyer’s residence.

One aspect of the epidemic was the cancellation of a splashy February 14th sales launch for the new Icon small crossover, which hit the market this week. The event may have been scrubbed, but Geely still found a way to use the virus to its advantage.  Read More >

By on February 25, 2020

You may recall the autonomous Linen LEAP shuttle service that launched in Columbus, OH earlier this month. Well, the city placed the program on pause last week because someone fell during an abrupt stop. Smart Columbus, the group responsible for the service, has taken both EasyMile EZ10s off their route for assessment by the manufacturer.

Additional details kept us hip to how the program has done so far. According to local outlet WCMH-TV, the twin shuttles have moved 50 people around the Linden area since launching on February 5th. That averages out to a little more than three riders per day, which we don’t have to tell you isn’t great value for the money when the entire project costs millions. But that was never Smart Columbus’ plan. The intended goal was to connect a subset of carless residents in one neighborhood with essential services and other parts of the city.

That aspect of the scheme hasn’t gone seamlessly, either.  Read More >

By on February 25, 2020

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

Give Ford credit – the Blue Oval could, at any time, create a special Mustang Bullitt that’s little more than an appearance package.

Yet, the current Mustang Bullitt, like the one offered a decade ago, isn’t just a GT with cosmetic changes. It’s a certified bruiser that goes as well as it shows.

Read More >

Recent Comments

  • dal20402: What in the heck is “Full Self-Driving,” then?
  • dal20402: The name “Autopilot” implies to a general consumer, falsely, that this is not a Level 2 system....
  • -Nate: Initial look made me think Renault Le Car . -Nate
  • loopy55: This is one of those stories that was probably made up- straight up clickbait.
  • loopy55: This is one of those stories that was probably made up- straight up clickbait.

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