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By on February 27, 2020

Volkswagen gave the 2021 Golf GTI some uninterrupted time in the spotlight by debuting it ahead of the Geneva International Motor Show. While VW kept plenty of details under wraps, the important items were on display. Pay close attention, as this may be one of the few Golf models we receive in the United States and Canada.

Around these parts, the take rate for VW’s performance hatchbacks (GTI and Golf R) is far greater than that of the economy model, and it seems the manufacturer finally took notice. The manufacturer has yet to confirm anything at this point, but all signs point to GTI becoming the base trim inside the U.S.

In Euro-spec form, that means 245 horsepower and 273 pound-feet coming out of a predictable 2.0-liter turbo. That’s a sizable bump over last year’s 228 hp and 258 lb-ft and, assuming the GTI hasn’t packed on the pounds for the 2021 model year, it should yield noticeable performance gains.  Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

While the preliminary data from the National Safety Council shows 2019 being a safer year for cars operating in America, its report noted continued concerns regarding pedestrian safety. Additional data gleaned from the Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) assessment of pedestrian deaths by state shows that those traveling outside of cars aren’t enjoying the same safety enhancements as those sitting comfortably inside the cabin.

Its report estimates that 6,590 pedestrians were killed in 2019. The figure represents a 5-percent increase from 2018 and is the largest number of deaths the United States has seen since 1988. The situation, however, isn’t as simple as the big numbers suggest. Despite pedestrian fatalities gradually creeping up since 2009, only 30 states actually saw an increase in their total number of deaths last year. The GHSA now projects a pedestrian fatality rate of 2.0 per 100,000 people. While that’s also the highest rate the country has seen in years, it’s actually far lower than automobile fatalities — which currently averages around 11.0 per a population of 100,000.  Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

2016 Chevrolet Impala LTZ Detroit - Image: GM

Mark this date on your calendar or, should you be so inclined, in your diary. Today — February 27th, 2020 — marks the end of the Chevrolet Impala.

Some 62 years after its launch, the last Impala sedan will roll off the line Thursday at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, The Detroit News reports. A very different future awaits both the factory and the industry, and it seems cars like the Impala have no role to play in it.

It’s been a long time coming. Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

Automakers are reassessing the number of employees they’re willing to send to next week’s Geneva International Motor Show. While plenty are simply exercising their right to snub the show, with over a dozen giving advance notice that they will not be in attendance, others are reconsidering what’s prudent as a viral outbreak grows in Europe. Overall, the industry is scaling back on the number of people it feels comfortable sending to the show.

New coronavirus cases in Switzerland have left some worried that the trade event will be cancelled at the last minute.

“The coronavirus public health crisis alone puts a big question-mark next to this year’s show,” David Leggett, automotive editor at data and analytics specialists GlobalData, told The Telegraph this week.

On Thursday, Toyota said it plans to send only business-critical staff to Geneva, specifically those responsible for operations in Europe and nobody else. Volkswagen Group also plans to send only those deemed mission critical, according to Automotive News — and that’s just for starters.  Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

2020 Toyota Camry AWD 2 - Image: Toyota

In a shrinking U.S. midsize sedan market, Toyota’s slice of the pie is the biggest. In fact, despite its own year-over-year decline in 2019, the Toyota Camry’s slice of the U.S. midsize market actually increased to 25 percent last year because its decline was comparatively modest.

Now Toyota has its sights set on a corner of the midsize car market the brand has left uncontested for nearly three decades. Not since the Gulf War (no, not that one; this one) has Toyota fielded an all-wheel-drive Camry in the United States. And just as Toyota exerts its control in the overarching midsize car segment with a heavy hand, the automaker expects to do the same in the all-wheel-drive sub-segment of the same category.

Toyota has designs on 50,000 annual Camry AWD sales in the United States.

Oh, Subaru Legacy, where doth Toyota’s success leave thee? In the shadows. Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

The growing spectre of coronavirus, an illness currently knocking on every country’s door (and waltzing past the threshold of many), has led Moody’s Investor Service to take an axe to global car sales projections.

On Wednesday the firm erased earlier predictions of a mild cool-off in 2020, replacing it with a steeper volume loss. Given recent reports of automakers scrambling to circumvent supply chain disruptions, idling plants, and a near-total drop in new vehicle sales in China, the prediction has legs. Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

An all-wheel-drive vehicle will reappear early this spring after a decades-long absence, tempting those who demand a sure-footed sedan with untold amounts of badge and nameplate loyalty.

While the Toyota Camry AWD might arrive too late to tackle our current winter, the future is a blank slate, ready to be filled with instances of snow-flinging fun. Perhaps a dirt road race against a Subaru Legacy driver is in the cards.

As the Camry AWD heads to dealerships, Toyota has revealed pricing and fuel economy for the intriguing model. Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

Subaru Ascent

In an effort to build more things where they’re needed, Subaru of Indiana Automotive will spend $158 million expanding its Lafayette plant. Construction begins this summer.

The cash covers a standalone service parts facility and an add-on to the existing plant, home to the Ascent, Outback, Legacy, and Impreza. That addition will see the automaker’s only non-Japanese facility build the transmissions needed to serve a growing market.

As you’ve read here, Subaru expects to spend 2020 selling. Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

PSA Group

No, this question has nothing to do with a certain Subaru; rather, it’s a call to gaze into the past while still keeping an eye on the present.

Retro styling cues, little design nods to a model’s heritage, are common in the auto industry, but the practice normally takes a one-size-fits-all approach. In other words, a storied nameplate dons a retro or near-retro design encompassing the entire body. Think Mustang, Challenger, or the upcoming Bronco.

Alternatively, an automaker can go the sneaky route, slipping in a single cue from the past to keep that tenuous link intact. What’s your favourite example of this… or can you even think of one? Read More >

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.

Read More >

Recent Comments

  • ttacgreg: I remember being taught to look both ways, and then cross when it is safe to do so. I still do. Putting...
  • bryanska: The Camry is too fast, too much power for the Subaru driver. Reduce it to adequate and maybe then...
  • -Nate: Waiting for you-know-whom to blame it on “the leftists” =8-) . -Nate
  • -Nate: ” It’s like obvious day at camp stupid and fun with numbers.” As they say : figures don’t...
  • -Nate: “The biggest culprit, according to the GHSA, is poor infrastructure.” Of course, the idiots who...

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