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By on May 5, 2021

Ford is introducing a new trim level for the Explorer, targeting both outdoorsy types and those who desperately want to be but only manage to spend a couple of weekends at Kampgrounds of America.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline delivers a mix of visual accouterments and practical components that should actually make the SUV better off-road.

Don’t expect it to keep pace with a Raptor pickup, however. Despite the Timberline’s menacing new grille, skid plates, unique 18-inch wheels, and Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires, it’s not a Baja buggy waiting to be jumped off the next sand dune — though it may be the best option for Explorer shoppers who don’t want to spend oodles on aftermarket parts.   Read More >

By on May 5, 2021

BMW art

BMW art cars debuted today, using artificial intelligence (AI) software to generate new works of art. In conjunction with Frieze New York, the fair takes place in Manhattan from May 5 – 9, 2021.

Frieze New York has works of art from over 60 galleries, mainly located in New York. A viewing room with over 160 exhibitors runs through May 14, bringing together galleries worldwide, and audiences who can’t travel.

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By on May 5, 2021

On Tuesday, Nissan Motor Co. announced that it would be selling its shares of Daimler AG. The Japanese firm owns about 1.5 percent of Germany’s oldest automaker and the move is something many were predicting after Renault did the same in March.

Nissan’s offloading will mimic its partners and likewise use an accelerated bookbuild offer that basically means dumping shares as quickly as possible with help from an underwriter. Investors were to expect shares to be priced around 69.85 euros apiece, netting the automaker at least $1.2 billion if everything goes smoothly.  Read More >

By on May 5, 2021

2020 Honda CR-V HybridThe term “soft roader” is often thrown around as a pejorative aimed at crossovers, particularly ones that have some limited off-road ability but don’t look particularly rugged and/or are just not likely to be used for anything other than family-hauling duty.

Hear me out for a sec, though: What if it’s not OK for a crossover to be a soft-roader, but actually desirable?

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By on May 5, 2021

Much like when Carroll Shelby applied sporty touches to the compact Dodge Shadow to make the Shelby CSX, Dodge added zest to the midsize Spirit in the early Nineties to create the Spirit R/T. Let’s go.

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By on May 5, 2021

California PHEV

Electric vehicles are one way to carbon neutrality. Yet 20 percent of California PHEV owners have gone back to gas-powered vehicles.

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By on May 4, 2021

best blind spot mirrors

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: check yer bind spot! More than a few collisions (notice we didn’t call them “accidents”) occur because drivers heedlessly heave their car into an adjacent lane only to find themselves occupying the same time and space as another vehicle. This leads to Expensive Noises.

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By on May 4, 2021

Williams Advanced Engineering is teaming up with Italdesign to establish another electric vehicle platform targeting the wealthy — or an “upper-premium EV production solution,” according to those responsible for its development.

Dubbed the EVX modular electric platform, the architecture uses large structural batteries and an abundance of recycled composites mixed in with lightweight aluminum. They should also be pretty chic, considering the parties involved. Williams exists specifically to adapt technologies utilized by its Formula 1 team for commercial applications while Italdesign is probably the most famous automotive design studio in automotive history. Read More >

By on May 4, 2021

On yesterday’s lovely Camaro-cum-Trans Am article, commenter dal20402 presented a very tidy Acura TL located in the gentle climate of Washington state. Said TL happened to be a pretty desirable example, so let’s take a look.

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By on May 4, 2021

With rental companies coming off a particularly lean 2020, fleet downsizing turned out to be a necessity for many agencies. Unfortunately, demand for rental vehicles has begun to return and some markets have found themselves operating with an insufficient number of cars. The upside to this is the ability to charge exorbitant fees for models nobody wanted to rent in the first place. But businesses can’t cash in on vehicles that didn’t get rented, leaving agencies desperate for new product that’s been backlogged by the auto industry’s semiconductor shortage.

The solution is a novel one, at least for rental companies. Rather than gamble the business on whether or not supply chains normalize before summer, they’ve been prowling auctions and hoovering up used cars in record numbers.  Read More >

By on May 4, 2021

Polaris

Polaris today affirmed the appointments of a new CEO and CFO, both of whom had been serving in interim roles since January. The manufacturer of motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and boats named Michael Speetzen as CEO, and Bob Mack as CFO.

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By on May 4, 2021

Phoutthavong SOUVANNACHAK/Shutterstock.com

During my brief time as a service advisor/writer, I worked in two types of shops. One was an “express lube” – meaning this shop only did basic maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations. Cars that needed more complex repairs were sent across the parking lot to the main service bays – the full-service ones.

The other type of shop I worked at was a full-service one. This dealership had no express lube – techs did everything from oil changes to fluid flushes to warranty work to major customer-pay jobs.

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By on May 4, 2021

Chicago Auto Show

The 2020 Chicago Auto Show was, as far this author knows, the last major auto show to take place before COVID shut the world down.

Now, it might be the first auto show to return.

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By on May 4, 2021

There are pros and cons to living in Ohio while attempting to convince people that I’m a motoring journalist. On the plus side, I don’t have to live with the horrendous roads or the stifling car insurance rates that come with living near Detroit.

Downside? I’m not in the heart of the action. Many times, a last-minute invite to an event will materialize – but I need to plan an entire day around it, as I’m 200 miles from Detroit. I need to take an entire day away from work – mind you, I really don’t mind missing work – but it takes more planning than my Detroit colleagues.

An unexpected win, however, comes with loaner cars. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the various press fleets have generally been sending me cars in a non-stop weekly rotation as they don’t want to have two drivers (one driving and one retrieving my loaner) in a car together for three-plus hours. Thus, I’ve had two (occasionally three) cars in my driveway nearly continuously for over a year.

The thing is – I don’t have time to review them all. So we’ll try a new monthly feature on for size. Since this fat-ass isn’t allowed to go to a REAL buffet anymore, I’m bringing you small, bite-sized samplers of the variety of cars I’m driving each month. It’s possible some of these might get the full review treatment at some point – or one of us here might have already done a full review. Still, I’m here to bring you a bit of everything.

Ed. note: We will still be doing the regular full reviews, as well, the ones that are mostly written by either Chris or myself. So stay tuned for those.

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By on May 3, 2021

best jack stands

Cinder blocks, welded-together steel wheels, janky-looking lengths of board – most of us know we’re not supposed to rest the weight of a car or truck on anything other than a pair of stout jack stands. Whether or not we actually do this is better left unsaid.

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