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By on October 31, 2016

mercedes-gas-i6

Mercedes-Benz is introducing a host of new engines with clever shared modular components, including a standard 500cc cylinder displacement.

These new engines include a new AMG-developed twin-turbocharged V8 for the S-Class and one of the most encouraging mechanical additions to the automotive landscape seen in a while — a high-tech inline-six specifically designed to compete with, and outclass, larger motors.

(Read More…)

By on October 31, 2016

2015 BMW i3 Range Extender Refueling

Despite paying lip service to the growing — but still minuscule — electric vehicle market, automakers do love piston engines. The companies that built their current empires around internal combustion engines take comfort in the technology, finding stability and solace in the seemingly timeless act of burning fuel in exchange for power.

Batteries and electric motors? We understand those too, the companies claim. It’s not a new thing, after all.

What automakers don’t particularly trust is a new type of engine that could squeeze record mileage out of a tank of gas, for less cost, while still using a moving piston with fuel injectors, intake valves and exhaust valves. (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2016

2015 Ford Mustang Flat Rock production

General Motors and the Ford Motor Company both saw U.S. sales declines in the third quarter, but GM was the only one achieving earnings that widely beat expectations. Still, which company is playing the game better is up for debate.

This could turn out to be an Ant and the Grasshopper situation if there is another economic downturn on the horizon. The ant-like Ford could be more ready for an economic winter, while the improvident Grasshopper Motors is left out in the cold with acres of unsellable vehicles — forced to eat its own legs for sustenance.

Of course, if there isn’t an economic downturn, Ford is going to look like a lame duck next to GM’s golden goose.

(Read More…)

By on October 31, 2016

Dodge Neon (DriveAllDayPics/Flickr)

Modern vehicles are, for the most part, a treasure trove of technology designed to keep your sorry butt out of the emergency room, but not every driver enjoys such luxuries.

The average vehicle on the road is 11 or 12 years old, hailing from a time when backup cameras needed to be hand held, side airbags were a new and rare option, and five-star safety ratings weren’t easy to come by — especially in the types of vehicles you see in a Walmart parking lot.

Well, we now have a list of the most dangerous average-age vehicles on the road. Expect to lose some sleep if you’re unlucky enough to have one of these rides sitting in your driveway. (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2016

Ah, fall. The leaves have changed and are dropping to the ground below. Football is in full swing. Your kids get free candy just by walking around the neighborhood (and you can eat it after they go to bed). And another new model year of vehicles is taking over parking lot space at the local car stores.

But it’s a bit chilly. The leaves are slippery when wet. Baseball season has almost ended. And you’re suffering from a bellyache because ten bags of Skittles was just one too many. All is not well, particularly for the new vehicle nameplates that head off into the Hallowe’en darkness to meet the automotive Grim Reaper. (Or is that just Lee Iacocca?)

These are all the vehicles we’re losing after the 2016 model year. (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2016

Style is subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You believe the Mini Paceman is the ugliest of Minis; I say it’s the best. You believe the X6 is BMW at its masculine and modern best; I believe the X6 stands in stark and unfortunate contrast to the beautiful delicacy of the BMW […]

By on October 31, 2016

2016 Chrysler 200C

There is something sincerely wrong with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ math, although things are starting to add up for why some of its sales numbers were so inflated.

That, Ford decides to get a little less global at the expense of the small car, Hyundai pays the price for lying, and parts suppliers see doom and gloom on the horizon for the automotive industry… after the break!

(Read More…)

By on October 31, 2016

Comma One Rear

George Hotz announced he was cancelling the Comma One project last week in response to an information request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At first glance, this might appear to be a bit of government overreach. However, once you start digging into the letter, it’s apparent the questions are reasonable and easy to answer.

The main goal of the questionnaire is to assess the safety of the Comma One device. NHTSA set a deadline of November 10th to receive the response or Hotz would risk a $21,000 a day fine. Hotz claims that the letter was threatening.

Lets look at the questions in detail and see how they break down.

(Read More…)

By on October 31, 2016

2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE

The next-generation Ram 1500 is still expected to trundle out of Sterling Heights in January of 2018, but don’t expect a familiar face to go away just yet.

As it readies a new full-sizer to better challenge Ford and General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to keep the old Ram 1500 in production for the 2018 and 2019 model years, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2016

00 - 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL in California Junkyard - Photo by Murilee Martin

The Mercedes-Benz W126 S-Class was the king of 1980s sedans and it sold very well in the United States. You’ll still see plenty of them on the street today and it’s rare that a California self-service wrecking yard doesn’t have at least one fully depreciated, high-mile example in stock. I haven’t paid much attention to these cars for this series, but that changed when I saw a 560SEL taxi in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard. (Read More…)

By on October 30, 2016

P90081502

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notified the public that BMW will be issuing recalls on 136,188 vehicles in the United States and another 18,284 in Canada due to possibility improperly crimped wires. The wires in question, for the fuel pump and a loose connection, could create enough heat to melt the connector and result in the vehicle leaking gas.

(Read More…)

By on October 29, 2016

2016 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab blue

Cars. They still make ’em, don’t they?

Automakers do, in fact, still produce cars, but they’re the last thing those companies’ bosses want to talk about, and they’re no longer on the top of most buyers’ shopping lists.

For the world’s largest automaker, the U.S. public’s shift towards trucks, SUVs and crossovers presents a problem. Toyota has them, but can’t build enough of them. With the rapidly declining interest in cars threatening its tentative No. 1 standing, Toyota needs to find a way to give buyers what they want. (Read More…)

By on October 29, 2016

Rear Volvo Word mark Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

First it was Hyundai flinging special discounts in the direction of imminently carless Volkswagen diesel owners. Now Volvo has added its name to the list of automakers attempting to woo this unique crop of vehicular nomads.

The approval of Volkswagen’s massive settlement deal with U.S. owners and environmental regulators on Tuesday is apparently a sales opportunity not to be missed, but Volvo is approaching it from a different direction than Hyundai. (Read More…)

By on October 28, 2016

2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility

Danger, nudity, drugs and the long arm of the law. You’re not safe from any of those things while on the road. There’s Buicks out there, too.

In this edition of Freaky Friday, a young lady discovers that some things are best left to the intimate and discreet confines of one’s own home (or an airport bathroom), a crack aficionado wants everyone to know his favorite pastime, Portland residents are walking caricatures, and a Buick Verano returns excellent fuel economy on a 16-mile journey.  (Read More…)

By on October 28, 2016

AJAC Canadian Car of the Year 2016

This week, Canada’s most vaunted automotive journalists are at the nation’s best known race track — Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, or Mosport if you’re over the age of 12 — putting the market’s newest vehicles through their paces in a series of tests to select the Canadian Car of the Year.

This year’s event is, on the surface, no different from prior years. However, there is something truly exceptional about the event, dubbed TestFest, for 2016.

The award for Canadian Car of the Year, no matter which automaker wins it, doesn’t matter in the least.

(Read More…)

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