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By on November 30, 2016

Audi RS 3

While the general populace will likely remain confused, automotive enthusiasts will now be able to differentiate between Audi’s all-wheel-drive system and its performance sports car subsidiary.

The company has officially taken its Quattro GmbH division and renamed it Audi Sport GmbH. Quattro (which means four) will now only refer to the all-wheel drive system and Sport (which means sport) will denote the high-performance RS cars, Audi-exclusive customization, and customer motorsport.  (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2016

neo

George Hotz has revived his Comma One self-driving technology project — sort of — after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shut down the commercial launch of his product earlier this year. Today, Hotz announced he would release the hardware schematics and code for the project for free to the public, targeting hobbyists and researchers.

The code is already up on the Comma.ai github repository, along with a detailed guide and schematics on how to assemble the hardware. Making the project open source and releasing it for free might get NHTSA off his back, so the only question now is how to monetize it in the future. (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2016

LeSee LeEco Jia Yueting

After a myriad of financial troubles and irresponsible corporate dealings, we assumed Faraday Future’s end was near. However, its spectral parent company now claims it has convinced more than ten Chinese companies to invest $600 million into its automotive division.

While the future of Faraday can not be considered even close to bright, the brand could theoretically hobble onward using this financial stimulus as a crutch. (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2016

gas-pump-save-ftr

Fuel economy standards set by the Obama administration for the 2022 to 2025 model years will remain, the Environmental Protection Agency has stated.

The environmental regulator announced its proposed determination earlier today, part of its midterm review of the country’s corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets. Forget cheap gas and never mind the SUV craze — 54.5 miles per gallon is still the government’s goal. (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2016

Elaine Chao

After much speculation, President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Elaine Chao, former labor secretary and current spouse of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as his Secretary of Transportation.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy spilled the beans, The New York Times reports, stating that the Trump camp named Chao for the role on Tuesday afternoon.  (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2016

2014 Ford Focus ST Interior-006

Tommy writes:

I love reading your columns, and have a question that I think you’ll enjoy. I’ve been living in Washington, D.C. for seven years, about half of that time without a car. I’m planning on getting a raise soon, and with that, I’d like to buy a car. And not just any car, but an adult car that I can rely on to start when I need it, and not constantly have to wrench on the little things that break.

For so long now, I have wanted nothing more than a Focus ST. Everything I’ve read about them just screams to my inner child, and at 29, I think I can still listen to him because I’m not expecting a family any time soon.

(Read More…)

By on November 30, 2016

Audi Lunar Quattro (Audi AG)

It’s a one-way flight, obviously.

Audi has announced that its Lunar Quattro has a ticket to ride on a moon-bound spaceflight booked for late next year. Refined, finessed, and now 18 pounds lighter, the automaker’s plucky moon rover is bound for a rendezvous with another extraplanetary car.

That one, however, is a 1970s model. (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2016

barn2-610x472

There is a new form of embarrassment for rule-breakers of the parking variety. It’s an irremovable suction-based clamshell blindfold for your car that inconveniences you to the point of having to cooperate with authorities.

Devised by Barnacle Parking as a friendlier alternative to the infamous “boot,” the device is already being tested in a few American cities and might one day make it to yours.
(Read More…)

By on November 30, 2016

American consumers acquire more than 200,000 new compact cars every month. Only 4 percent of those cars are Mazda 3s. Compact car buyers are far more likely to drive away from a new car dealer in a Corolla, Civic, Sentra, Elantra, or Cruze; more likely to choose a Focus, Jetta, or Forte, too. While U.S. […]

By on November 30, 2016

1995 Buick Riviera

Let’s play a game: I’ll name a few cars and you tell me if you think they’ll ever be found plying the roads of their real life namesake. Ready? Sebring. Ha! Corsica. Pfft. Monaco. Nope. Colorado. Wait, hang on; that one actually works.

You know another one that works? The Buick Riviera, especially in its first and final iterations. Not unlike the stunning Avista concept unveiled back in January, the 1995 Riv dropped jaws with its curvaceous  sheetmetal when it debuted at auto shows in the mid-90s. Unlike the Avista, though, they actually built the Riviera. The gamble paid off because once in production, it piled up first-year sales like cordwood.

(Read More…)

By on November 29, 2016

Fo

The next-generation Ford Fiesta had its coming out party at a corporate event in Cologne, Germany today, and there’s no mistaking the updated B-segment runabout.

Ford clearly wasn’t willing to mess with the exterior too much, but changes abound on the 2018 model year Fiesta. That includes an industry-first advancement made to its available three-cylinder motor. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2016

UberSELECT

There are some absolutely terrible people in this world who are fools for prestige, suckers for any shiny bauble or deplorable frippery that might permit them the despicable foppery of believing themselves to be somehow better than their fellow men for the least justifiable of reasons.

I am one of those terrible people. I wear Kiton suits even though I am so breathtakingly ugly that no manner of haute couture can make any possible difference. I have a “Black Series” toothbrush. When I saw a fellow racer who happened to be a hugely wealthy fellow from Hong Kong pull out an “Infinite” series Visa card to lay down next to my “Signature” series Visa, I did not rest until I was also in possession of an “Infinite” Visa that was stamped from actual metal instead of merely molded out of plastic. When my plans to acquire a European noble title from some down-and-out distant relatives around the turn of the century foundered, I actually purchased a barony from a (very small, not quite legitimate) country.

There is no activity or purchase too ridiculous for me to undertake in the name of perceived prestige. Or so I thought … until the day I paid $78 dollars to ride in an Uber Select.

(Read More…)

By on November 29, 2016

CCS Charging pic

Due to a wildly cooperative joint venture between German carmakers and the Ford Motor Company, owning an electric vehicle in Europe will soon become far more practical.

Daimler AG, BMW, Ford, and Volkswagen Group intend to establish a continent-wide network of ultra-fast 350 kW capacity charging sites that will begin juicing up vehicles as early as next year. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2016

Untitled

Do you remember the last Volvo commercial you saw? Or any Volvo commercial?

If the answer is “no,” you clearly haven’t seen the videos offered up by Volvo Trucks, which somehow manage to make 18-wheelers seem as alluring as a two-seat droptop. By staging stunts that compel viewers to seek out a heavy truck license, the company’s online videos have given the truck maker a strong media presence and plenty of word of mouth.

It’s too bad that Volvo Cars (long since snatched from under the Volvo Group corporate umbrella) can’t do the same thing. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2016

Jeep purple backcountry

Jeep’s JK has been around for a decade, and its parent company is now doing everything in its power to maintain consumer interest in the outgoing model before the next-generation JL shows up next year. While offering limited edition vehicles has become a time-honored tradition for Jeep, this send-off for the current Wrangler is ridiculous.

The company will offer as many as twelve “special” editions of the Wrangler over the next handful of months.  (Read More…)

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