Posts By: stephwillems

By on January 27, 2020

Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant Cadillac CT6 - Image: GM

With just days left before the last Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala sedans roll off the assembly line at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck plant, the automaker has put up funding for the facility’s future.

For the once endangered plant, it will be a future free of gas-powered cars and trucks. Instead, the sprawling facility will be home to a range of electric SUVs and trucks, one of them bearing the Hummer name, and a rolling box with no driver. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2020

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV front quarter

The only hybrid vehicle in Mitsubishi’s meager lineup, the Outlander PHEV, will don a larger gasoline engine when it arrives for the 2021 model year. In a nod to the Gretas of the world, Mitsu will offset the boosted displacement with additional gas-free range.

Documents filed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal details of the upcoming midsize crossover, which should be the first Mitsubishi-branded vehicle to borrow serious kit from its alliance partners. (Read More…)

By on January 25, 2020

Image: Hyundai

Perhaps realizing that his job was done, Michael O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America’s vice president for product, announced his departure from the automaker late Friday.

O’Brien leaves the company he served for nearly 20 years on February 3rd, heading off to pursue “other interests,” the grateful automaker said in a statement. Put in charge of the Korean brand’s product direction, O’Brien played a major role in turning around a flagging sales situation with a surge of crossovers big and small. (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2020

gm

It’s the news you were waiting for on a Friday afternoon. After General Motors provided a fuel economy estimate of its own, the EPA has now carved the upcoming Buick Encore GX’s gas mileage into stone.

So, what can the tiny engines found in this small crossover do for pump-averse buyers? (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2020

Image: Volvo Cars

Volvo’s XC90 midsize crossover is both a tony vehicle and a solid seller, but the push into electrification that began with the crossover’s second generation will be completed in its third.

The automaker has announced that the third-gen XC90, which arrives in 2022, will ditch gas-only powerplants for good. (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2020

Image: Suzuki

You’re right — there’s no way we can determine with any certainty what the internet’s actual favorite ride is, but the amount of lust poured out over the unattainable Suzuki Jimny is noteworthy. People love this little Japanese box, even if its short wheelbase and solid axles add up to a ride most wouldn’t want to live with on a daily basis.

Not available to North American consumers, it looks like the wee Jimny will soon bow out of another significant market. Blame the environment. (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2020

2017 Toyota Highlander profile

One of your author’s biggest pet peeves is the complete lack of confidence some drivers have in their own abilities — and that of their vehicle. It’s an odd thing, as these days the rolling stock on any street or highway consists mainly of car-based CUVs outfitted with increasingly capable all-wheel drive systems.

You’d think these drivers would show a little less trepidation when the weather turns bad — after all, they bought that particular vehicle for a reason — but no. After a recent, fairly heavy dump of the white stuff, the irksome observations began all over again. But an incident last night revealed the one thing that seems capable of motivating such drivers into taking action and using their vehicle to its full, confidence-inspiring potential: frustration. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2020

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI brown

While it absolutely pales in comparison to the fines levied in the United States, Volkswagen will still have to fork over a pile to appease the Canadians.

This week, the automaker pleaded guilty to 60 charges relating to its deception of regulators and consumers with emissions-rigged diesel vehicles. While $196.5 million sounds like small potatoes in this day and age, it happens to be the largest monetary fine for an environmental crime in the country’s history. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2020

This is a tidbit we certainly hope is true. After Cadillac was forced on the defensive for debuting a V-badged CT5 sedan widely seen as lacking in the power department, word comes that a wilder variant with a very familiar heart is just around the corner.

The brand is expected to stage a return of the powerplant that made the new model’s CTS-V predecessor great. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2020

Image: Daimler AG

The countdown to Mercedes-Benz EQC production last year was preceded by stories about the model’s anticipated range and uncontroversial styling, but when the time came to get EQCs into the hands of buyers, the electric crossover had trouble leaving the launch pad.

Not long after reports emerged of the EQC’s U.S. arrival being delayed by a full year, a German outlet claims Mercedes-Benz has chopped its 2020 production target in half. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2020

Carlos Ghosn Rogue Introduction - Image: Nissan

There’s certainly no love lost between former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn and the automaker he once helmed. After trashing the company’s sales performance in a Lebanon media conference earlier this month, during which he again accused Nissan of conspiring with Japanese officials to orchestrate his arrest, we know hear he gives the automaker maybe two or three years before it hits rock bottom.

Rock bottom” is where former CEO Hiroto Saikawa said his company was at last May. Maybe there’s still a ways to go. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2020

Today’s question was not, in fact, sparked by your author’s recent visit to a decent but not terribly impressive half-price buffet, but by — go figure — a Bring a Trailer listing.

The model depicted was one of those things we didn’t think would ever return… until it did: a Jeep pickup, this one of the Comanche variety. The 4×4 straight-six ’87 model made yours truly wistful, as it was one of those vehicles that got away.

Sometimes when car-buying time comes around, the circumstances of your life dictate a more interesting than usual pool of choices. This was one of those times. (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2020

A long-standing legal battle pitting Tesla against the state of Michigan has finally been resolved. It was announced Wednesday that the automaker’s 2016 suit against the state, which forbids the direct-sales model employed by Tesla, ended in a settlement a day earlier.

The result? A way for Michigan residents to own and conveniently service a Tesla in the notoriously protectionist state. (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2020

The catapulting of environmental issues to the forefront of public discourse has spawned many unlikely clashes between greens of different stripes. Climate protesters against CO2-free nuclear power generation, eco types versus high-speed electric rail, and now, angry Germans demanding Tesla stop stealing its water.

The electric automaker’s attempt to build a massive factory in the European country has hit a social roadblock. (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2020

2017 Toyota Corolla LE - Image: Toyota

A ghost in the machine that could render passive safety systems like airbags and seatbelt pretensioners useless has infected a range of Toyota models, sparking a global recall of roughly 3.4 million vehicles — some 2,891,976 of those in the United States.

While the suspected fault only rears its head in certain types of crashes, owners would probably prefer their airbags deploy in all major impacts. (Read More…)

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