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Steph Willems

By on September 2, 2020

We walk through life full of our own biases, veritable containers brimming with grudges and bad feelings and memories of being burned. You’ll never hurt me again, we think of certain corporations and companies and products. And countries of origin. And people. Like cold honey, these lingering resentments harden over time.

Sometimes we realize too late that our feelings were outdated, unwarranted, or misplaced. (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2020

It hasn’t been a normal year, and all the plans you and I and even Subaru had for 2020 have more or less fallen flat. This year will not see the Japanese automaker grow its volume over 2019 levels. Targets set in the Before Times will not be met.

So why worry? Celebrate what you got.

That’s what Subaru did after tabulating its August sales tally, noting that the figure — representing a year-over-year loss of 17 percent — was actually its best showing so far this year. And once again, Subaru brass north of the border didn’t have to pretend. (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2020

Mazda

In the world of mainstream, front-drive midsize sedans, the Mazda 6 stands out. Not in terms of sales (no midsizer’s adding volume these days), but in terms of style. Despite not being the freshest face on the block, the 6 remains a serious looker.

The recent addition of a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder to the 6’s roster of niceties only boosted the sedan’s appeal, but buyers remain a fickle bunch. For 2021, Mazda keeps the model’s recipe more or less the same, but tosses a bit of additional power to the uplevel engine while slotting a new trim at the top end. (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2020

Rolls-Royce

Scratch that. It’s not an all-new car. You see, the second-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost carries over the original model’s Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and rear-seat umbrellas.

The non-umbrella hardware is changed, however, and likely that’s more of interest to those of you reading. You Rolls-loving TTAC readers, you.

What’s new with the brand’s most affordable model? Read on. (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2020

Electric crossovers are all the rage, but they might not get blood pumping the way a rear-drive sports car can. Especially one with a heritage like Nissan’s Z.

The subject of much rumor and speculation, the successor to today’s remarkably aged 370Z was already known to be in the works, carefully pored over by a team of fastidious Japanese engineers eager to do the model’s lineage proud. Expected to carry the name 400Z, a prototype is headed our way in just a short time. (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2020

Chrysler Corp

It’s late 1995, and your author is blundering through his first year of high school. Gangly, awkward… frankly, the whole thing is best left unremembered. Beyond those school walls, however, world events were coming to a head. O.J. apparently didn’t do it, Quebec almost became a country, the Unabomber’s manifesto made it to print, and in two assembly plants in Ontario and Delaware, big things were taking place between the front seats.

There, Chrysler Corp was busy outfitting two variants of its 1996 model-year LH cars — the Dodge Intrepid ES and Eagle Vision TSi, to be exact — with a new type of transmission. Called Autostick, it allowed the driver of Chrysler’s sportiest cab-forward sedans to make the most of their four forward gears. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2020

FCA Brampton Assembly Line Challenger & 300 - Image: FCA

Unifor, the union representing autoworkers in the Greater South Detroit Area (GSDA, also known as Canada), has voted to add a walkout to its list of bargaining tools. The union’s membership, unsurprisingly, voted to allow their bargaining committees to threaten or initiate a strike if Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler don’t pony up at the table.

There’s a good possibility Unifor members might get a chance to exercise this time-honored tactic of organized labor, if last fall’s GM walkout in the U.S. is any indication. And we all know that Canada, which has already lost plenty of auto manufacturing in past decades, has a lot more to lose. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2020

Beneath the Dodge Charger, you’ll find evidence of America’s oldest sedan, but it’s what’s up front that counts. Traditionally stuffed with as much muscle as Fiat Chrysler (and its predecessors) can muster, the aging Charger gets a testosterone injection for 2021 with the SRT Hellcat Redeye.

Familiar to Challenger aficionados, Redeye guise takes the already overly potent Hellcat and dials up the output — and also the price. If you can be swayed away from the “power dollars” offered on remaining 2020 models, the most powerful of these LX-platform sedans has what it takes to win shallow bragging rights for the buyer.

FCA thanks them for their contribution. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2020

Not every hybrid or electric vehicle motors along at low speeds with only road noise, and perhaps a bit of motor whine, alerting people in its path to its presence. However, under a new rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, automakers were told to ensure their vehicles emit a warning noise at speeds of up to 18.6 mph.

The measure was first proposed back in 2010, when hybrids were few and EVs almost non-existent. Moving at the speed of bureaucracy (the Department of Transportation finalized the rules in 2016), the low-speed noise mandate was supposed to finally enter into law last September, but the NHTSA extended the deadline by a year. On Monday, the agency extended it once again. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2020

Image: Nissan

Osamu Masuko, the longtime Mitsubishi Motors boss who guided his company through turbulent waters, helped craft an alliance with Nissan and partner Renault, only to find his  ship back in storm-tossed seas, has died just three weeks after his unexpected departure.

Masuko died on Thursday, aged 71, Japanese media reports. The former chairman announced his resignation on August 7th. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2020

gm

Longer, more spacious, and sporting a newly independent rear suspension, General Motors’ 2021 full-size SUV clan is ready to tap pent-up consumer enthusiasm… just as soon as the manufacturer scrubs off the paint-marring insect secretions.

It seems the General’s big SUVs have run into a seasonal issue near their Texas home base. (Read More…)

By on August 28, 2020

toyota

Many current EV owners might think their own vehicle is just right for their needs, and they’d probably be correct, but the take rate for such vehicles suggests the vast majority of the buying public feels otherwise. Low single-digit percentages continue to greet EVs in the North American market.

What qualities would a hypothetical EV need to posses to satisfy the broadest swath of the buying public? A survey conducted by Big Motor Oil set out to find out. (Read More…)

By on August 28, 2020

It’s a day of the week, which means it’s time for another installment in Jeep’s ongoing teaser campaign for its upcoming full-size SUVs. Thankfully, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, or at least the latter model, will see the light of day on September 3rd.

The images released by Jeep on Friday show additional glitter and acres of roof glass, but the vehicle itself might not be exactly what greets buyers next year. (Read More…)

By on August 28, 2020

Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse Cabriolet; A 217; 2018 - Image: Mercedes-Benz

Long rumored to be on the chopping block, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe and cabriolet are now confirmed to be heading into their last year of existence.

The automaker confirmed the death sentence for these luxuriously large two-doors in its 2021 model year rundown, sealing the fate of yet another coupe and drop-top in the increasingly SUV-centric global auto landscape. Niche models, to be sure, but the impending loss is made all the more painful by the fact that Benz’s biggest coupe is pillarless. (Read More…)

By on August 28, 2020

A criminal complaint filed this week details a very Cold War-like plot to cripple Tesla from the inside. Federal prosecutors and the automaker claim a Russian “tourist” attempted to coerce an employee of Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory to infect the company’s system with malware, and in doing so receive a payment of $1 million.

The employee reportedly turned down the offer and squealed on the so-called tourist, leading to an FBI sting operation — as well as this week’s criminal complaint. (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Jeff S: Stereotyping takes very little thought and effort. Much easier to put people in categories.
  • Jeff S: Agree about the US on the path of decline and Japan’s population is aging because of a lower birth rate...
  • Peter Gazis: Lou_BC The F150 can be used on and off road. Negating the Corolla’ s Coumtry advantage.
  • Inside Looking Out: Sorry, but I do not remember that. But what I remember from 1990s and see also in Russian movies...
  • Inside Looking Out: Sorry, but I do not remember.

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