Category: News Blog

By on September 18, 2020

bronco

Ford Bronco enthusiasts were happy that you’ll be able to get a manual transmission. But they weren’t so happy when the company announced that the Sasquatch off-road package would only be available with an automatic transmission.

The Twitter push back was intense, and Ford PR did say that the company would consider offering the Sasquatch on manual-transmission models (the stick is only available with the 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine) if there was enough consumer interest.

Apparently, there is.

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By on September 18, 2020

2021 Ford F-150. Image: Ford

Ford had a short Web meeting for the media earlier this week, and a big chunk of the time was spent on the newest version of the F-150 pickup truck, including confirmation that the company will be building an all-electric F-150 at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, as Matt wrote Thursday.

The other big announcement from the Blue Oval focused on how the F-150’s existence helps America. Drawing on a study from Boston Consulting Group, Ford says the F-150 is among the most valuable consumer goods sold in America.

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By on September 17, 2020

Volkswagen Taos teaser. Image: VW

We recently wrote about the upcoming Volkswagen compact SUV that the company has been teasing ahead of an October debut.

Now we have a name, if not much else. Well, we do know at least one other thing – it will be unveiled (virtually, we presume) on October 13.

Oh, and one other thing – it will be built specifically for the North American market.

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By on September 17, 2020

Ford badge emblem logo

Ford has really been hyping the upcoming F-Series EV this week by assuring customers the new pickup will make the gas-powered one look like the unsightly substance you cough into the sink every morning. Not only with the electrified F-150 come with more power than your standard Ford truck, but it’ll also be cheaper to own and operate  once you get past the higher purchasing price, of course.

The automaker is spending a whopping $700 million to add EV production facilities at the Dearborn Truck Plant on top of the lofty cost of development, so it’s going to tell you whatever it takes to get you to buy one. It has to recoup those expenses somehow and, unless it’s a bald-faced lie, the automotive industry always seems willing to be “extremely optimistic” about a vehicle prior to launch. Unfortunately, Ford has to remain slightly more grounded than some of its peers because the electric F-150 isn’t so completely novel that the manufacturer can claim it will totally transform the driving experience or makes ludicrous suggestions about it driving itself.

We already have an F-150 and people seem to think it’s good enough to warrant nearly a million sales per year. The electric version is a spin-off Ford wants us to understand builds on those strengths.

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By on September 17, 2020

Bugatti Chiron speed attempt

Croatian supercar firm Rimac Automobili is reportedly in the process of acquiring Bugatti from Volkswagen. While rumors had been swirling that VW might offload a few of its brands in a bid to focus on electrification and emissions compliance, this is is the first time we’ve heard credible rumblings about real action being taken.

Considering the space Rimac occupies, adding the formerly French Bugatti brand also makes some amount of sense. We’d be a lot more skeptical if founder Mate Rimac was alleged to be making a move on SEAT because he suddenly found a passion for designing economy cars. But the prospective tie-up is more complicated than it seems at first blush. Volkswagen Group’s Porsche actually owns a 15-percent stake in Rimac so it can tap into some of its sweetest technical equipment for the purpose of building EVs.

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By on September 17, 2020

Rare Rides has featured a few examples of Dodge vehicles which were breathed upon by the legendary Carroll Shelby. We add another entry to the file today, with the largest and most powerful Shelby featured here to date.

It’s a Durango Shelby SP-360 from 1999.

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By on September 17, 2020

Cadillac told U.S. and Chinese dealers they will each need to invest at least $200,000 on electric vehicle chargers and staff training to continue selling the brand’s products after 2022. The message was communicated to dealerships on Wednesday via video messages from Rory Harvey, the luxury brand’s vice president of sales, service and marketing. Cadillac is moving on electrification (seriously this time) and plans to launch the Lyriq EV within the next two years, with more battery-driven models to follow. Update: Cadillac PR has responded, saying that what was communicated yesterday is for U.S. dealers only.

The brand says dealers must be ready for the transition, giving us flashbacks to Project Pinnacle  the Johan de Nysschen strategy that forced stores to spend money to provide a more premium sales experience that differentiated Cadillac as special. At the time of its implementation, many dealers wondered why they should bother taking on more overhead under the assumption that they’ll make extra money over time. While luxury-specific outlets don’t have much choice in the matter, those selling GM’s other brands in conjunction with Cadillac seem to be substantially less eager to implement the changes.

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By on September 17, 2020

Ram Built to Serve. Photo: FCA

The amount of limited editions that Ram puts out seems limitless. Yet the brand doesn’t stop.

Here’s one that’s intended to honor the people who serve in our military. Without getting political, I think whether you’re liberal, conservative, libertarian, or somewhere else on the political spectrum, saluting the troops for their service is a good thing. Even pacifists likely acknowledge the sacrifices troops are asked to make.

Ram sure does.

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By on September 17, 2020

2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo. Photo: Mazda

If you ever thought, “Gee, I like this Mazda CX-30, but it could stand to offer a skoosh more power”, well, Mazda has news for you.

Yes, that’s right – “dude, you’re getting a turbo!”

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By on September 16, 2020

I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve gotten excited about the prospect of a new vehicle only to learn it’s going to limited to some lousy country where they don’t even bother to drive on the correct side of the street, have funny-sounding police sirens and/or happen to be involved in some other roadway debacle  like using the metric system on signs, just because it’s easier.

Meanwhile, nobody even seems to notice when we export our best automotive wares. Sure Europeans enjoy the Corvette’s mind-blowing performance and ability to absolutely devour highway miles at an unbeatable price (ignore the Euro-spec C8). But it probably lacks panache or the appropriate level of refinement (whatever the hell they’re looking for) and doesn’t accessorize with the sport coat and bare ankle look they seem so sprung on. Have you ever seen a Corvette in Europe? Of course, you haven’t. They almost never cracked 1,000 deliveries per year because the entire continent hates V8 engines.

Don’t fact check me on that last one because it’s irrelevant to the purposes of this article about petty revenge. All you need to know is that I was just informed that Nissan’s upcoming 400Z (name pending) won’t be available in Europe.

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By on September 16, 2020

General Motors refuses to let the dismissal of its federal racketeering case against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles stand in the way of getting what it believes is true justice. On Monday, the automaker filed its latest claim with Wayne County Circuit Court in Michigan. These are separate from the New Jersey lawsuit it has targeting former board member and ex-UAW vice president Joe Ashton, who GM has accused of being a hired mole. However, Ashton was named in the trio of new court filings, along with Alphons Iacobelli  the man who pled guilty to embezzling union funds and kicked off a gigantic federal corruption investigation into the UAW.

The automaker also named some of the banks it claimed were involved in the union scandal and continues to allege that FCA “provided millions of dollars to co-conspirators via numerous undisclosed offshore bank accounts and utilized such accounts to purchase the support and silence of numerous high-level UAW officers and FCA executives.” Fiat Chrysler’s assumed goal? Forcing General Motors into a merger or destroy it if the merger failed by negotiating favorable terms with the union and encouraging leadership into adopting positions that would harm GM.

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By on September 16, 2020

2021 Chevrolet Silverado. Image: Chevrolet

I spent the first part of this morning out of the office, putting miles on a test car before it went home. When I returned to my desk and caught up on emails, I saw one from Chevy PR labeled as a teaser for 2021 Chevrolet Silverado news.

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By on September 16, 2020

Not that people have any leftover hope of enjoying what was once considered a normal life, but the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) is moving entirely online for 2021. It’s French Canadian equivalent Salon International de l’Auto de Montréal (MIAS) has also been relegated to the digital world as a way to kick off another year of absolutely nothing happening.

Obviously, this is being done to protect the world from itself and ensure the country remains on the mend indefinitely. But some provinces are said to be easing lockdown restrictions and reopening schools, suggesting the world may not be a practical joke played entirely at our collective expense. There’s a palpable fear among event organizers, however, especially if theirs happens to be indoors and include words like “international” in the title. Nobody wants to be the person who relaunched COVID-19 around the world, even if contagion rates have dropped and hospitals have better ways of treating the virus.

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By on September 16, 2020

Today’s Rare Ride combines a traditional roadster design from the Sixties with updates from the Nineties, and uses an engine from somewhere in between.

Let’s learn more about a hodgepodge which is the very limited production MG RV8.

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By on September 16, 2020

The Uber test vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, has been under public scrutiny since March of 2018. But we never heard a lot about the safety driver behind the wheel. So much attention was given to addressing whether or not the autonomous systems on the SUV should or could have seen Elaine Herzberg  and stopped the car before the tragedy occurred  that it became the overriding narrative.

But it really shouldn’t have, as some of the earliest video footage appeared to show that Uber’s safety operator had entirely tuned out of the driving experience in the moments leading up to the incident. Fortunately, Maricopa County Superior Court and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were keeping tabs while the rest of us were not. In fact, the former decided to charge Rafael Vasquez (who also goes by Rafaela) with negligent homicide late last month.

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