Category: News Blog

By on April 22, 2019

Elon Musk

Tesla celebrated “Autonomy Day” on Monday, broadcasting a web presentation to investors touting its self-driving strategy — part of CEO Elon Musk’s attempt to prove that the manufacturer’s longstanding commitment to the technology will bear fruit. While the mood was undercut by news of one of its vehicles spontaneously combusting in a Shanghai parking garage, the company stayed the course, focusing on autonomy instead of electrification.

Still, it wasn’t the fire that had investors seeking comfort. Tesla’s promise of fully self-driving vehicles is years old, with Musk initially pegging 2018 as the target date. That didn’t happen, with 2018 turning out to be the year the company faced elevated scrutiny over the effectiveness of its Autopilot system after a series of high-profile crashes.  Read More >

By on April 22, 2019

fca

Your author tries not to create too much of a stir with his vibrant and eventful Chevy Cruze, but sometimes it’s hard. Still, there’s at least an attempt to keep the peace, ensuring owners of alternative-fuel vehicles feel respected in the presence of my potent 1.4-liter studcarriage.

Others aren’t quite as respectful, as documented in certain videos. “ICEing” Teslas isn’t cool. As public charging stations proliferate, it’s bringing the two sides into direct conflict with each other — especially in areas where parking is a limited commodity. What to do? Impose fines and hope for the best, it seems. Read More >

By on April 22, 2019

If Nissan and Renault were a living, breathing couple, they’d be the duo all of your other friends whisper about. They’d be the couple with the big house and seemingly successful children that everyone knows fights bitterly in the evenings — screaming at each other before retiring to their separate bedrooms. The relationship, while healthy in terms of financial productivity, has grown toxic on the corporate end of things.

Less than one month after Renault’s new chairman claimed a merger would be out of the question, the French automaker is once again pushing for integration. Nissan is having none of it and plans to reject the proposal outright, according to reports from NikkeiRead More >

By on April 22, 2019

An “odd choice.” That’s how TTAC’s Timothy Cain characterized the Chevrolet Traverse RS when it first appeared in late 2017.

Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the apparently sportier version of Chevy’s full-size, three-row Traverse was a mid-range offering with blacked-out clothing  that hardly improved on the V6 model’s fuel economy. Available only in front-drive guise, the four-banger Traverse returned 1 mpg less on the highway than its 3.6-liter FWD sibling, the result of the six-cylinder’s loftier horsepower count. Combined fuel economy improved by only 1 mpg by ticking the RS box.

That was then, and this is now. Chevy’s dropping the 2.0T Traverse. Read More >

By on April 22, 2019

For roughly the last decade, we’ve heard the motoring media bemoan Millennials as the generation that snubbed driving. Their inability to find and hold jobs that paid as well as their parents’ did at the same stages of life, combined with elevated costs of living and crippling student debt load, negatively impacted their purchasing power. Still, this generation might be just the tip of an iceberg the industry’s about to careen into.

As it turns out, Generation Z might even be less interested in cars. In addition to facing similar financial constraints as their older peers, most of them aren’t even bothering to get a driver’s license.  Read More >

By on April 22, 2019

2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature Skyactiv-D - Image: Mazda

Finally.

Mazda’s promised diesel-powered CX-5 is now open for pre-order in the United States, years after we began chronicling the Skyactiv-D’s lethargic march to North America.

TTAC’s coverage of Mazda diesel delays goes back nearly six years, when the future of Mazda’s Skyactiv-D was linked to a future Mazda 6. It was a story that received more attention in 2014. Eventually, in late 2016, there was confirmation of a Mazda CX-5 diesel. Arrival date: second half of 2017.

By the second half of 2017, however, the timing of the diesel CX-5’s arrival was unknown. Fast forward past a promising NHTSA filing, then a CARB certification, and then the release of EPA fuel economy ratings to the 2019 New York International Auto Show.

The Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD Diesel is ready, Mazda insists. But at $42,045, there’s simply no reason for its existence in America. Read More >

By on April 22, 2019

Image: Ford

Buyers without the necessary cash (or need) to get into a Bronco next year will have an alternative choice — possibly one with a similar name.

While Ford’s upcoming compact unibody ute, underpinned by the same platform used by the 2020 Escape, has carried the “baby Bronco” moniker ever since Ford revealed the model’s development, the automaker might actually bestow a similar name on the retro-themed vehicle. Read More >

By on April 22, 2019

tesla model-s-rear, image: Tesla Motors

As Tesla feverishly attempts to complete construction of a Chinese assembly plant and kick off production before the end of the year, a viral video isn’t helping the automaker’s reputation in that country.

Over the weekend, security camera video shot in a Shanghai parking garage emerged on China’s main social media platform, Weibo. The video shows a parked Tesla Model S lighting its own funeral pyre, sealing the fate of the high-end sedans parked alongside it. Read More >

By on April 22, 2019

Today’s QOTD requires those who respond to give away a bit of information about themselves — their age. Or, y’know, you could just grab a random year from the ether.

Whichever route you choose, our question is this: what is, in your opinion, the worst car on sale the year you were born?

Read More >

By on April 19, 2019

Ford celebrated its iconic sports coupe’s 55th birthday at the New York International Auto Show this week by proclaiming Wednesday as “Mustang Day.” But Mustang Day was overshadowed by other nostalgic celebrations taking place at the New York Auto Show, specifically Nissan’s 50th Anniversary Editions of the GT-R (which looked excellent) and 370Z (which one of our anal-retentive staffers criticized over technical inaccuracies). The Japanese manufacturer even had a multi-tiered display and brought in historic models, countering the building apathy many automakers seem to have developed for giant trade shows.

Despite Nissan winning the battle for eyes in New York, Ford still appears to have won the day — at least from its own perspective. Following the NY debut of the Mustang’s 2.3-liter High Performance Package, which brings up the base auto’s peak output to 330 horsepower just for starters, the company proudly announced that its pony car has remained the world’s top-selling sports coupe over the last four years.  Read More >

By on April 19, 2019

best bike racks for your vehicle

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


For as much as a person may try, there does come the realization that we can’t fit everything into our vehicles — even if one did master the ancient arts of Jenga and Tetris as a youngster. Sometimes a person just has to accept reality, break down, and purchase some sort of auxiliary carrier and lash it to the car.

This is especially true if said items that won’t fit are of an odd size, like several bicycles or a taxidermied tiger shark. While we can’t help you with the latter, we have rounded up a few of our picks for the former, all of which are designed to cart your two-wheeled Victorian antiquity to its far-flung destination. It is far-flung, right? Otherwise, you’d be riding the thing there.

Jokes aside, plenty of otherwise normal folks enjoy packing up their bikes and taking to the trails on weekends. Those trails could be on the rocks of Moab, the forests of Vermont, or the shores of California. Either way, not everyone finds themselves on the doorsteps of those locales, so carting bikes on the exterior of one’s vehicle is hardly a far-fetched proposition.

Assembled here are eight bike racks of various size, price, and application. Choose wisely, and the games of Jenga and Tetris won’t even enter your mind.

Read More >

By on April 19, 2019

2016 Dodge Dart, Image: FCA

The Dodge Dart rolled unceremoniously out of the Fiat Chrysler stable after the 2016 model year, but the automaker now worries it may roll out of owners’ driveways.

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 298,439 Darts in the United States, 20,117 in Canada, and 3,400 in Mexico to fix a shift cable that can detach from the transmission, potentially leaving the car stuck in a gear that isn’t “park.” Read More >

By on April 19, 2019

Nissan Motor Co. has pledged a donation of 100,000 euros ($112,000) for the restoration of the fire-kissed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. However, the company’s act of kindness is overshadowed by its rather interesting timing. Nissan’s relationship with partner Renault and the French government has grown strained since the arrest of former Alliance boss Carlos Ghosn — now back in jail after his fourth arrest and rumored to be facing indictment on new charges early next week in Japan.

Then again, the fire at Notre Dame was an extremely high-profile incident, leading to the donation of millions in charitable contributions for its repair. Where it not for the elevated tensions between the company and Renault/France, nobody would question Nissan’s motives in the slightest.  Read More >

By on April 19, 2019

2018 Chevrolet Bolt - Image: Chevrolet

General Motors has already announced it will build a new electric Chevrolet to serve as a sibling to the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt. This makes sense, as the technology and underpinnings of that car – not to mention all the R&D investment – should be shared with other GM machines. In today’s market, that likely means some sort of electric crossover or SUV.

All signs definitely point in that direction now, with the discovery of a new patent filing. Earlier this month, GM sought to trademark the term “Bolt EUV” — our best hint yet that the next electron-powered Chevy will be a market-pleasing crossover.

Read More >

By on April 19, 2019

2018 Mazda 6 Signature front quarter

It seems the idea of a sport-utility sedan just doesn’t resonate, despite automakers’ best efforts. Oh well, at least there’s still the prospect of greater traction and somewhat improved fuel economy coming to Mazda’s slinky 6 sedan.

During this week’s New York reveal of the much-delayed CX-5 diesel, the automaker mentioned that the 2.2-liter oil burner would also find a home in the company’s midsize sedan. More interestingly, Mazda confirmed that all-wheel drive will become available.

Want to take a guess on which feature Mazda fans actually want? Read More >

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