Category: News Blog

By on June 24, 2021

Stellantis plans to extend the typical summer downtime at a couple assembly plants while relaunching production at Windsor Assembly next month. The Canadian van factory will be see two shifts returning on July 5th, while its Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois and Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico will be idled due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage. This has become a common tactic within the automotive industry, with our doubting it’ll be the last occasion we’ll be reporting on extended summer vacations.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. appears to have lost its technology chief to Amazon. Ken Washington was hired into Blue Oval after a sting with Lockeed Martin in 2014 and will be leaving the automaker next month to become vice president of software engineering for the tech giant.  Read More >

By on June 24, 2021

The Honda Civic hatchback has arrived and managed to match the 11th-generation sedan’s clean looks so completely, that we’re wondering how many people will be able to spot the differences from afar. It’s a major departure from the previous generation, where the hatchback represented some of the boldest styling the company ever tried. Honda has clearly tried to build something less polarizing this time around, with current Civics taking a lot of influence from the fifth generation cars — which are best known for their tastefully understated exteriors, general ubiquity, and being one of the most frequently modified automobiles in history.

Those Civics were also largely indistinguishable from each other when viewed from the front. That’s true today as well, with the only glaring distinction between the body styles being the modern hatchback’s bubble butt and unique taillights. There are also a few trim pieces that separate the two. But the most meaningful differences revolve around packaging, with the hatchback offering more options than it used to.

There is an unfortunate exception, however.  Read More >

By on June 24, 2021

In Part I of the Avanti story (which received some great comments) we reviewed the coupe’s design and very short original production timeline at Studebaker. But the car was so unique and so modern that two enterprising Studebaker dealers knew they couldn’t let Avanti die after just two years.

Today we take a walk through the next couple of decades, as the Avanti strayed further and further from its true self, ravaged by the passage of time.

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By on June 24, 2021

2021 Jeep Wrangler

We briefly thought about covering the new (and thirsty) Grand Wagoneer for this week’s entry into the Base Camp series, given the model’s excellent retro name and propensity to induce rose-colored myopia in adults who mis-remember the Malaise Era. However, we all know there’s only one way to order such a rig: fully loaded.

Which is why we’re focusing our efforts on the Wrangler. It serves as Jeep’s trademark since it is the image that pops into most people’s minds – even non-gearheads – when they hear the word ‘Jeep’. Plus, in most guises, it approaches something that can even be called affordable.

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By on June 24, 2021

Sensay/Shutterstock.com

I wrote earlier this week about how BAT has broken me.

In the post, I mentioned how I browse for Fox-body Mustangs. I do this because my dad owned one when I was young and I owned one for a few years between high school and early college.

I suspect many of us have one, two, or even three models we look for when we browse sites like BAT.

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By on June 23, 2021

The 2021 Acura TLX Type S is currently being shined up in showrooms around the country in the hopes of catching the eye of people that still remember the brand formerly produced a handful of downright excellent performance vehicles. It’s specifically trying to recapture the magic of the TSX — which the rest of the world knew as the fun version of the Honda Accord — and appears to have been built under a similar philosophy.

Rather than committing itself to ludicrous levels of power or an overabundance of attitude, Acura has attempted to deliver a balanced, tasteful luxury vehicle that can still scramble like an egg. While the previous offspring of this mindset made do with roughly 200 horsepower, the TLX Type S produces a much more meaty 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque and recently dropped some additional marketing materials to drive that point home now that it’s on sale.  Read More >

By on June 23, 2021

The range numbers are out for Ford’s highest-performance Mustang Mach-E.

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By on June 23, 2021

Volkswagen Group has been prattling on about electrification for years and ultimately decided that Audi would be the tip of its progressive spear. The brand has cachet as both a luxury and performance division, while simultaneously possessing VW’s magical ability to produce vehicles that don’t become an eyesore after you’ve had them in the garage for a decade.

While transitioning toward EVs runs the risk of spoiling that, Audi is clearly the VW property best positioned to come after would-be Tesla customers and is not hesitant to issue reminders that it’s serious about being a global leader when it comes to battery-driven vehicles. On Tuesday, the Ingolstadt-based company announced plans to exclusively launch electrically driven automobiles from 2026 onward — adding that it doesn’t even plan on selling internal-combustion vehicles by 2033.

But these rules won’t apply to the Chinese market, which will be flush with internal-combustion vehicles produced within its borders years after the rest of the world has apparently lost the option to purchase them.  Read More >

By on June 23, 2021

2022 Honda Civic hatchback. Image: Honda

Leaked Honda marketing materials seem to show when the Honda Civic hatchback and hopped-up Si trim will go on sale.

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By on June 23, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride is a design legend that was built for a very short while by Studebaker in South Bend, Indiana. One of those cars which just wouldn’t die, its two-year history of original manufacture was followed by about 43 years of sporadic independent production.

Onward, to Avanti!

Read More >

By on June 22, 2021

Hyundai

Hyundai is sharing heavily doctored images of the upcoming Elantra N, offering a taste of what its performance arm plans to do when unleased upon the rest of the company’s lineup. Unlike N-Line products, which are more about supporting modest performance upgrades with visual embellishments, N models are basically as hardcore as the manufacturer can build a vehicle while still attempting to turn a profit.

Thus far the formula has only had sufficient time to produce the 275-horsepower Veloster N — a hatchback that seems intentionally designed to dunk on the more reserved Volkswagen GTI. But the Elantra is rumored to embrace the Veloster’s powertrain and a similar personality, resulting in something relatively unique for our market.  Read More >

By on June 22, 2021

While it’s not scheduled to make any public appearances until the United Kingdom’s Goodwood Festival of Speed kicks off in July, Genesis is dropping photos of the G70 Shooting Brake like it’s just days away from hitting the market.

Not our market, of course. The manufacturer shrewdly decided to leave the wagon in Europe, angering thousands of North American drivers who beg for vehicles like this with no intention of ever buying one. But it sure looks nice, with Genesis managing to stretch the bold design of the G70 sedan while adding a substantial amount of cargo capacity.  Read More >

By on June 22, 2021

Sensay/Shutterstock.com

Like most automotive journalists — and car enthusiasts in general — I have three ways of goofing off online that involve the cars. One is reading sites like this one. Two is building and pricing cars from mild to wild — from affordable to only if I win the lotto — on manufacturer’s consumer configurators. The third is browsing the auction site Bring a Trailer (BAT) to see what’s for sale that day. Someday, the just-right Fox-body Mustang will be available and within my budget. Someday.

Read More >

By on June 22, 2021

Sweeping lines and a beautiful coupe silhouette, penned by one of the finest Italian design firms and built with care and attention to detail. Yes, the Rolls-Royce Camargue had one of those features. Let’s check out what happened in the Seventies when Rolls stepped outside their typical conservative mold.

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By on June 22, 2021

As the resident sourpuss, I make it my business to complain about every industrial hypocrisy that crosses my path and the automotive sector has kept me so busy that there’s hardly any time left to address my own failings. Though I do have to confess that I sometimes feel guilty about how frequently I’m compelled to gripe about electric vehicles. Provided that you’re willing to work with their charging limitations and less-than-impressive ranges, EVs have a lot to offer even in their current state. But the way they’ve been marketed has been so consistently disingenuous that I often end my days on the cusp of a frustration-induced aneurysm.

The winds appear to be changing, however.

After years of watching the industry bang its head against the wall, the media seems prepared to shift its position. Accelerated adoption of pure electrics doesn’t seem to be happening and too many EV startups have ended up being little more than an opportunity for investors to throw away money. Increasingly fewer people ask me about battery-powered cars in a way that suggests true enthusiasm. Excitement has given way to dubiousness as more people have begun to ponder if electrics are really all they’re cracked up to be.  Read More >

Recent Comments

  • deanst: Is hoping for a hybrid wagon manual expecting too much?
  • Lie2me: No kidding, I call those old Jeeps “ball-busters”
  • Corey Lewis: Both those are good choices.
  • wolfwagen: TUI/TWI – Typing under the influence/Typing while intoxicated or Drowsy typing?
  • Jeff_M: Not too shabby indeed except that it takes hours to fill up rather than minutes.

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  • Adam Tonge
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