Category: News Blog

By on June 17, 2019

Everybody who obsesses over automobiles knows that the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado is a hideous monstrosity with a disgustingly small four-cylinder engine as its base powerplant. At least that’s the gist among automotive journalists. While yours truly doesn’t understand how anyone could claim that GMC’s new Sierra boasts the more-attractive mug, both ended up with mildly disappointing interiors and a ride that’s not quite on par with their domestic rivals — especially the Silverado.

Shade has been thrown and the public has responded by buying fewer full-size trucks from Chevy, forcing it to give up its second place sales ranking to Ram. However, General Motors seems to think the issue has been overblown and only represents a temporary setback.  Read More >

By on June 17, 2019

In case you weren’t sure if BMW was going to fill the gaping hole left in its lineup by the departure of the 6 Series Gran Coupe, early official photos have confirmed that it will. Recently leaked photos of the 8 Series Gran Coupe were confirmed by BMW to Car and Driver to be real and valid, coming ahead of the official unveiling on June 18th.

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By on June 17, 2019

Demand for Hummer vehicles peaked in 2006 before being obliterated by the financial crisis and a spike in domestic fuel prices. Considering the brand’s most eco-conscious model (the H3) averaged somewhere around 14 mpg in the city, the nameplate probably survived longer than it should have. It took on defunct-status in 2010.

Having failed to sell off the brand, General Motors is still sitting on the property and rumors are stirring that it might be making a comeback… as an electric luxury marque.

Despite sounding like the mad ravings of drug-addled lunatic, GM has its reasons for considering bringing Hummer back to life. Jeep sales took off like cat with its tail on fire after the recession, with annual domestic volumes going from 231,701 units in 2009 to a whopping 973,227 in 2018. It’s doubtful that GM missed that or forgot that it had access to an easily identifiable brand with similar ties to the military and off-road adventure. Read More >

By on June 17, 2019

A 4-year-old boy in Blaine, MN, traded his car seat for the driver’s seat, borrowing his great-grandfather’s SUV. At 4 years old, I can’t imagine having the understanding and capability to successfully operate a car. But little Sebastian Swenson proved himself to be a special case.

His motivation? Reese’s candy. I believe this to be one of the most noble reasons to steal a car.

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By on June 17, 2019

When the invite from Fiat Chrysler came in, I hemmed and hawed. The event in question was an off-road drive of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, along with other off-road-oriented Jeep and Dodge rigs, taking place at an off-road park in west-central Indiana. This was a regional event — media invitees all came from Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis.

If I hadn’t already driven the Gladiator in March, I’d have gone without a second thought. That’s why I hesitated – I’d driven the truck on the launch, and I’ll learn more from a second-look that takes place over a week-long loan (I have one scheduled) than I would from a few more hours of rock-crawling. Was it worth the time out of office?

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By on June 17, 2019

With the official start of summer just around the bend, your corner car meet is about to get a lot more crowded. Sure, you folks who are #blessed to live in warm climes have Cars & Coffee year-round but the rest of us plebes can only enjoy our precious metal once the calendar flips into the hottest months.

Import shows, classic muscle, modern performance — what’s your favorite type of car to see at a show?

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By on June 17, 2019

Due to weakening new-vehicle sales, the United States was staring down the barrel of near-record inventories a couple of months ago. Encouraged by the factory to ensure their lots were filled with the latest wares, dealers have watched their margins evaporate as employees and customers drowned in the sea of metal parked out front.

While still uncomfortably high, U.S. inventories started creeping back down in May. By the end of the month, the number of vehicles waiting to be adopted fell below 4 million for the first time since the beginning of 2019.  Read More >

By on June 17, 2019

Which SUV looked like a 1995 Range Rover at its debut in 1984, but was less reliable and more expensive?

Why, it’s a Laforza of course.

Read More >

By on June 15, 2019

2018 Volkswagen Atlas - Image: Volkswagen

The results of a Friday vote are in, and Volkswagen can breathe a sigh of relief. Five years after the United Auto Workers first attempted to place the automaker’s Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant under its umbrella, a second vote has yielded the same results.

Weeks and months of acrimony, ads, accusations, and other seemingly unavoidable aspects of union organizing led to a narrow win for the no-union side. As before, Southern auto plants remain just beyond the grasp of the UAW. Read More >

By on June 14, 2019

Like the sketchy garage near your old apartment, Porsche is now selling vinyl car wraps. Considering full-body aftermarket wraps have become increasingly popular in recent years, the German brand is seeing dollar signs and wants to take a stab at a pseudo factory version of the trend.

On Wednesday, Porsche announced a new online platform for vehicle livery design it calls “Second Skin.” While the name sounds like something associated with contraception, it’s actually an extension of Porsche’s car configurator. However, it doesn’t appear to apply to vehicles hot off the assembly line or exist as a direct extension of the standard ordering process. According to the website, which had to be translated from German, customer vehicles will be picked up from homs or driven by the owner to a “certified expert” before being returned.

It also doesn’t apply exclusively to Porsches. Second Skin says it can wrap any Porsche and will begin accepting pre-registrations for vehicles from other manufactures immediately.  Read More >

By on June 14, 2019

Every automotive journalist has a mental list of new models they’d like to see migrate to their home country. For many residing in North America, the Alpine A110 is at the top of the page. We didn’t get the resurrected A110, which is a faithful throwback to the original model that ended production in 1977, and this has left a subset of our staff feeling a little raw.

Alpine has since unveiled a spicier build of the car, throwing some additional salt on our collective butthurt — though we’ll happily acknowledge that probably wasn’t the automaker’s intent. It seems content building a two-seat sports car France can be proud of.  Read More >

By on June 14, 2019

fca

Fiat Chrysler is no stranger to paying the piper when it comes to its less-than-stellar fleetwide emissions, with steep fines and pricey regularly credit deals keeping the automaker’s accountants busy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Some sort of relief is on the way in the form of a $10 billion electrification plan, the results of which will see 17 electrified (electric, plug-in hybrid) models enter the fray by 2022. That’s the intent, anyway. To give the looming crop of green Fiats and Jeeps a better chance of success, FCA has partnered with a pair of European utilities — providing customers with a way of fueling their vehicles. Read More >

By on June 14, 2019

Real-estate conglomerate Vingroup JSC’s auto unit, VinFast, rolled out its first model today, which also means Vietnam officially has a automaker. Starting with the Fadil hatchback, VinFast eventually plans to produce a sedan, sport utility vehicle, and some electric motorbikes.

VinFast’s primary goals include flexing Vietnam’s burgeoning industrial abilities while supporting the country with affordable vehicles citizens might be interested in. Easier said than done when the nation’s average annual income is around $2,600. Yet Vietnam is growing by leaps and bounds, supplying more individuals with the means to purchase their own car.  Read More >

By on June 14, 2019

Image: FCA

Large U.S. companies hoping to side-step the 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods by appealing to the government aren’t having much luck. Since July, the U.S. has imposed the tariff on billions of dollars worth of goods from the People’s Republic, leading to financial fallout for automakers heavily invested in the region.

And it seems no one complained more than General Motors. Tesla, Nissan, Fiat Chrysler, and Uber also sent in official gripes in the hopes of receiving an exemption, only to have the door hit them on the way out. Read More >

By on June 14, 2019

Lincoln Motor Company

That didn’t take long. After six years spent crafting the design language of Lincoln’s growing stable of vehicles, design director David Woodhouse abruptly resigned earlier this week. The 50-year-old’s connection with parent Ford Motor Company was a long one — 20 years, since his days at Ford’s Premier Automotive Group.

The mystery as to where Woodhouse would land next is over. On Friday, Nissan announced the former Lincoln designer will go to town on the next generation of the brand’s vehicles. Read More >

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