Tesla’s fortunes seem to have brightened in the last few weeks, as Ford, GM, and Rivian announced a switch to its Supercharger network and a new charging plug standard. Now it appears one of Tesla’s charging competitors is jumping on board, as ChargePoint recently announced the availability of the automaker’s NACS plugs at its locations.
With the automotive industry now keen on propulsion systems that don’t emit a lot of carbon, we’ve seen decades of manufacturers toying with alternative fuels. Corn-based ethanol was big for a while and the Germans have recently shown a renewed interest in carbon monoxide and hydrogen-based synthetic fuel stemming from the gasification of coal, biomass, and/or methane.
Meanwhile, China’s state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group Company (GAC) has announced it had developed an engine powered by ammonia with help from Toyota Motor Corporation during its annual technology showcase.
Toyota has released the second generation of the C-HR subcompact crossover and looks to have made numerous improvements to the vehicle. But it doesn’t sound like we’ll be seeing it on our market after the original model failed to resonate with North American consumers.
We also have the Toyota Corolla Cross available for purchase, resulting in some troublesome overlap. While still extremely slow in its base configuration, the Cross ended up being significantly quicker than the C-HR and offered improved utility for a little less money. However, with the new generation having addressed some of the discontinued model’s shortcomings, one wonders if the new C-HR would have a better chance were it to be shipped stateside.
Ford has been restructuring for years and is reportedly planning additional layoffs. Staff from multiple business units, including its combustion-focused Ford Blue division and the Model e electric vehicle unit, are supposed to be getting bad news in the coming weeks. But the number of people getting laid off isn’t supposed to match what we’ve seen before.
J.D. Power has released its Initial Quality Study for 2023 and the big takeaway seems to be that the automotive industry continues to fumble. While manufacturers are bending over backward to implement novel technologies and features, last year’s survey revealed that customers felt vehicular quality reached its lowest level in more than three decades.
It’s even worse this year.
Infiniti has had a bumpy ride with sales numbers recently, but the rumors of its demise are overblown at best. As companies sometimes do, the automaker is hoping a fresh coat of paint will help it revive flagging interest and generate some traction to boost revenue. Infiniti recently announced a new retail setup and a fresh logo with such subtle differences from the old version that only the keenest eyes will pick up the changes.
As EVs slowly grow in prominence, new automakers have sprung up like spring flowers, but it’s not always clear if they’ll actually produce a vehicle. A quick look around the industry reveals a handful of once-exciting automakers that have since fizzled, but Henrik Fisker’s company isn’t one of them. Despite a long wait for its inaugural EV, Fisker has begun U.S. deliveries of the Ocean SUV, making it one of the few to make it through the gauntlet with a real product.
Eager to continue showcasing its performance products sold under the Gazoo Racing banner, Toyota has introduced special editions of the GR Corolla, GR86, and GR Supra. Sadly, this makes them limited in nature and subject to dealer markups you might not want to deal with. However, if you’re looking for a collectible Toyota to keep in your garage for a few decades, these models are probably worth looking into.
The Nissan Z returned last year, bringing unique retro-inspired styling and a powerful twin-turbo V6. Though it’s still fresh and difficult to find on dealers’ lots, Nissan is unsurprisingly working on a hotter NISMO version of the car. A new teaser video gives a great look at the car, but sadly no details came with the film.
Tesla sparks controversy at almost every turn, but the company’s genius occasionally shines through. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Tesla’s Supercharger network is not only its competitive advantage in the EV space but is a significant asset that will help it remain the company to beat. After Ford, GM, and Rivian signed on to use Tesla’s NACS charging standard, the automaker’s home state of Texas issued new rules requiring that state-sponsored charging stations carry its plugs.
Washington has officially managed to surpass California as the state with the highest fuel prices and looks as though it’s on track to compete for that dubious honor indefinitely.
Based upon data tabulated by the American Automobile Association (AAA), unleaded gasoline purchases in Washington jumped by 32 cents over the past month to $4.93 a gallon. The national average is presently $3.58 per gallon.
Trust the gearheads taking part in Pikes Peak to come up with vehicles appearing to be ripped straight off the digital pages of PlayStation. Ford, which has been fielding entrants since the Peak’s first event in 1916, is taking to the hill this year in their SuperVan 4.2, a machine with over 1,400 horsepower.
If you’ve ever tried to order a pizza while you’re at the beach or enjoying a nice afternoon at the park, you’ll know the hassle of trying to find a nearby address to have it delivered. Domino’s may have a solution, as the United States’ largest pizza chain is rolling out a new “anywhere” delivery service this summer.
Delinquencies on automotive loans have surpassed the recession-era highs witnessed in 2009, according to an assessment released by S&P Global Mobility on Monday. Fortunately the wealthy will be largely unaffected by this trend, as the issue is isolated primarily to subprime borrowers. For some strange reason, people with more money are having less trouble paying their bills on time.
On June 16th Amazon Prime released the latest episode of The Grand Tour, “Eurocrash.” With a runtime longer than every previous episode of the show (1 hour 47 minutes), “Eurocrash” sends the presenters to central Europe for a long road trip. This particular installment is a bit different than past voyages though: The connecting thread between the presenters, journey, cars, and the episode’s events goes missing.
While most automakers were working out what their first all-electric model should be, Tesla was building up a proprietary charging network that helped assure that it would be the EV manufacturer other brands would envy. The vehicles themselves certainly became the benchmark for electric vehicles. But it was the network that guaranteed Tesla’s dominant position in the market. Simply having access to the Supercharger stations is one of the biggest perks of owning a Tesla, as they’re relatively common and suffer less downtime than rival networks.
Despite originally being exclusive to Tesla customers, the brand has decided to open its ports up to the whole world. Ford and General Motors have even signed agreements with the company so that their customers can utilize those charging stations in 2024. Now it appears to be Rivian’s turn.
For a while, it seemed like Tesla would never stop raising prices, but earlier this year, the numbers started falling. It appears Tesla isn’t done offering discounts, as it’s giving buyers up to $7,500 off Model S and Model X vehicles in its inventory and is handing out three years of free charging as a cherry on top.
Subaru is generous with its EyeSight safety systems, equipping the package on several vehicles. Until now, however, buyers could not get the tech for cars with manual transmissions. Subaru recently announced that it is working to develop EyeSight tech for manual transmission-equipped vehicles, which does two things: First, it ensures safer vehicles across Subaru’s lineup, and second, it means we’ll likely continue seeing manual transmissions available from the automaker for the foreseeable future.
After weathering pandemic-related shutdowns, chip shortages, and barren lots, some dealers are complaining our nation’s rail system is suddenly no longer up to the task of delivering new cars. A few are saying they have a point, whilst others muse it is a bit of karma for three years of price gouging and “additional dealer markups”.
Stellantis is reportedly no longer allocating gasoline-only vehicles to the fourteen states with leadership that has agreed to adhere to the emission standards set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). While the rules exceed federal standards, they’ve been embraced by coastal regions and beginning to influence how the industry does business.
For Stellantis brands (e.g. Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram, etc.) this means dealer allocation will prioritize powertrains based on how restrictive the local emissions standards happen to be.
John DeLorean created an automotive cultural force with the shockingly futuristic stainless steel car that wore his last name. The company’s tenure was short, spanning just three years in the early 1980s, but its legacy has lived on, thanks mostly to the significant role it played in the massively popular Back to the Future movies. Though DeLorean has been out of business for 40 years, the brand is getting a rebirth, and its return will include a brand-new car.
Like ‘em or not, the musings of Consumer Reports can carry quite a bit of weight with John Q. Public when shopping for big-ticket items like a car or pickup truck. This month’s issue featured machines in numerous categories slapped with an ‘avoid’ label – including America’s best-selling vehicle.
Dealer franchise laws are controversial at best and downright divisive in most cases, but they remain a significant force in the automotive industry despite the political noise surrounding them. Florida governor and GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis recently joined the fray when he signed House Bill 637, legislation that blocks direct auto sales for most brands but not all.
Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda recently discussed a sporting EV prototype the company has been working on, noting that the model has the simulated manual transmission that’s been the subject of much controversy. Many have claimed a stick-shift electric wouldn’t happen, as it would add cost and needless amounts of complexity for a brand that’s traditionally been averse to both concepts.
However, the brand seems to be running with the concept. Lexus had already toyed with the idea and Akio is now praising the unit that’s been equipped with the Toyota-branded prototype.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has advised automakers not to comply with a Massachusetts vehicle telematics rule designed to ensure customers have control over what happens with their private data. It’s the regulators' assertion that companies are obligated to enforce federal standards while suggesting that the state law poses safety concerns.
Interestingly, that’s the exact same claim the automotive lobby was making when the Massachusetts law was up first for debate and leaves one wondering who exactly the NHTSA is advocating for.
In the “old days,” you had two transmission options if you wanted to buy a car. More often than not, a manual transmission was the standard choice, but buyers increasingly had automatic transmission options. Then, ‘ze Germans started using dual-clutch transmissions in racing cars, leading to the array of the gearboxes seen on the market today. That’s about to change for BMW, at least, as the company’s M division head of development told Top Gear that the DCT would die as it shifted to electrification.
It might be easy to poke a bit of fun at cars that use a pot of paint and trim variations to mark a company anniversary but there’s no arguing that, when done right, people tend to line up for the chance to buy one.
Case in point – all 100 units of the limited-edition Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio 100th Anniversary models sold out in every region the models were offered.
Buick is a big deal in China, and it invests heavily in bringing new models to the country. The Buick-China relationship is so strong that the automaker builds vehicles there for import to its home country, the United States. The Envision SUV has long been built at a GM factory in China, and we’re now learning of a facelifted version of the vehicle that will arrive in 2024.
While Toyota Motor Corp is known for casting a wide net and acting cautiously, it recently made some fairly lofty statements about its strategy regarding all-electric vehicles. Despite the brand offering the humble bZ4X as its singular EV on the North American market, Toyota is suggesting subsequent models driving ranges that model would envy.
Rumors don’t often end up coming true, but the recent whispers about a new Toyota Land Cruiser coming back to America have become a reality. The automaker recently announced that the SUV would return, ending a short period of intense speculation over the iconic off-road vehicle.
It’s a common knock on GM that the company has a tendency to kill its darlings just as they get them right; look no further into history than the Pontiac Fiero and Cadillac Allanté as two good examples*. Some pundits muttered similar oaths about the all-electric Bolt when news surfaced that the model isn’t long for this world – but statements on an NPR podcast last week could give hope to the popular (and affordable) little EV.
On Monday, Ford Motor Co. opened the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center in Germany. Founded in 1930, the facility first produced examples of the Model A intended for the European market. Though the site is probably more famous for manufacturing the Ford Capri and every single generation of the humble Fiesta.
The factory has more recently been the recipient of a $2 billion investment to prepare it for the automaker’s push into electrification. With retooling having concluded, Ford says the plant should boast an annual production capacity of 250,000 electric vehicles.
Volvo is dropping front-wheel drive for the XC40 and XC60 crossovers for 2024. However, this also means the XC40 will lose the 2.0-liter B4 turbo (194 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque) and now have the B5 variant (247 hp and 258 pound-feet) as its singular powertrain. Since the XC60 comes exclusively with the B5 already, the only change is that front-wheel drive will be removed from the menu.
Lexus is hitting the public with a one-two punch this week. After showcasing the next-generation GX, the brand introduced an all-new model designed to replace the three-row RX L. However, where the RX was stretched as an afterthought, the TX was always designed with extra seating in mind.
Lexus has finally shown the brand-new GX midsize SUV for 2024 and it’s leaning hard into its status as an off-road vehicle. Whereas the previous generation offered something a little more brutish looking than your typical Lexus utility vehicle, the new model is about as butch as luxury vehicles come. The only way the manufacturer could have been more clear about what this vehicle was about would be if it put a giant decal on the side that read “BODY-ON FRAME 4X4 FOR DIRT PLEASE.”
It was only a few short days ago we brought you news of Ford announcing it will be granting its EVs the capability of hoovering electricity from Tesla-branded charging stations. If that news gave you whiplash, last night’s announcement of a similar move from General Motors will surely put yer back out.
VinFast made a splash in the U.S. with the release of its first EV here, the VF8, but the reviews have not been the most positive early impressions. We’re expecting another model, the VF9, at some point, but the automaker’s newest EV hasn’t yet been slated for a North American release. The new VF3 mini EV is scheduled for release in 2024 as a super-small crossover with seating for five.
Self-driving cars aren’t yet a thing, no matter what you hear on the news or read online. That said, a few companies have begun testing autonomous vehicles in cities nationwide, especially in tech-forward California. Mercedes-Benz recently got approval from the state’s DMV to sell or lease vehicles with Level 3 autonomous features.
Tesla often comes under fire for running its business far differently from other automakers, which can lead to interesting outcomes with vehicle performance. The latest story comes to us from a Tesla forum, where The Drive noticed users claiming that the company was removing the radar systems from their vehicles without asking.
Should you buy a Camry, or should you buy a car from Elon Musk? If you’re shopping on price alone and live in California, the choice might become a lot simpler after this news. Reuters recently reported that the Model 3 can become less expensive than a new Camry if buyers can capitalize on federal and California state incentives.
A Waymo autonomous test vehicle struck and killed a small dog in San Francisco last month, with news emerging after an incident report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles became public. While the accident is nothing in comparison to the fatal crash from 2018, where an Uber AV killed a cyclist, it still spells bad publicity for companies hoping to field self-driving vehicles with the public’s blessing.
Normally we don’t pay mind to a C-Suite reshuffle, because most of these executive title changes are either part of a never-ending game of musical chairs or a last-ditch effort to rearrange the Titanic’s deck chairs before the thing sinks. But this one grabs our attention for one very good reason: The guy now in charge of Ram fostered the development of a 1,000+ hp muscle car.
Despite all-electric vehicles being heralded as environmentally sound solutions that would kick down the door to affordable mobility, there haven’t been a lot of good examples hitting the market recently. Most models are aimed at the affluent, resulting in 9,000-pound behemoths with six-figure price tags. General Motors recently released the absolutely ludicrous GMC Hummer EV while the Chevrolet Bolt is being discontinued.
Meanwhile, Volvo has introduced the EX30 — a pint-sized EV that’s to serve as the foundation of its all-electric transformation. But it’s difficult to say whether or not it’s going to deliver on those early promises of electrification.
The Toyota Land Cruiser took a bow after the 2021 model year, ending a decades-long run of near-bulletproof off-road SUVs on the U.S. market. We got a new Lexus LX, but it’s even more expensive than the already-pricey Toyota. However, a new report from Automotive News suggests a new Land Cruiser variant is coming.
Readers may recall a recent news post in which we mentioned Jim Farley took to Twitter and announced that Ford was heeding requests from policy leaders and rural Americans, electing not to yank AM radio from Ford and Lincoln vehicles. Going a step further, he also said any Ford EVs not currently able to pick up Amplitude Modulation stations would be getting a software update to give them the capability.
Despite this common sense development, a cadre of automaker lobbyists made their way to Washington yesterday to bleat at Congress and stomp their feet. Their message was the opposite of Farley’s, saying lawmakers shouldn’t consider requiring OEMs to include AM radio in their vehicles.
Honda and Acura haven’t yet released an EV in the United States, but that’s about to change. The automakers have partnered with General Motors, and Honda’s working with Sony on a separate car project. The fruits of the GM/Honda partnership are coming soon, as the Prologue EV will be Honda’s first in the U.S., and the Acura ZDX is coming not long after. Acura recently released new information on the ZDX, including an overview of its updated tech features.
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- Tassos Government cheese for millionaires, while idiot Joe biden adds trillions to the debt.What a country (IT ONCE WAS!)
- Tassos screw the fat cat incompetents. Let them rot. No deal.
- MaintenanceCosts I think if there's one thing we can be sure of given Toyota's recent decisions it's that the strongest version of the next Camry will be a hybrid. Sadly, the buttery V6 is toast.A Camry with the Highlander/Sienna PSD powertrain would be basically competitive in the sedan market, with the slow death of V6 and big-turbo options. But for whatever reason it seems like that powertrain is capacity challenged. Not sure why, as there's nothing exotic in it.A Camry with the Hybrid Max powertrain would be bonkers, easily the fastest thing in segment. It would likewise be easy to build; again, there's nothing exotic in the Hybrid Max powertrain. (And Hybrid Max products don't seem to be all that constrained, so far.)
- Analoggrotto The readers of TTAC deserve better than a bunch of Kia shills posing as journalists.
- Lou_BC How do they work covered in snow, ice, mud, dust and water? Vibration?