By on October 1, 2020

Even the most capable of race horses eventually reach that day where they’re taken out behind the stables to be shot or stabbed  whatever happens to them after they’ve passed their prime. The same is true in the automotive realm, with the only difference being that the cars are not eventually turned into food for my cat.

Ford has decided to end production of the track-focused Mustang Shelby GT350/R this year. Introduced in 2015, the model uses a 5.2-liter “Voodoo” V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft for some of the nicest naturally aspirated action money can buy. On the current model year (which will also be the last) 526 horsepower is sent through a Tremec six-speed, with performance further aided by a transmission cooler, limited slip rear axle, track-worthy suspension, upgraded Brembo brakes and super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.

If you’re one of the few individuals who needs a good track-day vehicle, you could certainly do worse. And now you’ll have to because dealer orders already ended.

(Read More…)

By on July 27, 2020

Image: Daimler AG

There’s a plan afoot to more carefully align Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. product offerings with consumer demand, all the while saving the automaker money. The result, Automotive News reports, will be a lineup lacking the flair and whimsy the brand once enjoyed.

Fans of two-door variants, especially, stand to lose out under this new strategy. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2020

BMW is ending production of the M2 Competition and M2 CS for the European market this fall. The 370-horsepower coupe proved a hit with enthusiasts, offering a straightforward package reminding us that simplicity is often a virtue, but it’s living on borrowed time on the Old Continent, as is the hardcore 410-hp CS variant.

Why would BMW kill off the car often pointed to by auto journalists as the best in its entire lineup? You’re welcome to hazard a guess, though most, including this outlet, would point to strengthening emission regulations in Europe as the likely offender. (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2020

2018 Acura RLX

Yes, it’s true. The news that marred your sunny and/or drenching weekend cannot be ignored: the slow-selling, highly complex Acura RLX flagship will not stage a return for 2021.

If it did, would anyone have noticed?

That’s doubtful, given the model’s shrinking sales volumes. (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2020

It’s not unexpected, but it still comes as a blow. The impending loss of the Dodge Grand Caravan stands to sadden lovers of the industry’s longest running, most inflation-resistant minivan, but it’s a truly bitter pill for workers at Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant.

As reported yesterday by Canada’s Financial Post, the Grand Caravan — darling of Lee Iacocca, chariot to young soccer players for decades — will cease production at the end of May. (Read More…)

By on August 9, 2019

2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo - Image: BMW

Admit it ⁠— when you think of the BMW 6 Series, it’s the long prow of the mid-80s 633 or 635 CSi nosing into your brain, not the oddly-shaped 2019 640i xDrive Gran Turismo. That sleek Reagan-era coupe can continue to roam throughout your mind for years to come, as it won’t have any competition.

For the 2020 model year, the last bearers of the 6 Series designation fade from the American landscape, joined in their vanishing act by an unloved 3 Series four-door with a liftback. (Read More…)

By on August 8, 2019

We’ve got some shocking news for convertible fans. The Audi A3 Cabriolet is still on sale in North America.

Did you forget that it existed? We sure did. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem we’ll have going into 2020, as this is to be the model’s last year. Of course, this changes next to nothing as we haven’t seen one in the wild some time. In fact, it’s difficult to recall the last occasion any automotive outlet even bothered reviewing one.

As the spiritual successor to VW’s now-defunct cabriolets, the open-air A3 occupies an interesting place in the market. It’s a little pricey for most parents looking to treat their college-aged daughters, with a starting MSRP of $39,000, and lacks the oomph and prestige of Audi’s other drop-top offerings.  (Read More…)

By on July 29, 2019

Nissan announces U.S. pricing for 2018 Rogue Hybrid

It was a vehicle seen as barely there. Something of a ghost, really, given how unlikely a person was to actually spy one with their own eyes.

The Nissan Rogue Hybrid.

Last year, we told you that the well-camouflaged Rogue Hybrid had not disappeared — after showing up for 2017, the automaker briefly vanished it in order to incorporate mid-2018 updates bound for the Rogue model line. Well, we’re now here to tell you the Rogue Hybrid will disappear for a much longer period of time. (Read More…)

By on July 27, 2019

Two months and change after Ford Motor Company ceased production of North America’s smallest Blue Oval vehicle, Europeans are waking up to news that their tiniest offering has a date with death.

The Ka+, a name this writer can’t read without imagining a Bostonian pronouncing the word “car,” will disappear from the marketplace thanks to —what else? — fuel economy regulations that disproportionately impact small vehicles. (Read More…)

By on July 17, 2019

Volkswagen is abandoning SportWagen and Alltrack versions of the Golf in the United States. You already know why; crossovers are all anyone ever thinks about anymore. While we’re over here having sweaty fever dreams about sedans and extended hatchbacks, the rest of America is pulling up graphic crossover comparisons online — with the blinds tightly drawn, hopefully.

The front and all-wheel-drive wagons apparently could not keep up with VW’s crossover lineup, which currently accounts for more than half of Volkswagen’s sales in the U.S. and is only expected to get bigger.  (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2019

2017 ford fusion sport

It doesn’t come as a surprise, but it still hurts to learn that Ford’s modern-day take on the ’60s family performance sedan will die with the 2019 model year.

While the automaker’s doomed Fusion nameplate will live on for 2020, the brawny, all-wheel drive Sport variant will not. The automaker confirmed the model’s discontinuation on Monday, meaning performance-minded Blue Oval breeders must now turn their attention (and lust) to the brand’s ST-badged crossovers. (Read More…)

By on May 20, 2019

Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse Cabriolet; A 217; 2018 - Image: Mercedes-Benz

Like most automakers, notably Honda and Ford, Mercedes-Benz is under pressure to pare back build configurations, and perhaps even entire models, to ease complexity. In this age of falling sales and costly investments in futuristic tech, the vehicle buffet can no longer be all-you-can-eat affair.

With that in mind, participants of a recent national Mercedes-Benz dealer meeting walked away with a better idea of the brand’s future lineup. Expect death notices within a few months, one dealer claims. (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2019

2017 Infiniti QX30 AWD - Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

Western Europe doesn’t like Infiniti very much, so the Japanese premium brand has decided to hit the road. The brand’s residency in the competitive region only lasted a decade, and middling consumer interest, coupled with increasingly stringent emissions regulations, is all the reason it needs to take a hike.

In doing so, Nissan’s premium division plans to cease global production of the QX30 at its Sunderland, England assembly plant. The subcompact crossover, born of a rocky Mercedes-Benz partnership, and its overseas-only Q30 hatch sibling go belly-up in July of this year. (Read More…)

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