By on May 9, 2019

Dyson, the UK-based maker of innovative vacuums and fans, plans to launch an electric vehicle in about two years’ time — a promise backed up with over $2 billion in funding and the poaching of former Infiniti president Roland Krueger, who now heads the company’s automotive division.

The fledgling automaker doesn’t want to be an also-ran in the still-fledgling EV field. As the clock ticks closer to a real, physical car, new patent drawings reveal what it may look like. (Read More…)

By on May 8, 2019

Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo provided a run-down of his company’s future on Wednesday, revealing a new global architecture slated to underpin a slew of vehicles in the coming decade.

Efficiency was the thread connecting all of Hachigo’s promises — efficiency in development, in manufacturing, and in driving. The company feels it has a good thing in its two-motor hybrid system, so a decision was made to spread it around. As for upcoming models, Honda suggests its future lineup might not be as diverse as it is today. (Read More…)

By on May 7, 2019

Maserati promises it will steer clear of widespread electrification. And yet, it’s unclear whether this is part of a bold corporate strategy that sees electrification as the less-promising path forward, or simply the result of the brand’s current financial situation.

Regardless, the firm’s North American leader, Al Gardner, says it’s not in the cards. While Maserati fully intends to insert more plug-in vehicles and hybrids into its lineup by 2022, it vows to stop short of killing the internal combustion engine. Of course, we know that’s a promise no automaker can expect to keep indefinitely. All it takes is one important change in management to readjust a brand’s corporate trajectory, but Maserati appears safe from total electrification for the time being.  (Read More…)

By on May 7, 2019

Image: GM

It’s the news you’ve been waiting for.

As Americans patiently anticipate the arrival of the next-generation Encore and mourn (in small numbers) the passing of the LaCrosse, Buick designers are busy sculpting the next addition to the brand’s lineup. Go figure, it’s a crossover.

Not only that, but in keeping with the design philosophy espoused by several premium brands, the new model will sport a coupe-like profile, possibly likely donning the hated “coupe” descriptor in marketing materials. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2019

2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, Image: VW Group

If you missed last week’s Volkswagen Golf kerfuffle, here’s a recap: a VW employee at a first drive event let slip that the basic (read: non-GTI, non-R) Golf and its SportWagen counterpart won’t make it to the U.S. after the eighth-generation model appears this fall.

Fake news, said VW.

Well, potentially inaccurate news, really. The automaker explained that, while the next-gen GTI and Golf R are indeed greenlit for the U.S., “other Golf models are under consideration for the North American Region.” While Golf sales figures — which are falling, by the way — are readily available from VW, when contacted for a breakdown in SportWagen sales, a not unsurprising figure emerged. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2019

2018 Accent

For the 2020 model year, Hyundai’s subcompact Accent and compact Elantra ditch their six-speed automatics in favor of a continuously variable unit — a move that’s not likely to elicit too many cries of protest.

Honestly, given the models’ modest torque figures, a traditional slushbox hardly amounts to motoring bliss, and drivers stand to gain faster manual shifts with a CVT. They also stand to gain a significant bump in fuel economy. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2019

2019 RAM 1500 Ram badge

Fiat Chrysler remains adamant that its new Jeep Gladiator won’t be its only midsize pickup truck, but consumers had best hunker down for a wait. While the company announced the development of a conventional midsizer in last year’s five-year product plan, the new offering won’t appear until the end of that window.

Between now and 2022, CEO Mike Manley and the team at Ram must find a way to offer a midsize pickup at a price point designed to woo Colorado, Ranger, and Tacoma intenders. First on the to-do list is finding a platform. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2019

Image: FCA

Wrangling between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the city of Detroit, and a prolific landowner reached an end on Friday, with all three parties signing deals designed to bring more Jeeps to the city.

As part of a $4.5 plant investment strategy announced in February, FCA wants to convert its Mack Avenue Engine Complex into an automobile assembly plant, earmarked for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and a second, larger model. The adjacent Jefferson North plant, which currently builds Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos, won’t see its product roster change, though it will see cash for expansion and interior upgrades.

Once unionized FCA workers get first crack at the 4,950 jobs, remaining positions will go to Detroit residents. (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2019

2018 volkswagen golf family - image: Volkswagen

It sounds like something that should be taken with a grain of salt, though recent sales figures back up a report that claims the basic version of the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf won’t make it to the United States.

The regular, non-performance version of VW’s long-running hatch wins praise for offering budget fun and above-par fit and finish, but the current generation’s replacement might not come here without GTI or R lettering on the back. (Read More…)

By on May 1, 2019

Daimler’s performance arm, Mercedes-AMG, has entered a period of transition. In addition to placing a strengthened emphasis on all-wheel drive, the company will also begin manufacturing vehicles in China.

While the assembly locale isn’t equally important for all cars, AMG is famous for its one-man-one-engine philosophy. Part of the appeal, we assumed, was getting a rear-drive monster with a hand-built engine that some auto nerd from Affalterbach was proud enough of to lend their signature. That could change after the Mercedes-AMG A 45 moves to Beijing later this year.  (Read More…)

By on May 1, 2019

Image: Nissan

Almost exactly a decade after the 370Z went on sale in North America, Nissan has confirmed that the convertible version of the aging sports coupe will disappear from the company’s lineup after the 2019 model year.

News of the discontinuation comes as anticipation builds (it’s had a long time to build) for a next-generation Z car — a yet-unseen vehicle at the center of years of rumors. (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2019

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

Mary Barra wants everyone to know that she — and by extension, her company — has no interest in seeing Ford Motor Company parading around an electric pickup with no competition.

Confirming rumblings that General Motors has an EV truck in the works, the company’s CEO said in an earnings call Tuesday that the automaker will indeed offer such a vehicle. This should make the ongoing truck wars even more interesting, especially if Ram grudgingly gets into the game with an electron-powered Laramie Longhorn. No word on that particular front, however.

Like Ford’s electric F-150, there’s no word on a timeline for GM’s upcoming electro-truck, either. (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2019

Kia

If Hyundai can do it, why not Kia? After the Korean automaker’s corporate sibling launched the A-segment Venue at this month’s New York Auto Show, Kia Motors is again hinting at a small, sub-Sportage utility vehicles that’s yet to arrive.

Unlike the Venue, however, Kia’s planned entry won’t be of the front-drive-only variety. (Read More…)

By on April 29, 2019

A revamped version of a compact Lexus crossover that’s seen a fair bit of exposure on these digital pages will begin assembly in Ontario starting in early 2022, Toyota Canada has announced.

We knew some sort of product announcement was scheduled to take place today after the automaker’s Canadian arm stopped and shook everyone in sight last week, eager to signal its committed to maintaining a presence in the snowy country north of Buffalo. The Lexus NX is that product, Toyota says, with Canadian production replacing Japanese output.

For Canucks fearful that their fragile auto industry will one day disappear, the addition of a new crossover — a vehicle type seemingly without a sales ceiling — is a reassuring balm. (Read More…)

By on April 29, 2019

Mercedes-AMG, the German luxury marque’s performance sub-brand, might eliminate all rear-drive vehicles from its lineup, AMG CEO Tobias Moers suggested during a recent interview.

The company’s boss claims buyers, who already favored putting their AMG’s additional power to all four wheels, are increasingly leaving rear-drive driving behind. The customer, of course, is always right, and in 2019 non-conformists are less likely than ever to get what they want.  (Read More…)

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