Tag: test mules

By on April 1, 2021

Waymo, the autonomous program backed by Google-parent Alphabet, seems to have upset some residents of Phoenix, Arizona, who have elected to whip eggs at the company’s test vehicles. Selected due to its lax regulatory standards, the state has become home base for Waymo to pioneer its self-driving vans since 2016. However, newly released police reports paint a picture where the locals are far less enthused with the vehicles’ progress than Waymo’s marketing materials would suggest.

A subset of Phoenix citizens has been demanding the firm improve transparency and offer better explanations for some of the higher-profile crashes since 2018. Despite Waymo assuring the public that mishaps are rare, local reports showed some erratic behavior among the test mules operating in 2020. While a few of these incidents made the news, local police reports from Chandler and Tempe (metropolitan Phoenix) indicate there was a slew of incidents we did not know about — many of which involved encounters with frustrated, human motorists.

(Read More…)

By on August 14, 2020

With the Ram 1500 TRX assumed to arrive with a V8 making oodles of power, Ford’s F-150 Raptor may round out the year with egg on its face. In 2017, the Blue Oval ditched the model’s 6.2-liter V8 for a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and added a quartet of gears  pissing some die-hard fans of the model right off. Baja boys bemoaned the decision to put a more complicated motor into a vehicle that’s designed to be abused largely off-road, while others were just mad they were missing out on that V8 sound. However, most of those who weren’t obsessed with SVT badging agreed the changes hadn’t ruined the truck and that the second-gen suspension upgrades ultimately made for a better off-road vehicle.

That said, Ram dumping a model onto the market that targets the same audience, and with a V8 on board, is bad news for Ford. But it doesn’t have to be, especially if the noises we hear coming from the tailpipes of the latest test mule are what some listeners claim. (Read More…)

By on November 22, 2019

Maserati has something cooking in the kitchen and we’re now getting “spy shots” of its new test mule, though the images were released by the manufacturer’s PR department. While we don’t mind automakers showing a little leg, framing corporate marketing materials as covert information is a trend we wouldn’t mind seeing scaled back. It’s not that we don’t want to see vehicles ahead of their official release — it’s just not a terribly effective ruse.

It did, however, whet our appetite. The camouflaged mule represents a major departure from the brand, looking like a cross between Alfa Romeo’s 4C and the Noble M400. In fact, we’re already presuming the model shares plenty of its DNA with Alfa, as that’s been Fiat Chrysler’s modus operandi for a while. Maserati claims the engine (at least) will be totally new and entirely unique to the brand.  (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2018

BMW is still banging the drum for the upcoming 8 Series, which is understandable. Resurrecting the flagship coupe is big news for the brand and the model has been hotly anticipated since the concept vehicle appeared at 2017’s Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach. Unfortunately, camouflaged prototypes (below) show the pre-production version hosting some watered-down styling. While slightly disappointing, it’s understandable that BMW would stray from the extravagant folds of the concept car.

This week, the company gave us our best look to date of the returning model, along with an announcement stating the automaker will return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time since 2011 — where it plans to premiere the 8 Series coupe. We already have a pretty good idea of what to expect.  (Read More…)

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