Posts By: stephwillems

By on May 18, 2019

Sudden stalls. Tailgates that open on their own. These issues formed the basis of two Fiat Chrysler recalls in 2018, and, one year later, history is repeating itself.

On Friday, the automaker called back roughly 600,000 Chrysler Pacifica minivans and Ram pickups for the same ghost-in-the-machine phenomena that led to the earlier recalls. (Find Out…)

By on May 17, 2019

tesla-model-3

Ten months. That’s how long Tesla’s CEO claims this month’s offering of $2.7 billion in stock and convertible notes bought the struggling automaker.

Hungry for cash to fuel new model development, a Shanghai Gigafactory, and an assembly line on which to build the upcoming Model Y crossover, Tesla has resorted to endless measures to trim costs, from moving to an online sales model and attempting to cull the bulk of its sales staff, to general staff reductions, to reducing build configurations. Vehicles prices seem to change by the week.

And still it’s not enough. To keep the automaker afloat, Musk told employees, the company will need to count every penny. (Find Out…)

By on May 17, 2019

GM

GMC’s new-for-2019 Sierra 1500 took a less controversial styling route than its Chevy Silverado sibling while retaining the numerous upgrades foisted upon the next-generation pickup twins. For 2020, GMC tweaked the light-duty Sierra’s offerings just a bit, hoping to lure more finicky buyers into the model.

For starters, GM’s 10-speed automatic transmission has a new engine to mate with, hopefully boosting fuel economy ratings that fell for the 2019 model year. (Find Out…)

By on May 17, 2019

lotus evora gt430

After Chinese auto giant Geely took a controlling stake in Lotus two years ago, the British brand has prepared itself for a turnaround. With a more stable financial footing secured, Lotus can be whatever it wants to be.

Enthusiasts want it to remain Lotus, only with an actual range of vehicles on offer. Group Lotus’ CEO, who also happens to be Geely’s chief technology officer, knows what he wants         the brand to mimic: Porsche. Feng Qingfeng has great fondness for the brand’s would-be rival, calling its products “wonderful.”

It seems he’s also okay with an SUV. (Find Out…)

By on May 17, 2019

Image: Nissan

After seeing its fortunes switch from dire to promising over the past few years, Mitsubishi Motors will gain a new chief operating officer on June 21. On Friday, the automaker announced that Osamu Masuko plans to step down as CEO, five years after taking on the job.

Under Masuko’s watch, the automaker rekindled its North American business and entered the Renault-Nissan Alliance, ensuring cost-effective technology and platform sharing in the years ahead. (Find Out…)

By on May 17, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump pushed the threat of tariffs on imported vehicles to the background on Friday, announcing a 180-day pause as the country negotiates trade agreements with Japan and the European Union.

The delay comes a day ahead of a Saturday deadline imposed by the Commerce Department. In February, the department delivered the findings of an investigation on whether auto imports represent a national security threat to the United States. The report, not seen by the public, issued recommendations to the White House. (Find Out…)

By on May 17, 2019

Original Venice Crew Shelby GT350 On Track

Easy, now — this isn’t what you think. Contrary to the beliefs of the Millennial journo-fronted social media swarm coalescing over this headline, the question we’re answering today has nothing to do with people, and everything to do with another diverse element of society: cars.

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to vehicles hailing from different countries, each built with different purposes and different customers in mind. And any two of these vehicles could face off against each other on the track.

Is it wrong to assume there’s a very unlikely race you’ve always wanted to see? (Find Out…)

By on May 16, 2019

As part of its push to eliminate the scourge of distracted driving, the UK has given the country’s notoriously rigid police force a new tool to help eliminate road deaths: the ability to levy $256 fines and six penalty points to motorists paying via Apple Pay at the drive-thru.

Thanks to new laws that went into effect this spring, the police, some of which take great pride in ridding the country of tools that , now have the power to turn that late-night McDouble run into a costly nightmare. (Find Out…)

By on May 16, 2019

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

A fatal March collision between a Tesla and a semi trailer that bore a strong resemblance to a crash in the same state three year earlier was more similar than initially thought.

Following the March 1st collision between a Tesla Model 3 and a semi on US 441 in Delray Beach, Florida, in which the car underrode a trailer crossing the divided roadway, the National Transportation Safety Board went to work. A preliminary report is now out, confirming suspicions that, like the 2016 crash, the car was under the guidance of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system at the time of the crash. (Find Out…)

By on May 16, 2019

Image: Hyundai

Exactly a year ago, your suddenly fearful author found himself in the market for a new car. Hating the shopping experience, and with little free time, the choice soon boiled down to two scorching models: a base Chevy Cruze manual, or a similarly sparse Hyundai Elantra, also with a manual.

Twelve months later, neither vehicle exists in the United States. The Cruze is dead, and for the 2020 model year, Hyundai Motor America has decided to ditch the six-speed manual transmission, outfitting the recently updated sedan with a new continuously variable transmission. (Find Out…)

By on May 16, 2019

tesla model-s-rear, image: Tesla Motors

The spontaneous combustion of several Tesla vehicles in recent weeks has forced the automaker into action, issuing over-the-air updates in an attempt to snuff out the problem… and smother another round of bad PR. To its credit, Tesla seems to be taking the matter seriously.

The update covers the company’s Model S and X vehicles, regardless of country. Meanwhile, investigations continue into the cause of recent blazes in Shanghai, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. (Find Out…)

By on May 16, 2019

Will online videos soon emerge showing Nissan drivers taking naps or hopping into the backseat while underway? Maybe, but Nissan hasn’t been as cavalier as Tesla in playing up the abilities of its driver-assist technology. Now that an upgraded system that’s on par with General Motors’ Super Cruise and Tesla’s Autopilot is on the way, the automaker remains cautious.

ProPilot 2.0, as the name implies, is the next generation version of Nissan’s ProPilot Assist technology, and it differs from the first-gen system in one big way: drivers will be able to take their hands off the wheel. (Find Out…)

By on May 16, 2019

Image: Nissan

As you read earlier this week, the state of Illinois wants motorists to pay up. Big time. A new proposal that stands a good chance of passing into law not only more than doubles the state’s gas tax, it would also hit electric vehicle drivers with an annual $1,000 fee — a bill for adding wear and tear to the state’s roads and bridges while depriving state coffers of sweet, sweet gas tax revenue.

Some EV drivers are not what you’d call “happy” about it. But are you? (Find Out…)

By on May 15, 2019

1967 DeTomaso Mangusta, Image: DeTomaso

De Tomaso, the idled Italian supercar brand that built a handful of drool-worthy models during its tumultuous lifespan, is poised for a resurrection.

The one-time maker of the Ford-powered Mangusta and Pantera will return from its hibernation with a new model introduced at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 4th, the brand’s owners claim. Lovers of the brand’s historical offerings no doubt have their fingers crossed, hoping this isn’t another false start. (Find Out…)

By on May 15, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger rear quarter

Recalls to prevent cars from rolling away from their owners have become commonplace, and Ford is no stranger to the phenomenon. Last year, the automaker recalled 550,000 Fusions and Escapes to replace vulnerable automatic transmission shift cables that could leave the car in the wrong gear, regardless of where the driver positions the shift lever.

On Wednesday, Ford announced a recall for the exact same problem, a second one for a similar issue. While the Fusion makes up the bulk of the affected vehicles, the brand new Ranger pickup also finds itself on the receiving end of some unwanted PR. (Find Out…)

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