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By on October 16, 2019

2019 Lexus LX 570 front quarter

In the Lexus lineup, no vehicle is larger — or older ⁠— than the LX 570, a true luxo barge if there ever was one. Riding atop a platform shared with the Toyota Land Cruiser and Tundra, the current body-on-frame LX 570 appeared in the spring of 2007, going on sale later that year as a 2008 model.

A redesign isn’t expected for another few years, making this model generation longer-lived than most marriages. And yet a clue exists of a new LX to come — one that scraps the LX 570 name for a loftier number. Find Out >

By on October 16, 2019

bmw

Hoping to attract new clientele, BMW has crafted a sedan aimed at capturing the attention of lower-end American buyers. The 2020 2 Series Gran Coupe is not a four-door version of the well-regarded 2 Series coupe, but you probably knew that by now.

Sporting precious little real estate between the front door and front wheel arch, a raised, pedestrian-cushioning hood, rear flanks and roofline mimicking the Chevrolet Malibu, a front-biased drivetrain, and a platform borrowed from a pair of small crossovers, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is not the long-hood affair you lusted after as a kid. To its credit, BMW couldn’t stomach the prospect of offering the model in FWD.

All-wheel drive comes standard on this thrifty German chariot. Find Out >

By on October 16, 2019

Ford badge emblem logo

Ford has filed a trademark application to register “Black Diamond” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. General Motors previously manufactured models using the name to denote limited edition models, such as the CTS-V Black Diamond Edition, which incorporated an especially sparkly paint color.

While the same could be true for Ford, there’s another possibility. The term is frequently used to denote a particularly rough patch of mountain trail or extreme ski run. The Blue Oval could adapt it for use on specialty off-road vehicles.  Find Out >

By on October 16, 2019

On last Wednesday’s Question of the Day post, we began our examination of terrible styling on sporty cars of the 1990s. First up was America, and the oft-fiddled Mercury Cougar. This week we turn our attention to Europe, and sporty designs from across the ocean that didn’t quite work.

Find Out >

By on October 15, 2019

Startups come and go, and in the age of electrification a great many companies are issuing promises their meagre resources can’t deliver.

Time will tell if a reborn Morris Commercial follows through on a plan to return the iconic J-type commercial van to the rainy streets of Britain — and beyond. Retro appeal has its perks, but getting a new production vehicle, least of all an electric one, off the ground and into garages is fraught with challenges. So, without further introduction, here’s the Morris JE. Find Out >

By on October 15, 2019

No one really expected electric pickup trucks to take off as a concept, save for the people developing them. While EVs still need to improve their maximum range to truly surpass combustion-reliant vehicles, modern examples perform much better than their predecessors. But battery size and vehicle weight remain important issues for the segment, making the idea of an electric work vehicle seem about as useful as an edible diaper.

Then the concepts started arriving, sucking far less than most of us expected. There were loads of new ideas, like interesting storage solutions and auxiliary power ports for tools — all stemming from electrification. What’s more is that the vehicle itself seems like it could benefit from the instant torque and lower center of gravity furnished by electric powertrains. Battery packs can also be made larger (improving range), as pickups have more areas to stash cells without intruding into the passenger compartment. Maybe this wasn’t a dumb idea after all.

Ford and General Motors have both confirmed the development of electric pickups, with the former currently running prototypes. Meanwhile, Rivian and Bollinger have already shown off their designs. EV darling Tesla had a truck it wanted to debut over the summer, but the model saw its release pushed back. Now, CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the vehicle will emerge next month.  Find Out >

By on October 15, 2019

Italdesign/YouTube

Few topics anger this writer as much as the so-called “flying car.” Much like the massive airships Popular Mechanics assured us were right around the corner back in the mid 1990s, the flying car seems more like a tech writer’s fever dream than a viable and imminent form of transport.

For starters, they’re mainly just helicopters, though some aircraft would provide “last mile” service to the rider’s final destination using a motor and steerable wheels. The vehicles/aircraft would be autonomous, too. It sounds like a regulatory nightmare awash in red tape.

One company pursuing such a product is Audi, though the automaker recently admitted its dreams aren’t even close to becoming a reality. It’s now paring things back. Find Out >

By on October 15, 2019

Faraday Future FF 91 rear

The founder of Faraday Future, Yueting Jia, has filed for bankruptcy and restructuring under Chapter 11 in the United States, according to a statement released by the company. The decision allows Jia (known within the company as “YT”) to address his debts in China, which can be measured billions, so his ownership of FF can be transferred to creditors.

Due to Faraday’s repeatedly broken promises and clandestine way of doing business, we’ve never had an overabundance of faith in the company. While that view hasn’t changed, the corporate statement frames Jia’s U.S. bankruptcy as a positive.  Find Out >

By on October 15, 2019

Probe is a significant name in the history of Rare Rides, as the series started off in early 2017 with the Ghia-designed Probe I. That design study was the kickoff of a series of Probe concepts from Ford; a series which ultimately resulted in an aerodynamic liftback that entered production in the late Eighties.

Let’s see a clean, original example of the all-but-vanished first-gen Probe.

Find Out >

By on October 15, 2019

Now in its fifth week, the strike by UAW-affiliated workers that darkened General Motors plants across the continent and reportedly cost the company $2 billion may soon achieve results.

Late Monday night, numerous media outlets reported that local union leaders were being called to Detroit for a Thursday meeting. This morning, word arose that GM CEO Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss had taken a seat at the bargaining table. Find Out >

By on October 15, 2019

Mazda

Mazda’s upcoming electric vehicle sheds its cloaking in Tokyo on October 23rd, becoming the first mass-market EV from the gas-loving brand. While the automaker hasn’t provided much in the way of details on the model’s layout, the fact that it chose a CX-30 crossover as a test mule for the brand’s in-house-developed powertrain suggests a crossover is on the way.

On Tuesday, the automaker afforded viewers a peek inside the upcoming vehicle. Find Out >

By on October 15, 2019

Image: Lexus

With two decades of hybrid technology development under its belt, Toyota and its premium division, Lexus, plan to spread the electrified goodness to every model in the stable — a goal it’s already made considerable headway towards. And yet, while hybrids will remain the backbone of Toyota’s green fleet, it can no longer avoid keeping its lineup EV-free.

With the unveiling of a new Lexus electric planned for the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, it now seems that model will be the first of three. Find Out >

By on October 15, 2019

This past weekend’s Canadian Thanksgiving afforded me the opportunity to converse with non-Twitter “normies,” thus allowing me to learn a thing or two about how such people live their lives. Of particular note was what goes on in my friend’s son’s high school parking lot.

No, I hadn’t heard reports of illicit activity, though you can be sure it’s happening. Damn sure. Instead, my interest lay in what his fellow students drove, and if they drove. Recalling my angsty, awkward high school years during the height of ’90s nihilism, it seemed my school’s student lot would double nicely as a BHPH lot stocked with nothing but aging GM relics. Granted, the school was a rural one, and its student body was hardly a bastion of wealth and privilege. My friend’s son’s school, on the other hand, is urban, and Soundgarden is no longer burning up the charts.

How would these two student bodies differ in their vehicle use, I wondered? Find Out >

By on October 14, 2019

We’ve got an addendum for our latest story on how automakers should view Harley-Davidson as a cautionary tale. The company, which recently began exploring electric motorcycles as a way to boost sales and spur public interest, recently told dealers not to expect deliveries of its newest model.

The $29,799 LiveWire that was supposed to start re-arriving this month is again delayed.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the manufacturer claims there’s an issue with the all-electric bike’s charging equipment — something that will obviously need to be addressed before it goes on sale. As a result, H-D is pulling the production plug on the two-wheeled EV.  Find Out >

By on October 14, 2019

While Porsche’s Taycan has been praised as unquestionably worthy of the Porsche name, it’s also subject to the brand’s (ahem) aggressive pricing structure. Gone are the days when you can purchase a basement-level Porsche 944 for the modern equivalent of $20,000. The cheapest model currently occupying the automaker’s portfolio is the 718, which sets you back 57 grand before you’ve added a single option.

When the Taycan debuted as Porsche’s first purely electric vehicle a number of weeks back, the model’s $150,900 (before destination) MSRP was expected. Porsche rolled out the higher-end “Turbo” trims first, with promises of more budget-minded models to follow. That car arrived today, and it costs $105,150. Find Out >

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