December 11, 2014

  • Volvo is in the midst not only of a complete product line overhaul, but also a powertrain revolution as well. It introduced its new generation of Drive-E four-cylinder engines last year, and with the Twin Engine version in the new XC90, has shown just how much it can make from so little. But now it's going even smaller with a new three-cylinder powerplant. Currently undergoing development, the new Drive-E three-cylinder engine is part of a concerted effort on the Swedish automaker's behalf to...
  • It's been in the works for more than seven years, but a deal between the European Parliament and the European Council has agreed upon mandatory implementation of eCall on all cars and light commercial vehicles sold in Europe by March 1, 2018. It works like the SOS feature in OnStar or in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, except it's automatic - eCall automatically dials the Europe-wide 112 emergency services number when an accident happens. Even if occupants can't speak, the system will broadcast a "...

December 10, 2014

  • This last-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 does things that SUVs just shouldn't be able to do, like win drag races against tuned Nissan GT-R and BMW M3 coupes. Granted, the owner isn't coming into this fight with a stock Jeep - far from it. In addition to twin turbos whistling away, he says the engine is a 449-cubic-inch V8, which is nearly 7.4 liters of displacement. As it runs here, the driver claims that the turbos are pumping out around 14 psi of boost to give an estimated 840...
  • Some automotive assembly plants have test tracks on premises. We've even heard of a few that have test tracks on the roof. But at GM's Ellesmere Port factory in the UK, one driver performs his tests inside the factory, and has been doing so for the past half century. They call him Ellesmere Pete, and he's long held the job of verifying that every new Vauxhall to leave the factory in Cheshire passes muster. So he waits until the factory is closed for the evening, picks a vehicle from off the...
  • Ward's Auto has named its 10 Best Engines for 2015, covering a range of powerplants from fuel-sippers to fire-breathers. As with past years, forced-induction reigns supreme, with seven of the ten engines featuring a turbo or supercharger. This year is slightly different, though, as two of the seven blown engines are turbocharged three-cylinder mills, from the Ford Fiesta and Mini Cooper. They're joined by the 2.0-liter turbo four from the Volvo S60, the 1.8-liter turbo four from the Volkswagen...
  • Roger Penske stands among the most successful team owners in motorsports history. The man seems to have the Midas touch in racing no matter what the discipline with victories in Trans Am, IndyCar, NASCAR and endurance racing over his illustrious career. Plus, he has built a fortune from businesses like car dealers and truck rentals over the years and even nearly bought Saturn from General Motors at one point. However, before running successful teams on the track, Penske was a racer in his own...

December 9, 2014

December 8, 2014

  • We drive the 2015 Nissan Murano We found plenty to like in the 2015 Nissan Murano after taking it for a spin out on the West Coast, starting with its bold new style. There aren't any major drivetrain updates over the previous generation, but the powerful V6 engine and CVT transmission that powers either the front or all four wheels is still a fine performer. Read all about it in our First Drive report. Volvo XC90 T8 Hybrid to be fast and efficient When the Volvo...
  • How do you break in your brand-new, just-delivered 2015 Corvette Z06? Well, if you’re Vengeance Racing, you do a massive, tire-frying burnout before you even leave the dealership parking lot. Then you drive 20 miles back to the shop and strap that baby on the dyno to see what it’s really...
  • General Motors will lay off 450 employees at its Lansing Grand River factory, The Detroit News reports, which is 100 more than the company said it'd be letting go last month. Lansing Grand River Assembly currently builds the Cadillac ATS and CTS, both of which have suffered sluggish sales, with the smaller sedan down 20 percent through last month and the larger model down 2.3 percent, The Detroit News reports. "We are adjusting plant production capacity to better align with market demand....
  • The Buick Encore is doing so well and its platform-mate the Chevrolet Trax has such good reviewer vibes going for it already, that a GMC version hasn't been ruled out. During the recent press launch, Automotive News asked lead engineer Al Manzor if the Trax could wear a GMC-branded suit, to which Manzor replied, "I think that is certainly possible." That's a long way from telling us anything about the probability of a GMC version of the Trax, and a legion of questions would need to be answered...
  • The latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage is all about hot rods, but this isn't the usual '57 Chevrolet or '32 Ford. Instead, Jay has a pan-Atlantic speedster with a 1952 MG TD body mated with a stroked, fuel-injected V8. As he describes it, this droptop makes in the neighborhood of 48 horsepower when stock, but the new mill takes that to around 340 horsepower at the rear wheels, according to the dyno sheets - that's a healthy upgrade by any measure. Also, the looks could almost pass for stock...
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5:39pm December 19-5:00 GMT