August 4, 2014

  • Just as pickup-truck makers agreed to use SAE-certified trailer tests to advertise maximum tow ratings, we find out that at least two of them have been fudging payload capacities—even going so far as removing or swapping out critical parts before they reach the scales. According to Automotive News,...
  • Immediately after landing at Washington's Dulles airport, an Acura representative handed me the keys to a 2014 TSX with fewer than 180 miles on its clock. The four-cylinder engine started and I pointed its signature beak towards a destination in Middleburg, VA. It was a curious move by the Japanese automaker, especially considering that I had flown no less than 2,300 miles to drive the discontinued vehicle's ostensible successor, the all-new 2015 Acura TLX. Yet spending a solid 40 minutes with...
  • CARS set out to kill two birds with one stone: jumpstart slow automobile sales and get a large number of older cars off the road. A lot has happened since 2009. President Obama was re-elected. The Arab Spring saw popular uprisings overthrow dictators across the Middle East and North Africa. General Motors declared and subsequently emerged from bankruptcy. Fiat bought Chrysler. And the Cash for Clunkers program came and went. That's right, it's...

August 3, 2014

  • We've seen a rash of ignition switch recalls this year, especially from General Motors, but also from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Harley-Davidson is joining their ranks with a new repair campaign on some of its bikes, but for a somewhat different reason: some examples of one model might be vibrating too much. According to Harley's recall filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the problem affects 3,361 units of the 2014.5 FXDL Dyna Low Rider built from January 6, 2014,...
  • The Buick Regal is based on the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, a pair of sedans from General Motors' European and British outfits. In fact, over 46,000 Regals from model years 2010 and 2011 were screwed together on the same lines as the Insignia twins, before GM's Oshawa, Ontario factory took over production fully. Considering this closeness, rumors that claim the next-generation Regal - due for 2017 - could move back to Europe aren't terribly surprising. Here's why, according to Automotive News....

August 2, 2014

  • There's no doubt that Tesla is downshifting while Fisker has been grinding its gears. But it wasn't always that way. In the wake of Tesla's recent success, it's easy to forget that there were once two California electric carmakers with bright futures. Remember Fisker Automotive? Both companies were back in the news this week. Tesla confirmed it will team with Panasonic to build a battery factory, and Fisker won approval of its bankruptcy plan...
  • An explosion at an auto parts plant owned by Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co. near Shanghai has killed at least 68 people, with 187 more injured. The blast has been traced back to errant sparks in a wheel-hub polishing workshop that apparently ignited dust. There were a total of 264 people working at the plant at the time of the explosion. General Motors confirmed in an email to Bloomberg that the auto parts plant was an indirect supplier that produces parts, mostly plated and polished...

August 1, 2014

  • This is the first time we can recall the eligible nominees in the truck/utility segment outnumbering the number of qualifying cars. For 2015, the jury will consider some 28 entrants in the car category, and 29 models are in contention for the truck/utility award, a category that includes crossover vehicles. This year's list is as long and varied as the industry itself, with everything from inexpensive subcompacts like the Honda Fit to exotically styled, constructed and powered dream cars like...
  • General Motors is the undisputed king of recalls for 2014. No one is going to contest this point. The American company is far from the only one with vehicles that need fixing, though, as Hyundai has announced another recall totaling 419,000 vehicles in three separate campaigns. The majority of the vehicles affected come from the Santa Fe family, where 225,000 of the model year 2001 to 2006 CUVs will need their front springs replaced. It seems that the early Santa Fe's coils can rust and crack...
  • What does the "RS" in the Renault Clio RS and Megane RS mean? Well, unlike Audi and Porsche, it doesn't stand for Renn Sport. No, it's actually a signifier that said hot hatch has been breathed upon by Renault Sport, the French manufacturer's answer to Volkswagen's R models, Ford's ST hatches and Opel/Vauxhalls's OPC and VXR lines. Its production of forbidden fruit aside, Renault Sport has another project on the burner - the RS 01. Formerly known as the Renault Sport Trophy, the RS 01 is a 500...

July 31, 2014

  • Infiniti suffered a huge blow a few weeks ago when CEO Johan de Nysschen jumped ship after two years on the job to take the helm at Cadillac. As boss, he spearheaded change within the Japanese luxury brand and was among the biggest champions of the Q50 Eau Rouge. However, the company is far from sunk. Plans put in place prior to de Nysschen leaving are still on the table, according to Nissan product planner Andy Palmer to Automotive News, and that could mean a rosy future for the once AWOL LE...
  • Love it or hate it, the Nissan Juke has drawn attention to itself and to its maker. Little wonder, then, that Hyundai wants to follow a similar formula. According to our compatriots over at Edmunds, Hyundai has a whole raft of new products in the works - as you'd expect from the world's fourth-largest automaker - including replacements for the current Tucson and Elantra sometime next year, but also a subcompact crossover to target the Juke, not to mention tiny softroading rivals like the...
  • The row between Ford and Ram over who boasts the best-in-class tow rating for heavy duty pickups has revealed a number of things. Chief among them is a report that Ford removes items like the spare tire, jack, radio and center console from its vehicles in a bid to lower its base curb weight and therefore keep the truck's gross vehicle weight rating down. For those that need a refresher, GVWR is the vehicle's curb weight plus its maximum payload. A lower GVWR allows Ford to station its F-450...
  • Although automakers such as Honda and Nissan have made significant strides in quelling the continuously variable transmission’s more annoying aspects—a tendency to cause engine drone droning and a disconnected sensation between said engine and the drive wheels—we’re still generally unimpressed with...
  • General Motors and its Chinese joint-venture partners, SAIC and Wuling, have announced a new seven-passenger minivan for the world's most populous country. Called the Baojun 730, the budget-minded people mover will be available in four trims (Standard, Comfort, Luxury and 1.8 Comfort) and with two available engines. The base mill is a 1.5- liter four-cylinder, which GM says was developed specifically for "economy passenger vehicles." Although mum is the word on power, it can return impressive...
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2:28am August 23-5:00 GMT