Automotive

Automotive, Car Reviews

10 of the hottest self-driving technologies from Israel

“Car manufacturing is not about tires or brakes anymore, but the technology inside the car – the sensors and algorithms.”

How did Israel, a country that has no domestic car manufacturing industry, become a worldwide powerhouse for autonomous-driving technology (also known as self-driving cars)?

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - Full Story

Fusion Sport and MKZ offer sporty variations on a mid-sized them

One is the sportiest version of Ford’s mainstream mid-size sedan, while the other’s Lincoln’s variation on the theme. So, when it comes to a choice between the Fusion Sport and the Lincoln MKZ, which is the better car?

Waffle time (syrup, anyone?)! As is so often the case, the answer is a clear “it depends.” Mostly, it depends on your budget, I suppose, because the loaded Ford Fusion sport Ford loaned me to wring out for a week is priced at $42,388 (sans taxes, etc.) while the MKZ stickered for $59,300. That’s a pretty big spread for what beneath the surface are two cars who share a lot of their DNA.

By Jim Bray - Friday, August 11, 2017 - Full Story

Lincoln MKC and MKX - Ford’s upmarket brand Escapes its roots and hones its Edge

If you’re looking for a compact or mid-sized crossover from Ford but want something a little more exclusive, Lincoln just may have what you’re seeking.

The MKC and MKX, which are up market versions of the Ford Escape and Edge, respectively, are both comfortable and luxurious vehicles that drive well and will coddle your bones nicely. I spent a week in each of these vehicles recently and came away quite impressed. I think they’d be even more impressive if the manufacturer would integrate more completely the terrific new interior found in the excellent Continental, but in the meantime you get a better and nicer Ford for a not-too-unreasonable premium over the garden variety Fords.

General Motors U.S. Sales Down 15.4 Percent To 226,107 Units In July 2017

General Motors reported 226,107 new vehicle deliveries in July 2017 for the U.S. market, a 15.4 percent decrease compared to strong July 2016 sales. Sales were down at every brand, including Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac.

The automaker attributes the decline to responsible sales of vehicles into the the lucrative retail and commercial segments, rather than incentivizing overproduced vehicles, thereby protecting residual values.—More…

By News on the Net -- GM Authority- Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - Full Story

Official: General Motors Closes Sale Of Opel-Vauxhall To PSA Groupe

The end of an era for General Motors’ once-sprawling global empire has come to a close: Opel and Vauxhall have officially been sold to France’s PSA Groupe.

The deal was closed today, August 1, 2017, which falls in line with previous estimates that aimed for the deal to close by the end of July. PSA Groupe also operates the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands.—More…

By News on the Net -- GM Authority- Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - Full Story

Consumers still love that new vehicle smell - and German quality smells the best

Ah, that new car smell! There’s nothing quite like it.

As a car nut, it’s one of the nicest aromas I can think of, and as someone who reviews cars regularly it’s a welcome odour I get to experience all the time. The only “new” smell that can match it is the spit up from a newborn family member - but, unlike a new family member, you don’t have to hose yourself down after experiencing new car smell.

Volkswagen Trendline

It is necessary to adapt your driving style when behind the wheel of a vehicle that does not have a rear view mirror.

This becomes clear when I am sat in the Volkswagen Transporter Trendline 2.0 TDi Bluemotion. It is the white van man’s dream vehicle, tough and robust, fast and efficient. And although it very much does feel like a car to drive with fairly light steering and a good driving position, the fact remains that there are no windows at the rear and no rear view mirror.

By Tim Saunders - Friday, July 28, 2017 - Full Story

GM considers pulling the plug on the Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt was unveiled in 2010 to great fanfare. Politicians hailed it. The media gushed over it. The first electric car manufactured domestically, it was instantly a cause celebre, and it was hailed as part of the resurrection of General Motors.

There was one problem, though. The public was never excited about the Volt. With a price tag of more than $40,000, even government rebates of $7,500 weren’t enough tto convince many people to buy a Volt. It drives well enough and it’s true that you don’t have to put much gas in it (although you do need some in reserve just in case), but that type of price tag isn’t within reach for most people, and GM seems to have forgotten that electricity isn’t free either.

By Dan Calabrese - Monday, July 24, 2017 - Full Story

Michelin debuts airless tyre concept that never needs to be replaced

Earlier this month, Michelin—the company behind the chubby white tyre man we all know and love—unveiled a revolutionary new airless tyre concept. The ‘Visionary Concept’ tyre is 3D printed from recycled biodegradable materials and is designed to be the puncture-proof tyre of the future.

The Visionary Concept is actually a tyre and wheel combo. which mimics the structure of coral or the human lung, by being constructed from a number of smaller cells. This biomimetic structure is designed to be generative, meaning that the tyre never needs to be replaced, by enabling fresh tread to be added via 3D printing.—More…

By News on the Net -- Adapt Network- Monday, July 24, 2017 - Full Story

Ford F-150’s blend comfort with utility and size - and even some fun!

Ford’s F-150 truck line has been at or near the top of the vehicular sales heap for decades, and that’s a laudable achievement in an ever-more-competitive automotive marketplace. Especially for a truck!

And even though the joy of a full sized pickup truck is nearly entirely lost on me, I just got to spend two weeks behind the wheel of two Ford F-150 samples, a fairly conventional (but quite loaded) F-150 Lariat edition and (drum roll…) the Mighty Raptor.

Few vehicles raise a smile in the way that a Range Rover does

Few vehicles raise a smile in the way that a Range Rover does when you are behind the wheel, I find.

It’s always an absolute privilege to find yourself sitting in the high quality cabin and it is a fantastic experience. Imagine your favourite armchair and then add all the electronic gadgetry that you can conjure up and here is a seat that can be electrically adjusted to your heart’s content providing that ultimate driving position. Then of course there is the sheer height of this luxury off roader, which stands head and shoulders above most other vehicles apart from lorries. This means that the driver and front passenger have a marvellous view of the road ahead, which is perfect for overtaking. Despite its sheer size and weight this 4x4 is pretty quick off the mark and if the accelerator is pushed to the floor it makes safe light work of most opportunities that present themselves on the open road. Zero to 60mph is accomplished in a little over seven seconds, which is very impressive. There are so many luxuries fitted to this vehicle that it makes a Rolls Royce blush. Shut the door and the Range Rover ensures that the door is properly closed as you can see in the video at Testdrives.biz. The two section boot opens and closes at the push of a button. This is all well and good but ironically, after reading a newspaper article about how a woman lost her arm in the door of a neighbour’s car, I come close to trapping mine in the boot of the Range Rover but thankfully escape with a light bruise. It seems to shut and continues even if a hand is in the way. There needs to be a sensor to prevent this from happening.

By Tim Saunders - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - Full Story

2018 Buick Regal TourX Priced To Start From $29,995

Buick made headlines headlines when it officially announced a wagon would be returning to its portfolio. The 2018 Buick Regal TourX aims to inject a dose of “white space” to the Regal nameplate and potentially offer the Subaru Outback some competition.

Now, it has a price tag. CarsDirect reports the 2018 Regal TourX will start at $29,995 including destination when it goes on sale in late fall of this year. Under $30,000 seems like a sweet deal, but it may be difficult to nab one at that price.

That’s because the $29,995 price tag represents the base 1SV trim, while the $33,575 Preferred 1SB trim will likely be the TourX stocked on dealership lots. Per the norm with Buick, the base model will likely not receive many incentives either.—More…

By News on the Net - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - Full Story

U.S. States Would Be Barred From Setting Individual Self-Driving Car Standards Under New Proposed Pl

The United States House of Representatives released its early draft of self-driving car framework earlier this month and it would mean more federal government control and less say from individual states.

Reuters reports the self-driving car plan would diminish states’ rights and limit what a particular state could regulate with regards to autonomous cars and their rollout. California and New York have proposed legislation to initially limit the roll out of driverless cars and associated technology.—More…

By News on the Net -- GMAuthority.com- Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - Full Story

AV’s mean more safety and savings for U.S. drivers

EDGEWATER, Maryland — Visitors to the General Motors Futurama pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of 1939 saw something quite amazing for its time: an automated highway system.  It was a dazzling display of thousands of cars and trucks operating without driver assistance for maximum traffic flow and efficiency. 

The GM Futurama program was the work of famed industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes, who many credited with conceiving what became the first modern interstate highway system. 

Today, Bel Geddes, who died in 1958, is being given even more credit: for introducing a whole new world of automated transportation.

By Guest Column -- William H. Noack- Sunday, June 25, 2017 - Full Story

Say goodbye to an American tradition: The thrill of the open road

BALTIMORE — Self-driving cars will kill our precious thrill of the open road while hurting large segments of our economy.

When killjoys and bureaucrats get their way, we give up the things that make our lives rich and fun.  We’re are approaching that now with these pod-like vehicles.

Private companies and federal agencies are working to put millions of driverless cars on America’s roads, and there’s a good chance those vehicles will eventually comprise the majority of personal vehicles on our roads: Some are predicting fully automated cars could be 10 percent of global vehicle sales yearly by 2035 and that percentage likely will grow.

By Guest Column -- Whitt Flora- Thursday, June 22, 2017 - Full Story

Mazda’s little bundle of joy continues to please

Ah, the Mazda MX-5. Once called the Miata, the Japanese carmaker’s little open top roadster has been around for nearly 30 years and during that time has evolved and grown like most cars.

But unlike some cars that get overstyled or “over-teched” or which lose their original mien over the years, Mazda has never lost the Miata’s focus of delivering the kind of driving joy that used to be found on such cars as the MGB, but without leaving you on the side of the road every time it rains.

Okay, that may be an exaggeration about the old British sports cars, but I’ve owned three MGB’s (in various states of repair from “on its last legs” to “brand new”) and they all left me on the side of the road - so much so that I look back now, decades later, and find it hard to believe I could have been so stupid as to get kicked by that particular mule three times. What can I say? I was a kid.

Mazda celebrates a half century of Wankels

It turns out that the phrase “Wankel rotary engine,” unlike how it’s described in an old Monty Python sketch, is no reason for embarrassment. Especially for Mazda, the only carmaker with the pluck to realize - and do its best to prove - that Wankels weren’t just for wankers.

Sure, it hasn’t worked out as Mazda may have liked - the last rotary Mazda was the now-defunct RX-8, a terrific sports car - but it isn’t as if the technology doesn’t work. It just may not work as well as the conventional internal (a.k.a, to greenies, as infernal) combustion engine, especially in this day and age of increasingly mandated fuel economy.

But 50 years ago as of May 30th, the Hiroshima-headquartered carmaker began its legacy of, as Mazda’s press release celebrating the anniversary said, “doing what was said couldn’t be done.” Mazda wasn’t unique, if my aging memory is still working. General Motors was also looking at rotary engines at one time, but I don’t believe they ever followed through. That would make Mazda the only major carmaker to wish the Wankel onto the world, and the company did it not only via its sports cars (though never the Miata) but also via some very nice sedans and coupes. A coupe de grace, perhaps?

New apps claim help for gift givers and narcissistic navigators

Have you ever been stuck for gift ideas? Have you ever been bored by the generic computerized voice programmed into your vehicle? Well, folks, the free market has solutions for both of these vital issues and the world may be a better place because of them.

Or not. But they are interesting apps regardless of their overall impact on modern civilization, and I figured you might like to know about them.

Giving till it doesn’t hurt…

Toyota’s 2018 C-HR plows smaller fields with a new crossover

Think of it as a Juke that’s less a joke, or as a little sibling to the RAV4 - but however you choose to gaze upon its little fullness, Toyota’s latest SUV/Crossover is definitely an interesting little vehicle.

Whether or not it’s blazing a new sales trail for Toyota will be known somewhere down the, er, road, but in the meantime, this is definitely - well, reasonably - another compelling vehicle from the land of the rising sun.

Just don’t sit in the back!

Toyota Prius C a cheap and cute way to save gas

It’s pretty Spartan, all things considered, and it’s about as much fun to drive as a hobby horse, but Toyota’s 2017 Prius C hybrid hatchback is still a decent little car that does a lot with a little. And, at a starting list price of $21,975, it doesn’t cost a huge amount of cash to save the Earth.

On the other hand, you could buy a gas-fueled 106 hp Yaris SE five door hatch with an automatic transmission for about $19,510, sans taxes, fees and other kilos of flesh. The Yaris probably won’t get the excellent 4.5 litres per 100 km that I achieved in the Prius C (despite my lead foot), but Toyota claims 7.9/6.8 (City/Hwy) for the Yaris, which is still darn good. And the Yaris is a heckuva lot more fun to drive, if only because it doesn’t come with a whiny continuously variable transmission.

Sure, you’ll be poking the Al Gores, David Suzukis and "Science Guys" of the world in the eye, but how is that a bad thing?