Bob Lutz: The Automotive Era Is Ending

Car culture is definitely changing, but can it change in a relatively short amount of time?

Bob Lutz thinks so.

As one of the top executives at General Motors, Lutz championed for the creation of the Pontiac GTO and G8, the return of the Camaro, and the introduction of the Cadillac SRX.

Lutz is a gearhead but also a cunning businessman who has a knack for seeing trends and predicting the future of cars.

In 2008, for instance, he said that the electrification of the automobile was inevitable. By 2010 he had successfully guided the Chevy Volt into existence, and today, the future of EVs is, indeed, inevitable.

Just wait ’till you hear what he’s saying now. Continue reading >>>

New Toyota Supra Won’t Be a Toyota

The new Toyota Supra may be the most highly anticipated car since the return of the Chevy Camaro.

Theories regarding what it will look like and what will power it have captivated the Internet for a good 18 months. Maybe even since the Supra was discontinued all the way back in 2002. We now know it’s coming back, but will it be co-developed with BMW? Will it be a hybrid? Gas only? Electric only?

Will it be a Z4 with Toyota badging?

All we’ve really known for sure is that the new Supra will, 100 percent, no-doubt-about-it, have a Toyota badge. Because it’s a Supra.

The Supra is a Toyota legend and was, for many years, the top-performing car in the Toyota stable. It has Toyota blood flowing through its arteries. The Supra coming back as a Toyota is as safe a bet as the Camaro was to return wearing its bowtie.

But, as it turns out, there are no guarantees in life. Continue reading >>>

Lincoln and Mazda Next Up to Electrify Everything

Here’s another one to file in the “all cars are going electric” folder.

In the not-so-distant future, we’ll look back on that folder and fondly remember the steps automakers took to wean the driving public away from gas and ease them into the new world of electric driving.

We’ve written, pretty extensively, about upcoming new electric vehicles and even plans by entire countries to phase out gasoline and diesel-powered cars. An electric future is approaching fast, and two more automakers are now committing to doing their part to usher in this new world. Continue reading >>>

Should the United States Go Gas-Free?

Like it or not, we are moving toward a future of gas-free automobiles.

We discuss the topic often, but two recent developments suggest that the end of the fossil-fuel era could happen sooner than we once thought.

Volvo now plans for all of its vehicles to be either electric or hybrid starting in 2019, and France has said it will ban all gas and diesel vehicles within the next 20 years. Should the U.S. follow suit? Continue reading >>>

Toyota May Have Just Made the Prius Obsolete

Trying to sell someone a hybrid car while gas prices are low is a little like selling summer clothes in Barrow, Alaska.

It might be a great concept, but if there’s not a lot of need, there won’t be a lot of sales.

Such is the case with the newest version of the Toyota Prius. Yes, it’s one of the best hybrids that the market has ever seen. Yes, it’s at least somewhat fun, engaging, and, some might say, even good-looking.

The new Prius Prime is so good, in fact, it might render the regular Prius obsolete.

If, that is, anyone can be convinced to buy one. Continue reading >>>

Chevy Bolt vs. Hyundai Ioniq: Which Has a Brighter Future?

Flexibility is a benefit enjoyed often by small companies, but rarely by large ones. Like a small boat, businesses still in early stages can maneuver quickly; they can alter business plans, tweak messaging, and otherwise pivot without having to worry about re-orienting a large workforce or undermining the public’s understanding of the brand. By contrast, large businesses operate more similarly to a container ship. Every move requires extensive planning, communication, and extreme foresight. Fine-tuning a product can take months, and changing direction entirely can take years. Continue reading >>>

Ioniq Versus Prius: The Battle for MPG Superiority

2017 Hyundai Ioniq

Maybe Toyota didn’t realize it at the time, but when it first debuted the Prius it also launched an entirely new segment of vehicles. While the Prius inspired competing automakers to get into the world of hybrids, the Toyota easily outsold them all and remained king for nearly two decades.

The Prius, which debuted in the U.S. in 2001, has evolved from a basic transportation appliance into an entirely different beast. It’s filled with new technology, improved performance, and increased efficiency. The latest iteration also has something it’s never had to deal with before:

Real competition. Continue reading >>>

Are You Less Safe in a Hybrid Car?

I’ve heard from more car shoppers than I can count over the years asking for advice on purchasing a new car. Yesterday a question was asked that no one had previously brought up to me.

The shopper is in the market for a new 2017 hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUV. She drives a lot, lives in an area known for epic snowfall, and has had her share of scary incidents while on the road. Naturally, she wants something safe and reliable that goes at least a few miles on electric power to save a few bucks on gas.

Considering the close calls she’s had while driving, she asked me if rescue workers are able to use the Jaws of Life on hybrid and electric vehicles. She’d heard a rumor that first responders won’t extract people stuck in such vehicles due to risks of electrocution from cutting into high-voltage lines.

Could that rumor be true? Continue reading >>>

The 2017 North American International Auto Show: An Odyssey Worth Traversing

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C

When the 2017 Pacifica was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last year, Chrysler restarted its minivan team’s engine and started down the road toward family-moving domination. The advanced dual-monitor rear-seat entertainment system. The built-in Ridgid vacuum cleaner. The hybrid drivetrain. With the Dodge Caravan crumbling, the Pacifica managed to surge past the competition, and this morning was awarded the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

Continue reading >>>