Autonomous Car Progress: Approaching Level 5

BMW iNext rendering

I thought adaptive cruise control was the coolest thing ever. Simply set the cruise to 70 miles per hour, and the car does the rest, even slowing down to match traffic when speeds drop.

I first experienced adaptive cruise control in 2014, and now, just three years later, we have automakers talking about “level 5” autonomy.

What is level 5? It means a car can control itself in all situations and doesn’t need a driver for anything. We’re not there yet, but some powerful and influential automakers are on the path to making it happen. Before level 5 cars arrive, lower priced cars will receive levels of autonomy that make my adaptive cruise look like technology straight out of 1999. Continue reading >>>

Mazda’s New Gas Engine Runs Like a Diesel

Has Mazda invented an all-new engine that can revolutionize the world of automobiles?

No, but it might be on the verge of perfecting one.

There are a few articles making their way around the Internet that claim the Japanese automaker has created a gasoline engine that works like a diesel engine. The motor ignites gasoline through compression rather than spark, thus providing the efficiency of a diesel. Continue reading >>>

Will New Lineup Return Cadillac to Glory?

Cadillac currently offers four sedans, and it’s getting ready to axe three of them.

By 2019, the Cadillac ATS, CTS, and XTS will be history, leaving just the CT6 and two new replacements to handle sedan duty at Caddy dealerships. Not surprisingly, Cadillac is joining the masses in whittling down its sedan offerings to make room for SUVs and crossovers.

Sales for the sedans have been falling, and Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen is ready to take action to make sure Caddy remains a relevant and compelling brand. Continue reading >>>

Alfa Romeo Outsells Volvo and Jaguar

Coeur d’ Alene is a small sleepy city in north Idaho with a population of about 50,000 people. It’s nestled between mountains and a large alpine lake and serves as a summer playground for boating enthusiasts and a winter wonderland for ski bunnies. Its downtown is lined with mom-and-pop shops and locally owned restaurants.

Not much happens in Coeur d’ Alene, but it’s a popular escape from the crowds of Southern California and Western Washington. Aside from the mansions lining the lake, there’s no real indication that Coeur d’ Alene is a city with money. In fact, driving through town suggests quite the opposite.

So you can imagine my surprise when I drove by a dealership, in a part of town surrounded by convenience stores and fast-food joints, lined with row after row of Maseratis and Alfa Romeos.

You know those large Toyota dealers in big urban areas that are packed with acres of cars? That’s how this dealership looked. It was an exceptionally out-of-place sight and left me wondering why all those cars are there and who’s buying them.

I looked to Google for the answer. Continue reading >>>

Hyundai Ready to Let Genesis Fly

The Genesis car brand has grown up quickly.

Not long ago it was nothing more than a speck in the eye of its parent, Hyundai. Its early childhood was spent as the top model in the Hyundai range, then it grew into the new role of becoming its own brand while safely still living under its parents’ roof.

Now Genesis is already all grown up and desperate to leave the nest to try life on its own. Continue reading >>>

Toyota Turns to Mazda for Help with Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is losing market share to the Chevy Colorado and Honda Ridgeline. This isn’t happening because people are losing interest in the venerable Toyota, but because Toyota can’t build them fast enough.

There’s a shortage of Tacomas at dealerships around the country, and buyers are turning to some very worthy competition instead of waiting for Toyota to catch up and deliver more trucks. This is a problem that’s new to Toyota, as decent competition in the midsize truck market hasn’t been a concern since… well… ever.

What’s Toyota’s plan to prevent more buyers from crossing over to competing brands?

Ask Mazda for help. Continue reading >>>

2018 Mustang GT Gets Scary Fast Acceleration

Zero-to-60 in less than 4 seconds used to be the realm of the most elite supercars. Today, though, the Ferrari LaFerrari can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 2.4 seconds. Other supercars from Lamborghini, Bugatti, and Porsche have done it in 2.5 seconds.

While not comparable to street-legal vehicles, Top Fuel dragsters can reach 60 mph before their rear wheels even get to the start line. Needless to say, we live in a world where speed is king. Or at least, that’s what some automakers believe.

Take the upcoming 2018 Ford Mustang GT, for example, which can make the 0-60 sprint in a time that was once reserved for supercars only. Continue reading >>>

Tesla: The World’s Most Popular Automaker?

We can’t seem to escape news about Tesla lately. The company is dominating headlines on auto blogs and news websites across the Internet. If the story isn’t about a new innovation, idea, or product from Tesla, it’s about another car company trying to beat Tesla at its own game.

Never, in my lifetime at least, has one automaker demanded so much attention and inspired so much competition.

Here’s a rundown of stories, from this week alone, showing Tesla’s dominance over the automotive news cycle: Continue reading >>>

Buick Regal GS: Handsome, Strong, and Fast

I’m going to try to avoid mentioning grandparents in this post, because the days of Buicks coming with AARP cards are officially gone.

It’s taken a while to get to this point, though. In fact, the words “performance,” “sporty,” and “Buick,” were last used together 30 years ago when the Grand National GNX was intimidating Toyota drivers everywhere.

Today’s Buicks are evoking memories of the GNX and making folks forget about the automaker’s stodgy and drab past. Yes, the GM-owned automaker is now building some of the most attractive cars on the road—and providing the performance to go with it. Continue reading >>>

Could This Become the New Ford Bronco?

If you’ve never heard of the Troller T4, it might be time for you to copy and paste that name into a Google search and then marvel at the images staring back at you.

The Troller is a boxy off-roader sold in Brazil and built by a company now owned by Ford. For fans of the Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender, and Ford Bronco, the Troller might look like the fantasy car you never knew existed.

And get this: One source has said the upcoming 2020 Ford Bronco will look like the Troller, but “a 4-door version of that.”

How excited are you right now? Continue reading >>>