One of the most compelling reasons not to buy a new Toyota is the stark absence of either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. If you’ve sniffed around automotive news headlines from the past few years’ CES shows, you know more and more pundits are beginning to view cars as appliances for daily life, and the ever-growing infotainment screens found in new cars are central to this shift. Continue reading >>>
“Volkswagen is making a new Microbus!”
My wife excitedly read the headline out loud over the weekend, to which I replied, “Yeah, they’ve been saying that for the last decade or so. Let me guess, that story is about a modern electric version?”
“Yeah,” she said, “So you don’t think it’ll happen?”
I didn’t mean to crush her hopes, but rumors of a new version of the much-loved VW Microbus have circulated for years. The company has even trotted out occasional concepts, further stoking the fire and raising hopes of the rabid Microbus U.S. fan-base.
My first thought when hearing about a “new” concept was that an old article had been recycled. But, sure enough, Volkswagen has shown a new concept, called the I.D. Buzz, at the auto show in Detroit.
Last night kicked off the 2017 New England International Auto Show, held right here in Boston, Massachusetts. While the big event in Detroit earns the majority of attention around this time of year, New England’s exhibition this year is all about cars you can actually find for sale on dealer lots—cars you and I could actually go out and purchase, rather than a slew of concepts and debuting vehicles unavailable for months to come. Continue reading >>>
A short time ago, Volkswagen executives in Germany were warned about travel to the United States. Doing so could result in arrest for criminal charges stemming from the company’s massive defrauding of the U.S. government.
Perhaps Oliver Schmidt, the former head of VW’s environmental engineering office in charge of communicating with U.S. regulators, didn’t get the memo.
The FBI pounced when Schmidt was in Miami, arresting him to face criminal charges over doctored diesel engines in more than 500,000 cars, which emitted up to 40 times the limit for nitrogen oxide under U.S. pollution standards.
Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to three felony charges and now the EPA has accused another automaker of a similar cheating scheme.
Family transportation all started with the station wagon. Anyone here remember riding in the “way back” seats of a Ford Granada or Country Squire wagon?
If you were lucky, your parents had the kind of wagon where the “way back” seats faced backward and you could see traffic approaching from behind while everyone else faced forward.
Station wagons were the preferred mode of family transport because they were big, comfortable, and offered plenty of room for people and their stuff. Station wagons were the first generation of family vehicles and were followed by minivans, SUVs, and then crossovers.
FCA thinks it has a direct line to the future and has introduced us to the next generation of family transport: the Portal.
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.
People get all bent out of shape when reading about their beloved Mustang going hybrid.
“I need my V8,” they say.
“A Mustang can’t be electric,” they say.
Part of the reason for the anti-hybrid sentiment is the legacy of the Prius. The slow, emotionless Toyota has branded hybrids as unexciting and something for the performance-minded to avoid altogether.
So the idea of a hybrid Mustang, the epitome of tire-smoking V8 power, has folks, well, up in smoke.
If there was any doubt in your mind that autonomous driving features would arrive quickly in consumer vehicles, maybe you should pay attention to CES this year. With the Detroit Auto Show mere days away, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas provides a good opportunity for automakers to show off what their research and development teams are capable of pulling off with some of their more outlandish ideas. Of course, CES is a day of concepts and thematics more than actual car reveals, but it can be a great way to gauge how the automotive industry feels it will evolve given its current trajectory.
Self-driving software has been highly scrutinized over the last few months because of a few high profile accidents and at least one fatality.
One incident resulted after a driver’s Model S failed to distinguish a crossing truck trailer and crashed into it, killing the driver. Still, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is adamant that autonomous cars are many times safer than cars driven by humans and is accumulating millions of miles of accident-free driving to back his claim up.
One new video is definitive proof of the power of computers, and shows a Model S in the Netherlands predict a nasty accident just moments before it happened, potentially saving lives. It’s hard to watch this video and not think that autonomous vehicles are the wave of the future.