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2015 Mustang is a hit on LA streets

Posted 11:50 am U.S. ET, Sept. 19
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The 2015 Ford Mustang at Mel's Diner in Hollywood. During the drive, we noticed people filming us out car windows, and lowering their windows to stick out their hands in the thumbs-up position.
LOS ANGELES -- No sooner had we left our hotel and hit the streets in West Hollywood when we began to notice people noticing us. Granted, it was hard to miss our 2015 Ford Mustang painted in Competition Orange -- seemingly bright enough to be picked up by a satellite orbiting above. As we sat and waited at a traffic light, a man in the next lane lowered the window of his ...
     Continue reading "2015 Mustang is a hit on LA streets" » Sep 19, 2014 11:50 am U.S. ET
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Why Cadillac's forthcoming 'LTS' could get another name

Posted 2:46 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 19
DETROIT -- We've known about Cadillac's plans for a big, rear-wheel drive, range-topping sedan for more than two years now. For most of that time, we've been referring to it by its internal codename, LTS. But here's a bet: When the wraps come off the car sometime in the first half of next year, it won't sport an LTS badge. Here's my thinking. First, the basics. The firs ...
     Continue reading "Why Cadillac's forthcoming 'LTS' could get another name" » Sep 19, 2014 2:46 pm U.S. ET
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Why Toyota punted on a V-6 in the Tundra for '15

Posted 11:58 am U.S. ET, Sept. 18
Editor's note: The horsepower and torque ratings on the Ford F-150 with V-6 engines were incorrect in the chart accompanying earlier versions of this story. DETROIT -- It’s rare when Toyota admits defeat and folds -- especially when it comes to engines and fuel economy. But that’s what happened last week when Toyota introduced the 2015 Tundra pickup and reve ...
     Continue reading "Why Toyota punted on a V-6 in the Tundra for '15" » Sep 18, 2014 11:58 am U.S. ET
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The connected car -- circa 1956

Posted 1:30 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 9
DETROIT -- It turns out that the dream of self-driving connected cars is an old one. Back in the 1950s, GM futurists envisioned a highway system that included a “Safety Autoway” that contained metallic strips embedded in the road. Those strips would be read by cameras and sensors on the road and be used to help control a car’s speed and direction. Drive ...
     Continue reading "The connected car -- circa 1956" » Sep 9, 2014 1:30 pm U.S. ET
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Mustang and Coors -- scarcity made fans want them more

Posted 4:33 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 29
As I was coming of age in Indiana, Coors enjoyed elite status as an exotic beer you couldn’t buy anywhere east of the Mississippi River. Coors was brewed without preservatives and would spoil quickly if it was transported long distances and allowed to get warm, or so the myth went. Because of its perceived purity and because it was not readily available, Coors becam ...
     Continue reading "Mustang and Coors -- scarcity made fans want them more" » Aug 29, 2014 4:33 pm U.S. ET
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See the wild Lexus NX spot too retro for outside Japan

Posted 10:35 am U.S. ET, Aug. 27
TOKYO -- Drifting cars, techno music, string bikinis and foam parties. At first glance, Lexus’ new “Shampoo” TV spot seems tailor-made for the trendy young crowd the luxury brand craves. But the brilliant, visually enticing commercial for the new NX compact crossover won’t air stateside. It’s a Japan-only pitch that Lexus execs deemed too ret ...
     Continue reading "See the wild Lexus NX spot too retro for outside Japan" » Aug 27, 2014 10:35 am U.S. ET
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Is Ford rolling the dice with changes to 2015 Mustang?

Posted 2:26 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 21
DETROIT -- Bigger. Heavier. Thirstier. More expensive. It’s a recipe for killing a sports car. The Toyota Supra, the original version of the Datsun/Nissan Z car, the Mitsubishi Eclipse and dozens of other sports and high-performance cars burned out and then faded away when they became bloated and less fuel efficient or moved up the price ladder. Perhaps one reason ...
     Continue reading "Is Ford rolling the dice with changes to 2015 Mustang?" » Aug 21, 2014 2:26 pm U.S. ET
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Why Americans are rediscovering Italian cars

Posted 8:52 am U.S. ET, Aug. 16
MONTEREY, Calif. -- Fiat aside, Italian cars live in a rarefied world of the very rich and the very few. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Pagani, Zagato -- those luminary brands barely add up to a percent of a percentage point worth of sales in America. But oh, the mystique. Oh, the power of the Italian design -- the curves of the Italian body and the seducti ...
     Continue reading "Why Americans are rediscovering Italian cars" » Aug 16, 2014 8:52 am U.S. ET
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Toyota redresses FT-1 concept

Posted 3:29 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 13
It’s the second coming of the Toyota FT-1. Toyota pulled the cover off of a second concept version of the FT-1 super sports car in Monterey, Calif., on Wednesday. Both versions of the FT-1 were shown, squeezed between classic supercars and big business jets. Showing off both the first and second FT-1s in California is a good way to gauge popular reaction to the car ...
     Continue reading "Toyota redresses FT-1 concept" » Aug 13, 2014 3:29 pm U.S. ET
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Is this the next-generation MX-5 Miata roadster?

Posted 1:32 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 13
Ahead of its media reveal next month, an Instagram user in Japan may have snagged an early glimpse of the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster. A Miata fan snapped a photo of a roadster wrapped in line-blurring camouflage, but the car’s proportions make it seem like a plausible sighting of Mazda’s fourth-generation roadster. Our colleagues at Autoweek sa ...
     Continue reading "Is this the next-generation MX-5 Miata roadster?" » Aug 13, 2014 1:32 pm U.S. ET
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Volvo teases XC90 that must raise the bar in luxury

Posted 3:09 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 13
Volvo again is pulling some of the wraps off the redesigned XC90 crossover before its formal reveal on Aug. 25 in Stockholm. The latest teaser is a photo of the front corner with an all-new T-shaped running light accompanied by an explanation of the new “scalable product architecture” that the XC90 will ride on. The headlights and grille evoke the Swedish bra ...
     Continue reading "Volvo teases XC90 that must raise the bar in luxury" » Aug 13, 2014 3:09 pm U.S. ET
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Nvidia continues quest to bring computer power to cars

Posted 9:27 am U.S. ET, Aug. 7
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- A year after opening an office in Ann Arbor, Mich., computer processor maker Nvidia Corp. continues its quest to bring modern computer power to the automobile. For good reason. The connected car market is estimated to be worth $132 billion by 2019, according to a recent study by Transparency Market Research. Nvidia is positioned to benefit as the ...
     Continue reading "Nvidia continues quest to bring computer power to cars" » Aug 7, 2014 9:27 am U.S. ET
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Eurofication of Buick lineup continues with … an imported Regal?

Posted 1:51 pm U.S. ET, July 31
The Buick Regal already is the most Euro-looking vehicle in Buick's lineup. In a few years, it might literally be European. All signs point to General Motors importing the Regal from Germany beginning in 2017, when the sporty sedan is due for its first redesign since the nameplate returned to the Buick lineup in early 2010, after a six-year hiatus. Let me explain. The ...
     Continue reading "Eurofication of Buick lineup continues with … an imported Regal?" » Jul 31, 2014 1:51 pm U.S. ET
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Let's hope for a litter of Hellcat kitties

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 19
Spend a few minutes with Chrysler Group’s new monster power plant -- the 707-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 -- and you will be left, as I was, with one overriding question: What else can you put it in? Not to say that it’s out of place in the 2015 SRT Challenger. It’s not. It absolutely belongs there and fits like a glove. But very few automakers t ...
     Continue reading "Let's hope for a litter of Hellcat kitties" » Jul 19, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Will de Nysschen take Caddy into small cars?

Posted 1:01 pm U.S. ET, July 16
Johan de Nysschen is barely a week into his new job as president of Cadillac. It will take some time to learn what he will attempt to do there. But keep your eye on the small-vehicle end of the luxury spectrum. That will be de Nysschen’s most likely play for the American premium king. As the global leader of Infiniti for the past two years, de Nysschen made clear a ...
     Continue reading "Will de Nysschen take Caddy into small cars?" » Jul 16, 2014 1:01 pm U.S. ET
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Is the maligned Mitsubishi Mirage a good value?

Posted 12:40 pm U.S. ET, July 7
Editor's note: The Mirage’s EPA rating is 37 city/44 highway and 40 combined. Earlier versions of this blog transposed the numbers. The Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the strangest cars I have ever driven -- and it’s one of the most polarizing new models of 2014. Consumer Reports, The New York Times and others have savaged the small inexpensive hatchback. Y ...
     Continue reading "Is the maligned Mitsubishi Mirage a good value?" » Jul 7, 2014 12:40 pm U.S. ET
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Inside the Camaro's transformation for latest 'Transformers' film

Posted 4:09 pm U.S. ET, June 26
The reimagined Camaro in the latest Transformers film features a slew of design alterations unique to the movie. Chevy Camaro enthusiasts hitting theaters for Transformers: Age of Extinction this weekend should have a field day identifying changes amid the over-the-top explosions as Bumblebee fights alongside Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots. The rebooted Bumbl ...
     Continue reading "Inside the Camaro's transformation for latest 'Transformers' film " » Jun 26, 2014 4:09 pm U.S. ET
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Honda aims to take 3D leap forward with advanced crash-test simulation software

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 25
It takes roughly five years, on average, to develop and launch an all-new vehicle these days. A redesigned crossover or sedan can require less time from drawing board to showroom. Numerous automakers have tried to shorten product development cycles over the past 20 years but often with little success. Too many complex facets in r&d, product planning, and manufacturin ...
     Continue reading "Honda aims to take 3D leap forward with advanced crash-test simulation software" » Jun 25, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Zetsche sees speedy uptake of F1 tech in Mercedes models

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 30
Dieter Zetsche foresees Mercedes models benefiting quicker than ever from the automaker’s participation in Formula One. F1’s switch to 1.6-liter V-6 turbocharged gasoline engines from 2.4-liter V-8 normally aspirated units has made the racecars more like high-end production cars. That means Mercedes is gaining invaluable experience under extreme conditions on ...
     Continue reading "Zetsche sees speedy uptake of F1 tech in Mercedes models" » May 30, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Volvo hints at more polished XC90 for 2015

Posted 1:34 pm U.S. ET, May 27
It won’t go on sale in the United States until next March, but Volvo has begun to take the covers off the redesigned XC90 crossover. Volvo released images and a video of the interior of the 2015 XC90, and it is decidedly more upscale than the outgoing model. The crossover, previewed with the awkwardly named XC Coupe concept shown at the Detroit auto show in January, ...
     Continue reading "Volvo hints at more polished XC90 for 2015" » May 27, 2014 1:34 pm U.S. ET
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To TDI or not TDI?

Posted 10:26 am U.S. ET, May 14
LOS ANGELES -- For the better part of a decade, automotive journalists have been chastising the American public for not making the smart decision and embracing diesel power. Diesel seemingly has what every American wants: great low-end torque, refined tailpipe emissions and fantastic highway fuel economy on par with the best gasoline-electric hybrids. But shoppers can&rs ...
     Continue reading "To TDI or not TDI?" » May 14, 2014 10:26 am U.S. ET
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VW may be ready to give its SUV a home

Posted 4:14 pm U.S. ET, May 8
WASHINGTON -- Volkswagen AG could be a few days away from naming a North American assembly site for a mid-sized crossover based on the CrossBlue concept from the 2013 Detroit auto show. Volkswagen’s supervisory board, the company’s top decision-making body, is slated to meet May 12, company sources tell Automotive News, and anticipation is building at Volkswag ...
     Continue reading "VW may be ready to give its SUV a home" » May 8, 2014 4:14 pm U.S. ET
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As Lincoln dealers yearn, Hyundai's flagship rolls

Posted 3:22 pm U.S. ET, May 5
Since the demise of the Town Car, Lincoln dealers have been pining for a big, flagship sedan with real presence, an automobile to evoke the great motorcars from Lincoln’s illustrious past: the Zephyr or the Continental. Lincoln hints that such a car is in the works, but there’s no word when it might arrive. To many dealers who stuck with Lincoln through thick ...
     Continue reading "As Lincoln dealers yearn, Hyundai's flagship rolls" » May 5, 2014 3:22 pm U.S. ET
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Can I request a Jeep Gladiator in the plan?

Posted 2:06 pm U.S. ET, May 2
To borrow a line from The Blues Brothers movie a few decades ago, Chrysler Group is “getting the band back together” on Tuesday to reveal its next five-year business plan. So I wonder: Is it too late to put in a request? If it’s not, if there’s still time, then what I’d really like to hear next week is that CEO Sergio Marchionne and company ...
     Continue reading "Can I request a Jeep Gladiator in the plan? " » May 2, 2014 2:06 pm U.S. ET
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Ode to Olds: Remembering brand a decade later

Posted 3:28 pm U.S. ET, April 29
April 29th is a bittersweet day for Florida Chevrolet dealer George Nahas. A decade ago, Nahas sat in the passenger seat of the last Oldsmobile ever built, a dark red Oldsmobile Alero, as it rolled off the assembly line in Lansing, Mich. When the wheels on that car stopped, a 100-year-old brand was dead. Nahas, then chairman of the Oldsmobile dealer council, moved on to ...
     Continue reading "Ode to Olds: Remembering brand a decade later" » Apr 29, 2014 3:28 pm U.S. ET
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Why GM should put wireless connections in its trucks

Posted 10:17 pm U.S. ET, April 17
NEW YORK -- At an exhibit on the auto show floor here, I sat inside a Cadillac XTS sedan equipped with General Motors' new 4G LTE wireless connection. But I couldn't help but think: GM should have put the 4G demo unit in a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra pickup. Because it’s in those trucks that the technology could very well give GM the biggest advantage over the com ...
     Continue reading "Why GM should put wireless connections in its trucks" » Apr 17, 2014 10:17 pm U.S. ET
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A rare misfire for Subaru with new Levorg wagon?

Posted 10:39 am U.S. ET, April 17
TOKYO -- Subaru, one of the hottest brands in the United States, may have chalked up a rare misfire with its newest nameplate -- a small wagon dubbed the Levorg. And I’m not just talking about the car’s tortured nomenclature. The direct-injection turbocharged sports tourer goes on sale in Japan in May. But advance orders of the Levorg have missed the company ...
     Continue reading "A rare misfire for Subaru with new Levorg wagon?" » Apr 17, 2014 10:39 am U.S. ET
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At Chrysler Group, 2 brands seek new frontiers

Posted 7:15 am U.S. ET, April 17
NEW YORK -- From the moment that Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne pulled off the audacious deal to gain control of a deeply damaged Chrysler Group in 2009, the new ownership has confounded expectations. The company’s very survival has surprised many observers, of course. So has its continuing streak of sales increases, now at 48 months of year-over-year gains. And the ...
     Continue reading "At Chrysler Group, 2 brands seek new frontiers" » Apr 17, 2014 7:15 am U.S. ET
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Brace yourself for 'velocity'

Posted 1:06 pm U.S. ET, April 16
NEW YORK -- There’s a new buzzword trending through the car business right now: velocity. It has been popping up in conversations and presentations for a while, and is on the lips of visitors here at the New York auto show. And it might be a good thing. In its new use, velocity simply means the speed with which auto dealers can process a customer from tire-kicker i ...
     Continue reading "Brace yourself for 'velocity'" » Apr 16, 2014 1:06 pm U.S. ET
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Why the Mustang II should get its due

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 16
One member of the Mustang family won’t have a very high-profile role at this week’s 50th anniversary celebrations: the 1974-78 Mustang II. But if you reconsider the case of the Mustang II, you may find it is time to give the car the respect it is due. Had the Mustang II not been a massive sales success -- more than a million were sold in five model years -- t ...
     Continue reading "Why the Mustang II should get its due" » Apr 16, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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