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Mazda's 2016 MX-5
 

With sports cars, hit reset (often) for success

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, May 26
The newly redesigned Mustang is barely a year old, and Ford is already unfurling a series of updates and upgrades for the 2016 model year.
Some of the motivation for these quick changes is, of course, aimed at blunting an expected strong challenge from the revamped (read: leaner, meaner) 2016 Chevrolet Camaro due this fall.
But there’s more to it than that.
Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler know something about nurturing sports and muscle cars for long-term success that many other automakers don’t, or won’t, practice.
Launch it and leave it is a death sentence for sporty cars. And no company has been more ...
     Continue reading "With sports cars, hit reset (often) for success" » May 26, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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A new golden age for high performance

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, May 19
blogs
In the CLA45 AMG, Mercedes-Benz's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder twin-turbo engine is rated at 355 hp and moves the car to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.
Sometimes you can’t really see something for what it is when you are in the middle of it.
Right now, we are truly in the golden age of high-performance cars, be they gasoline, electric or hybrid.
Who knows how long it will last?
The original muscle car era spanned from 1964 -- when Pontiac dumped a big engine in a midsize car (a V-8 in the Tempest) and created the GTO -- to the end of the decade.
Pontiac’s GTO ignited a horsepower and cubic-inch war that lasted until emissions regulations, oil embargos, high insurance ...
     Continue reading "A new golden age for high performance" » May 19, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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The science, psychology and secrecy behind the Ford GT

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, May 19
blogs
The Ford GT at the New York auto show (BLOOMBERG)
The Ford GT was introduced five months ago at the Detroit auto show. We can’t remember any car that received more attention in the following weeks.
Ford is trying to keep that momentum strong until the GT goes sale next year, lest we have an Acura NSX situation where we see the car dozens of times before getting behind the wheel.
To keep our attention, Ford invited a group of journalists to its headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., for a better look at the science, engineering and design behind the GT.
The GT has 50 sensors to gather dat ...
     Continue reading "The science, psychology and secrecy behind the Ford GT" » May 19, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Celebrating David Letterman's top 10 automotive moments

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 18
blogs
Ford CEO Alan Mulally and David Letterman talked about Ford's electric car plans. (CBS)
David Letterman’s professed passion for cars may not be on a par with that of his former late-night TV rival, Jay Leno. But Letterman, whose final “Late Show” airs Wednesday night, is quite a car buff, keeping his collection hidden away, a CBS spokesman says.
And Letterman -- whose Top Ten List is a nightly segment -- featured plenty of automotive follies during his 22 seasons as host of the CBS show.
In honor of his farewell show, we count down his top 10 automotive moments.
...
     Continue reading "Celebrating David Letterman's top 10 automotive moments" » May 18, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Revamped Camaro gains power, agility to battle Mustang

Posted 1:00 pm U.S. ET, May 17
blogs
Journalists were allowed to drive engineering prototypes of the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Sunday on the Detroit Grand Prix race course on Detroit's Belle Isle Park.
DETROIT -- In an unusual move, Chevrolet on Sunday allowed auto writers to test drive one pre-production version of the redesigned 2016 Camaro before the final calibrations are made.
With the revamped 2015 Ford Mustang handily outselling the outgoing 2015 Camaro, Chevrolet is trying to build buzz around the new car, which, like the Mustang, will be offered with a choice of four-, six- and eight-cylinder powerplants.
Chevrolet arranged for media to test drive V-6 models of the 2016 Camaro back to back with V-6 versions of the 2015 coupe around the same race track that will be used for the Detroit Belle Isl ...
     Continue reading "Revamped Camaro gains power, agility to battle Mustang" » May 17, 2015 1:00 pm U.S. ET
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Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer

Posted 3:51 pm U.S. ET, May 15
blogs
Instead of blue plastic, the Blue Oval is made of brushed aluminum to match accents used elsewhere in the cabin. (Nick Bunkley)
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The F-150 isn’t the only Ford Motor Co. icon that’s been changed to aluminum this year.
Get behind the wheel of the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum, which goes on sale in a few months, and you’ll notice that something familiar is missing: the Ford Blue Oval.
For the most expensive Explorer series ever, with a starting price of more than $53,000, the company’s logo has gone upscale. Instead of blue plastic, it’s made of brushed aluminum to match accents used elsewhere in the cabin.
It’s a change suggested by CEO Mark ...
     Continue reading "Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer" » May 15, 2015 3:51 pm U.S. ET
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Is the Ford Shelby GT350 the most extreme track Mustang ever?

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, May 12
blogs

Nearly every part of the Ford Shelby GT350’s suspension is purpose-built for the sports car: It has the most powerful brakes ever fitted to a Ford, the lightest wheels and probably the most aggressive tires anywhere south of a V-8 supercar.
Ford invited journalists to Allen Park, Mich., near Detroit recently for a deeper dive into its latest high-performance pony car, and we came away even more excited to get behind the wheel.
Ford execs say they got everything they wanted from the engineers (and bean counters) including six-piston calipers, two-piece rotors, carbon fiber wheels, adjustable dampers ...
     Continue reading "Is the Ford Shelby GT350 the most extreme track Mustang ever?" » May 12, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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The secrets behind all that camouflage

Posted 11:45 am U.S. ET, May 12
blogs
Is this the next-generation Buick Verano undergoing testing along Woodward Avenue in metro Detroit? (RICHARD TRUETT)
This is a story about what you see and what you can’t see; what you’d like to see and what they don’t want you to see. And mostly, it’s a story about the lengths people go to make sure you can’t see what they don’t want you to see.
Yet.
See?
The Detroit 3 all operate test tracks in southeast Michigan. All have high-speed ovals, pavement that is purposely uneven, hilly, undulating terrain and other testing areas. But even in these massive, ultrasecret facilities, there is only so much real-world testing they can carry out without act ...
     Continue reading "The secrets behind all that camouflage" » May 12, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET
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The evolution of the Hellcat logo

Posted 2:53 pm U.S. ET, May 11
blogs

The Hellcat was never meant to be a tame kitty.
Judging by the early sketches of the logo that now adorns the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats, the attitude was there from the start.
While most of the logos show aggressive, roaring Hellcats that are befitting of the beastly 707-hp engine, one took on a more playful theme.
The sketch in the upper right-hand corner shows a Hellcat with a mischievous grin that’s almost saying, “Yeah, I’m fast. Get in.”
The popular logo is a perfect example of how soci ...
     Continue reading "The evolution of the Hellcat logo" » May 11, 2015 2:53 pm U.S. ET
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Why Dodge should make the next Dart look like a baby Charger

Posted 4:12 pm U.S. ET, May 8
blogs
Top: 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. Bottom: 2015 Dodge Dart.
The Dodge Dart set an all-time sales record in April, and so far this year, the compact sedan is moving off dealer lots 52 percent faster than it was the year before.
So, if you’re Dodge, do you need to fix a car that’s doing those things three years after its launch?
Why, yes. Yes, you do.
According to Dodge’s five-year product plan that it presented in May 2014, the Dart will be “renewed” in 2016 for the 2017 model year.
The next-generation Dart will get a modified powertrain, including a more fuel- ...
     Continue reading "Why Dodge should make the next Dart look like a baby Charger" » May 8, 2015 4:12 pm U.S. ET
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Product news
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Reuss: Chevy may revive Z/28 racer from pony car days of yore
12:01 am U.S. ET, June 1
General Motors' head of global product development hinted at plans for a Camaro race car that pays homage to the Trans Am Camaro Z/28s of the late... ...
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Camaro gets a 4-cylinder, but GM's not sure it will be a hit
For the first time in three decades, Chevrolet's Camaro is getting a four-cylinder engine, ...
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Audi plans SUV blitz as demand grows
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler says the German automaker plans a big push for SUVs and crossovers ...
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How can automakers add value to dashboard?
Automakers are lining up to offer Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, but the halo ...
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VW's next W-12 unites direct injection, turbo
Volkswagen's next-generation W12 engine will combine direct-injection technology and turbo ...
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GABE NELSON
Android Auto's simplicity is such a luxury
Usually with a car, the more you pay, the more you get. ...
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Hyundai wins race to offer Android Auto
Hyundai has become the first car company to offer Google's new Android Auto interface by l ...
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Next-gen Wrangler will still use steel, Marchionne says
The next Jeep Wrangler won't follow the Ford F-150's lead with an aluminum body. ...
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Will Nissan's big gamble on Maxima pay off?
Nissan was leaning toward killing the Maxima sedan as the industry recovered from the rece ...
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Ford Explorer Platinum aims at high-end competitors
Ford is taking its iconic SUV into luxury territory, adding a high-end Platinum trim as it ...
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ROADSTER REVIVAL
Can 4th-gen MX-5 Miata renew interest in small sporty cars?
Mazda is betting a lighter, sportier, more fuel-efficient redesign will offset the next MX ...
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Chrysler awd minivan debate: Electrify axle or drop Stow 'n Go
Before it can offer another all-wheel-drive minivan, Fiat Chrysler must electrify the rear ...
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Hyundai boss Zuchowski sees green light for small pickup
A small, versatile Hyundai pickup based on the Santa Cruz concept seems to be headed towar ...
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JLR aiming high with SVO unit
Jaguar Land Rover hopes to match its German competition with a specially badged line of pe ...
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Ford makes over another icon by going aluminum
The F-150 isn't the only Ford Motor Co. icon that's been changed to aluminum this year. ...
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