SEC Gets Serious in Tesla Going-private Probe, Issues Subpoenas: Report

While the U.S. and now Canada enjoy carrying out international diplomacy via tweet, the business world lays out a few ground rules. If you’re the head of a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company, maybe it’s best to not announce your intention to take the company private — while stating there’s funding on hand to pull it off — in a tweetstorm, especially if there aren’t details to back it up. Dry, boring, but concise media releases or regulatory filings alerting shareholders usually do the trick. Read More

Ford reveals cost to revive Detroit train station, neighborhood

WASHINGTON — Ford disclosed Tuesday it will spend $740 million on a project to revamp Michigan Central Station, Detroit’s historic but dilapidated former rail station, as well as other neighborhood sites.

Ford aims to turn the building into a campus of offices for up to 5,000 tech workers and software engineers focused on self-driving vehicles and ancillary technologies and services. Read More

Watch Ferrari 512 Modulo Make First Closed-Cockpit Run

After years of restoration work by its newest owner Jim Glickenhaus, Pininfarina’s Ferrari 512 Modulo concept has made its first run with full aerodynamic coachwork bolted on, with more public appearances to come.

Built on a Ferrari 512S chassis, Pininfarina debuted its Modulo concept at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show as nothing more than a geometric design study, with no intention to create a working car or create a watered-down production version. Read More

Compact, Mid-Size, or Corvette Z06? Hertz Now Renting Special-Edition Vette

It’s likely that the most memorable car Hertz ever made available for the great unwashed to rent was the Shelby GT350-H of 1966. In that era, we described the extra-zoot Mustang as “a real guts sports car—with hair on its chest all the way down to its navel.” Ford, which later owned Hertz from 1987 to 2005, paid tribute to the original 1000 rentable GT350s in 2006–2007 and again in 2016 with the sorta-breathed-on GT-H, celebrating the 40th and 50th anniversaries of the program, respectively. But to celebrate its 100th anniversary as a going concern, Hertz turned to another former owner, General Motors, for a vehicle endowed with hair from its palms to its toes: the 650-hp Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Read More

Danny Thompson Just Set a Land Speed Record in a 50-Year-Old Car

If you ever got to drive your dad’s old banger, you might manage a top speed of 30 mph before parts began dropping off and smoke started pouring from the engine.

Racing driver Danny Thompson, on the other hand, just took his old man’s car to a blistering 450 mph. And lived to tell the tale.

The incredible run, which took place on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on Sunday, August 12, makes the Challenger 2 the world’s fastest piston-driven vehicle. Read More

Rollin’ in My 2.0: Honda Debuts 2019 Civic Sport in Sedan and Coupe Form

It was possible to get into a Sport-trimmed Honda Civic before the 2019 model year, but you’d have to agree to the hatchback bodystyle first. Not everyone gazed upon that particular Civic’s styling with admiration and desire.

Not a problem. If buyers don’t want a five-door Sport, we’ll give it to ’em in coupe and sedan form, Honda figured. And so it is for 2019. However, checking the box for this slightly more aggressive treatment fails to bring aboard one of the hatchback version’s best attributes. Read More

The 2019 Mazda Miata’s Extra Power Makes a Great Car Better

The 2019 Mazda Miata isn’t completely revamped, but then again, it didn’t need that. Now, though, it is more powerful, more efficient, and basically just a tiny bump better. The car was already great, now it’s even more of a goddamn blast.

(Full Disclosure: Mazda kindly flew me to San Diego and gave me a Miata to drive up to San Luis Obispo over the course of a few days. The company kept me well-fed, not thirsty, and sheltered at night along the way.)  Read More

How GM's Silverado, Sierra will take on the Ford F-150 profit machine

The colors on this skeleton of a 2019 Chevy Silverado represent different grades of high-strength steel and other materials. GM went the multi-materials route, while Ford makes more use of aluminum. / Reuters

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — When General Motors engineers were developing the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, some of them joined public tours of Ford’s Dearborn, Mich., factory to watch aluminum-bodied F-Series trucks go down the assembly line. Read More

Elon Musk mulls taking Tesla private in deal worth $82 billion

Elon Musk said he’s considering taking Tesla private in a radical step that would ease pressure on the money-losing automaker.

The announcement, made via Twitter, stunned investors and sent Tesla’s stock price soaring as much as 8.5 percent.

It followed the news that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had built a less than 5 percent stake in Tesla worth about $2 billion. Read More

Tesla Model 3 Outperforms In New IIHS Level 2 Autonomy Tests

However, it’s not perfect.

With drive assistance features becoming standard in many vehicles, it’s good to remember they’re not all the same. Some work better than others, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is devising a series of tests to evaluate these systems in various driving situations. The focus of the tests is Level 2 “autonomy” as defined by SAE International, which includes adaptive cruise control (ACC) and active lane-keeping (ALK). In IIHS’s research, the company tested five vehicles: 2017 BMW 5 Series with “Driving Assistant Plus,” 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class with “Drive Pilot,” 2018 Tesla Model 3 and 2016 Model S with “Autopilot” (software versions 8.1 and 7.1, respectively), and 2018 Volvo S90 with “Pilot Assist.” The Tesla Model 3 performed best through the bevy of tests – however, it wasn’t perfect. The cars were put through four different scenarios to test their ACC. The first involved driving at 31 miles per hour toward a stationary vehicle with ACC off and autobrake turned on. Only the two Teslas failed, hitting the stationary target. The same test was then performed with ACC on, and the Tesla Model 3 slowed with gradual decelerations. All vehicles passed this portion. A third scenario had the cars follow a lead vehicle that slowed to a stop and then accelerated. Every car performed well in this test. The final test had the test cars follow a lead vehicle that changed lanes to reveal a stationary vehicle in the test vehicle’s path. The vehicles had about 4.3 seconds before colliding with the stationary vehicle. However, all the test cars performed well with none of the vehicles striking the stationary vehicle. Where the Tesla Model 3 truly outshined its competition was in the hill and curve tests for ALK. Here, the IIHS conducts six tests on three different sections of curved roads. Only the Model 3 stayed within its lane through all 18 trials. To test how the ALK of all five vehicles performed on hills, the IIHS mapped out a course on three hills with different slopes, running six different tests on each hill in each vehicle. Here, the Model 3 had just one deficiency, touching the centerline once in 18 tests. The Model 3’s competitors had various levels of success with the ALK tests. The BMW, Mercedes, Model S, and Volvo all went over the centerline during both the hill and curve test, with the Model S crossing the most at 12 times when being tested on the hills. The Volvo crossed the line the most at eight times during the curve test. Some of the vehicles, such as the 5 Series, E-Class and S90 had the ALK system disengage during the tests, with the 5 Series system disengaging the most. As these systems infiltrate new cars, drivers need to understand their limitations and the differences between makes and models. It will be up to agencies such as the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to design tests that both inform consumers and keep them safe because driver assistance features aren’t going anywhere. However, it’ll be years before these systems are foolproof. “We’re not ready to say yet which company has the safest implementation of Level 2 driver assistance, but it’s important to note that none of these vehicles is capable of driving safely on its own,” David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer, says in the study. “A production autonomous vehicle that can go anywhere, anytime isn’t available at your local car dealer and won’t be for quite some time. We aren’t there yet.”

Tesla shares surge as Elon Musk apologizes for recent behaviour

Elon Musk may have been on to something when he said Tesla Inc. was becoming a real car company. Just as importantly for investors, he’s acting more like a real CEO.

After Tesla reported burning through less cash than Wall Street feared in the second quarter, Musk apologized to the two analysts he scorned three months earlier for asking “bonehead” and “dry” questions on the company’s previous earnings call. The performance was well received: Tesla shares surged 16 percent, the biggest jump since December 2013. Read More

Look at These Wonderful Little Lego Engine Models

Working on cars and the assembly of a Lego set both have a similar tactile gratification. Whether it’s driving your fixed-up beater or replicating the Eiffel Tower out of bricks, the project’s completion can be equally satisfying. Odds are pretty good that if you like cars, you also have a soft spot for Lego, and that soft spot is going to be manipulated by a series of scale replicas of engine models built by Instagram user Replica Motorsport. Read More

The War on Tesla, Musk, and the Fight for the Future

Upfront: If you think that anything is justified against a person simply because that person is wealthy, this is not an article for you. If you think it’s okay to lie, mislead, or otherwise attack a person simply because of their financial status, consequences be damned, then you should probably look elsewhere. You won’t have far to look. Read More

Autonomous Shared Cars Will Require Different Interior Materials Because People are Slobs

I’m a member of ZipCar, which I love for the convenience. But one thing that always reminds you that you’re in a shared car is the state of the interiors. I’ve experienced the following in a ZipCar: Sticky steering wheels, candy wrappers and potato chip bags shoved into various orifices, stained seats, liquid stains on the dashboard, and–three times!–cigarette ashes on the dashboard/console/seating. Read More

Most Americans fear driverless cars

A lot of Americans are fearful of autonomous cars, but 33% are at least somewhat likely to buy one once they are available, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters: To the degree the survey is accurate and reflects a broad global trend, everything from the world’s sprawling car industry, to roads and cities themselves, could be on the cusp of a fundamental transformation. Read More

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Long-Term Verdict: Award Worthiness Confirmed

Thirteen months ago, I plugged-in our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV for the first time—filling it not only with electrons but expectations.

It had been named our 2017 Car of the Year, I wrote, because it wasn’t just a good EV, or the first affordable EV to eliminate “range anxiety,” but because it was both of those things and (perhaps most importantly) a good car regardless. More than a year and nearly 17,000 miles later, our Bolt has maintained its worthiness of our early praise. Read More

Why Ford Killed Its Cars

My colleagues, as well as much of the car enthusiast community, are dealing with a collective freakout upon learning Ford will be killing off all its sedans and hatchbacks and keeping one real car, the Mustang, in North America. Ford is doomed, they say. But I don’t share that perspective—no one wanted to buy those cars anyway, and this came down to just being a cold, hard business decision. Read More

Watch This Guy Ride His Dirt Bike Across Lake Como

We’ve seen motorcyclists do some crazy things, but this has got to be one of the most ambitious. Last year, rider Luca Colombo rode his Suzuki 450 clear across the top of Lake Como, setting the world record for a freshwater distance cross on a motorcycle, which is apparently a category of record that needed to be set. This is the first time we’ve seen the video, and thought it’d be a great thing to share. Read More

Luminar’s New Lidar Could Bring Vision to Every Robocar in The World

Self-driving cars are nearly ready for primetime, and so are the laser sensors that help them see the world. Lidar, which builds a 3-D map of a car’s surroundings by firing millions of laser points a second and measuring how long they take to bounce back, has been in development since 2005, when a guy named Dave Hall made one for the Darpa Grand Challenge, an autonomous vehicle contest. In the decade-plus since then, if you wanted a lidar for your self-driving car, Velodyne was your only choice. Read More

Lewis Hamilton Previews the Mercedes-AMG Project One Hypercar

Lewis Hamilton greets me in his air-conditioned trailer holding a box of raw cremini mushrooms. “Want one?” he asks, extending his arm. I decline. “Suit yourself,” he says, and pops one in his mouth. “I quite fancy mushrooms. Well . . . not those kind of mushrooms,” he adds with a laugh. He is still wearing the last look from his earlier photo shoot for Robb Report, an outfit he chose himself after eschewing a more traditional suit. The black trousers and houndstooth-and-velvet coat by Colombian-​born designer Haider Ackermann are far too glamorous for our digs—a Star Waggon parked on a dusty runway in Inyo-kern, roughly 3 hours by car from Los Angeles in Southern California’s high desert. What the locale lacks in panache, however, it makes up for in scenery—an arid pastel landscape set against the Sierra Nevada foothills. For racing fans, Hamilton needs no introduction. Last year he earned his fourth Formula 1 world championship, putting Read More

Where Should the Clock Be Located On a Car’s Dashboard?

Those of you who own cars are undoubtedly familiar with your own. But because I’m a ZipCar member, I’m used to getting into a different vehicle each time I need a set of wheels. At the mercy of what’s available, I rarely get the same vehicle twice.

I’m a very smart person with a degree in Industrial Design, so when getting into an unfamiliar car I can usually locate the steering wheel right away. But I often have to cast about for the clock. The clock is important for ZipCar drivers because you have to return the car at a pre-arranged time or you get charged a penalty. Read More

Here is the Lincoln Continental we were promised in 2002 and what it should have looked like

This is the 2002 Lincoln Continental concept. Yes, you read that right: 2002. It’s still so good that it not only puts the current Lincoln Continental to shame, but Lincoln should seriously just go ahead and put it into production.

Would it be a kind of admission of defeat for Lincoln to go back to a style it showed off back in the first Bush administration? Yes. But again, look at this car. Read More

Enough With The Lies — Electric Cars Are Far Greener Than Gas Cars #Basta

The weather forecast for electric vehicle (EV) naysayers is getting worse. Storms have battered the entrenched camps, and after successful waves of pushback and myth busting, yet another study tells the world what we all should know → EVs are clean and getting cleaner.

Tough Day Again For Naysayers…

All things considered, EV naysayers are getting smaller and smaller in number. A decade ago, the simple mention of dropping a gas engine for an electric motor would raise lively debates that would turn downright vicious online. But as the technology matures, as it constantly beats on gasoline cars, and as numerous carmakers are finally getting serious about EVs, they are becoming mainstream. One nagging myth surrounding them is that they pollute. This new (or updated) study paints a different picture. Read More

Cadillac CT6 V-Sport: 550-HP Twin-Turbo V8 and All-Wheel Drive

Cadillac revamps the big-luxury CT6 with Escala-inspired styling and a brand-new twin-turbo engine making an astounding 627 lb-ft of torque.

Cadillac just gave the CT6 an aesthetic refresh that greatly echoes the styling of the dramatic Escala concept car. And even better: There’s a new high-performance CT6 V-Sport, with an all-new twin-turbo V8 kicking out 550 horsepower.

The CT6 V-Sport, shown here, will hit the market in the first half of 2019. The CT6, you’ll recall, is the longest and most luxurious of Caddy’s sedan lineup, above the CTS, ATS, and soon-to-be-terminated XTS. It’s Cadillac’s answer to the German onslaught of luxury sedans, going toe-to-toe with 5-Series and 7-Series, E- and S-Class, and A6 and A8. Read More

“Top Gear” Has Become What “The Grand Tour” Should Have Always Been

With The Grand Tour, we hoped Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May would do something new. Freed from the BBC and given a giant production budget, the former Top Gear hosts were given a golden opportunity to break out of the formula they’d perfected. Two seasons in, The Grand Tour has shown moments of greatness, but they’re tempered by the same stale jokes, catchphrases and tropes we came to expect from their final seasons on Top Gear. Read More

2018 Kia Stinger GT Review: Serious Contender

The Stinger makes a name for itself in a segment filled with heavy hitters.

– Miami, Florida

Verdict 7.0 /10

Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, they say. In this case, Kia has cracked open its own history books, and taken a lesson from the chapter of what not to do. The Stinger is no Amanti – that is, a half-hearted attempt to compete with more premium products. The Stinger is the real deal, and it should have companies like BMW and Mercedes-Benz worried (if they aren’t already). Read More

Leaked images show digital gauge cluster for Mazda3

Most everything divulged about the 2019 Mazda3 so far has focused on the trick Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) Skyactiv-X engine. If a series of photos posted on a Chinese website are accurate, it looks like Mazda has novel plans for the cockpit as well. The three images show a three-color, all-digital gauge cluster in two different configurations. The first configuration places a three-digit speedo in the center of a blue-ringed tachometer, with gear indicator and water temp displays on the left, fuel range calculator and what appears to be a funky clock on the right. Read More

Tesla Model 3 review: the fast and infuriating

I was standing next to the Model 3 when a guy on a bike rode by and yelled, “How is it?” My typical interactions with people who ask about Tesla’s affordable sedan (so many people ask me about the car) typically take about five minutes. I point out the highlights and issues I’ve encountered while driving. Without thinking, I threw him a thumbs up. It was a gut reaction to a car I’ve come to adore but have also been confused by. I should have yelled, “It’s complicated! Read More

Reviewed: The 2018 Ford Mustang

It used to be a pony car that was laughed at in places with turns. These days, however, the Ford Mustang is a real-deal sports car that competes with the best the world has to offer. The Blue Oval brand has updated its mean machine for the new model year, and the 2018 Ford Mustang is packing a bit more heat and some fancy new tech behind the steering wheel. Read More

The American Sedan Is Dying. Long Live the SUV

With lucrative sport utility vehicle and truck sales on the ascent, Detroit automakers are racing to ditch slow-selling cars in favor of the big rigs that mint them money.

Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne started it off by killing the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 to reorient Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV around Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups. The profit boom that’s followed has emboldened Detroit’s other CEOs to consider snuffing out sedans such as the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Impala. Read More

The Le Mans-Winning Chevrolets: Corvette C1 Coupe and C6.R

For the first Made to Drive installment in 2018, we got back together with our good friend and all-around good guy Bruce Meyer and a pair of American heroes from his impressive collection. We met up with him and his ‘Vettes at Thermal Club for some track time in these iconic endurance racers—specifically, the Briggs-Cunningham-prepared C1 that brought the Corvette name to Le Mans for the first time in 1960, along with the indomitable force of red-blooded horsepower that won its class in 2009, known simply as the C6.R. Read More

WATCH: Tesla Roadster’s acceleration is like nothing you’ve ever seen

A short while back Elon Musk announced the introduction of a surprise model in Tesla’s line up, the Roadster. Yes it comes at an opportune moment in trying to divert attention from the woeful production delay surrounding the Model 3 (the company expected to have rolled 1,500 off the line by now but only 260 have actually materialised). But let’s take nothing away from the Roadster as a pure exercise in what electric vehicles can achieve. Read More

1991 Acura NSX: The Multi-Tool Supercar

In this week’s film, we sit shotgun with Sean Lee for a drive around Los Angeles and its famed canyon roads in his first-generation 1991 Acura NSX. Tastefully modified with period-correct parts, this lithe streak of silver is an evolution of the stock car that was already a fantastic blend of sport and practicality, and though it isn’t factory-original, it has respectfully followed the trajectory, embodying the idea of “OEM plus.” It is, in a sense, more of an NSX than it was before; Sean has built upon the car, honing and enhancing this Honda (sorry, “Acura”) without coming at the cost of the car’s original identity. Read More

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