Sunday, November 18, 2018

“Runs good, some rust, RECARO seats, needs bodywork”: As the taste of car enthusiasts evolves, a legendary seating brand endures—and looks ahead to our driving future

Martin Klein, CEO of RECARO Automotive Seating with RECARO seats at SEMA 2018
RECARO Automotive Seating CEO Martin Klein at SEMA 2018.
Photo by Bill Hayward
By Bill Hayward
Quick, how many brands of automotive seats can you think of, off the top of your head?

Don’t cheat. No Googling allowed.

Chances are, unless you’re highly steeped in automotive-industry minutiae, the list of seating brands you can think of is very short, with only one entry: RECARO.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Maybe you haven’t thought about spark plugs much lately, but NGK’s SEMA announcements show the technology continues to drive ahead

Drag-racing driver Megan Meyer, sponsored by NGK Spark Plugs,
greets automotive-industry attendees of the 2018 SEMA Show
at the NGK booth.
By Bill Hayward
If you don’t spend much time thinking about automotive spark plugs these days, don’t feel guilty. You’re in good company. Thinking about spark plugs a lot less often is something that has been to some extent encouraged since, say, the 1980s.

That said, some of us are old enough to still remember a time when folk wisdom, perhaps with a push from the auto repair industry, held that an “annual tune up” that included changing ignition parts like plugs, points, and ignition wires, was an essential element of automotive maintenance.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

‘This Hellephant is a beast:’ FCA unveils 1,000-horsepower 426 Hemi engine at SEMA 2018. World so not shocked. World thinks it’s awesome anyway. World right.

1968 Dodge Super Charger concept car
Photo by Bill Hayward.
You’ve got to give FCA credit: they sure know how to put on one Hellephant of a show at a tradeshow.

A ginormous crowd was gathered at the FCA booth on the lower level South Hall at the Las Vegas convention center, well ahead of the traditional 4:26 p.m. start time, commemorating the 426-cubic-inch displacement of the original Mopar hemi engine.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Kia absolutely crushes it at SEMA with stunning DUB custom Stinger, K900

2019 DUB Kia Stinger
2019 DUB Kia Stinger custom build at SEMA 2018.
Photo by Bill Hayward
At their opening-day press conferences at SEMA 2018 yesterday, some of the other major automakers drew bigger crowds than Kia did, and had more to boast about in terms of new developments like performance upgrades.

But Kia stole the show when it comes to customizations that can surprise and delight a crowd by bringing out hidden potential, provoking a fresh reassessment of strengths in their production lineup that could be easy to overlook.

This was especially true of two of Kia’s eight reveals at SEMA: a 2019 Kia Stinger and a 2019 Kia K900, both reinterpreted by DUB, the southern-California-based magazine publisher and customizer.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Nexen Tire announces more booths at SEMA, salutes injured veterans with hot Dodge Challenger build

Nexen Tire custom Purple Heart Dodge Challenger build
Photo: Nexen Tire America
Nexen Tire America announced yesterday that they are expanding their booth locations for the 2018 SEMA Show (Las Vegas, October 30–November 1), where they will showcase five custom builds, including the Custom Nexen Tire Purple Heart Dodge Challenger R/T, on display in Booth #61012 along with Nexen’s other show vehicles.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Yes, young people are interested in driving and accessorizing cars, SEMA research finds

Ford EcoSport
Photo: Ford Media Center
Whether your business is cars or automotive accessories, if you’re a smart business operator you know that a thorough, data-enriched understanding of demographics is critical to your success—at least in the long run.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

See you at SEMA 2018?

Classic car on display at SEMA 2018.
Photo: SEMA.
Yes, it’s official. Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster will indeed be represented at SEMA 2018 (October 30-November 2 in Las Vegas) this year, by yours truly.

I will of course want to check out the many cool builds scheduled to be on display, like the Maxlider Brothers/Union Pacific Industries 1966 Ford Bronco resto-mod and the Prestone Javelin AMX by Ringbrothers. Watch for photos of goodies like these to show up on our website and social media.  I plan to be posting throughout the show to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

If you’re shopping for a $450,000 car, here’s some good news: Ford will make an extra 350 Ford GT supercars

2019 Ford GT
Photo: Ford Media Center
Apparently, there are more people around with an extra $450,000 burning holes in their pockets, because Ford announced on Thursday that they will increase production of the current-generation Ford GT to 1,350, up from the 1,000 they had originally planned.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Eat your heart out, Tesla—check out this cool electric car that a Nissan predecessor company built over 70 years ago.

1947 Tama electric car.
Photo: Nissan Official Media Newsroom.
OK. So it’s not quite as sleek and sexy as a Tesla Roadster.

But this vintage 1947 Tama electric vehicle built by Tokyo Electro Automobile Co., Ltd., has a funky charm of its own. And for Japanese car enthusiasts, it might be pretty cool to think that a company that is part of Nissan’s history was thinking this early about the benefits of electrification, in response to an energy crisis of its time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Chevrolet set to show off new crate engines in delicious vintage Chevy builds at SEMA 2018

1873 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna build - SEMA 2018
Photo: Chevrolet Pressroom.
If the term “crate engine” makes you think only of the “Put a 350 in it, man!” crowd, it might be time for you to take a fresh look.

While it may be true that, as Matt Farah observed during a chat with Jalopnik’s Kurt Bradley on The Smoking Tire podcast this week, a lot more people are talking on the Interwebs about doing crazy LS swaps these days than actually doing them, the Chevrolet crate engine lineup offers a considerable depth and breadth of swap-friendly options, with nearly 50 motors to choose from.

Monday, October 15, 2018

GM says optional extended ‘bumper-to-bumper’ warranty ‘breaks new ground’

Photo: GM Corporate Newsroom.
Coming off a rough third quarter that saw an 11 percent sales drop, GM now seems to be betting that an option announced today to purchase a “no questions asked” limited warranty offering an extended period of “bumper-to-bumper” coverage will be enough to entice more consumers to buy a new Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, or Cadillac vehicle.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

If you’re interested in automotive industry jobs, FCA might make you very happy, survey says

Recruiters greet candidates at an FCA job fair.
Photo: FCA USMedia Website
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) stated this week that they have scored among the top companies in the United States—not just in the car business, but overall—in providing a positive, transparent, and insightful experience for career seekers.

The automaker’s performance as a prospective employer was good enough this year to earn them a 2018 North American Candidate Experience Award (CandE Award), in a competition organized each year by Talent Board, a nonprofit that conducts research on the quality of the job candidate experience.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Well, son of a DAT: Here’s one vintage Datsun/Nissan product that you probably won’t find a tuner chip for

1933 Nissan Phaeton
Photo: Nissan USA Official Media Newsroom
My weekly travels often involve a stop at a strip shopping center where there is both an e-cig store and a Domino’s pizza location. No, I’m not patronizing either of those establishments—my weekly visits have an entirely different purpose that there’s no real need to go into.

Apparently, having both a vaping store and a mostly-delivery pizza joint in the neighborhood is the perfect formula for making a parking lot look like there’s a cars and coffee for the tuner-dudes crowd going on, even when there is not a planned car-guys event taking place.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Dammerman car collection helps drive Saratoga Auto Auction to nearly $6 million in sales

Auctioneer sells vehicles at the 2018 Saratoga Auto Auction
Photo: Saratoga Automobile Museum.
The Saratoga Automobile Museum has credited the 44-vehicle Dennis Dammerman car collection, consigned by the estate of the late GE Vice Chairman Dennis Dammerman, with an important role in propelling sales to nearly $6 million in the second annual Saratoga Auto Auction on September 21 and 22 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

We’re looking forward to seeing this stunning 1966 Ford Bronco resto-mod at SEMA 2018

A blue and white 1966 Ford Bronco resto-mod
Photo: United Pacific Industries.
To restore, or to resto-mod?

In the automotive hobby, it’s one of those eternal questions of nearly Shakespearean proportions. And it’s a question that can become very personal and emotionally charged depending on the point of view of the individual enthusiast.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The votes are in: and this year’s SEMA Award finalists are…

2018 SEMA Award finalists.
Photo: SEMA.
The Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association announced yesterday that automotive-industry exhibitors of the upcoming 2018 SEMA Show (October 30–November 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center) have voted to select finalists for the SEMA Award, which honors automakers for producing accessory-friendly vehicles.

Finalists for the 2018 SEMA Award were selected in five categories: car, truck, 4x4/SUV, sport compact, and powersports vehicle—the latter of which is a newly created category for the SEMA Awards competition. Awards will be presented to winners at the SEMA Vehicle Reveal in Las Vegas on Monday, October 29, the day before the official opening of the 2018 SEMA show.

Friday, October 5, 2018

RECALL ALERT: Toyota recalls nearly 170,000 Tundra, Sequoia, and Avalon vehicles

Photo: Toyota USA Newsroom.
Approximately 168,000 Toyota vehicles, including certain 2018–2019 Toyota Tundra pickups and Toyota Sequoia SUVs, as well as some 2019 Toyota Avalon passenger cars, are being recalled to address an airbag defect, the automaker announced today.

Citing “inappropriate programming,” Toyota states that the airbag electronic control unit (ECU) may erroneously detect a fault as the vehicle starts, potentially disabling one or more of the crash-detection sensors. If a crash occurs in these conditions, the result could be the failure to deploy of side curtain airbags, front and knee airbags, or both, increasing the risk of injury.

RECALL ALERT: Toyota recalls more than 800,000 Prius and Prius v vehicles

Photo: Toyota USA newsroom.
Toyota announced a safety recall today that affects some 807,000 vehicles in the United States, including 2010-2014 model year Toyota Prius and 2012-2014 Prius v vehicles.

The automaker states that, in certain situations, the affected vehicles may not enter failsafe driving mode as they are designed to do in response to certain hybrid system faults. In this situation, the vehicle may lose power and stall. Although Toyota states that power steering and braking would remain operational, a stall at higher speeds could make a crash more likely.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Automotive safety technology might save your life… but it might not save you much money on your car insurance, study finds

blind spot monitoring
Photo: FCA Media website.
Research organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are now compiling evidence that automotive technology features like blind-spot monitoring and lane departure alerts are proving effective in preventing accidents, as reported in the Insurance Journal and elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fiat Chrysler reports record September sales, Ford and GM down

2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Photo: FCA Media website.
September sales reports from the automotive industry are out. Although it turned out to be a bearish month for two of the Big Three, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles boasted their biggest September in nearly two decades, with sales of 199,819 vehicles led by Ram and Jeep.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster recognized on top automotive blogs list

Feedspot, a news aggregation and topic-driven content discovery website, has recognized Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster on its international list of top automotive blogs that “every car enthusiast must read.”

Gaining entry to this list puts Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster in the respected company of such widely know automotive websites as Motor Trend Magazine, Car and Driver, Autoblog, and Jalopnik.

In their evaluation process for inclusion on this list, Feedspot ranks blogs on a set of criteria that includes:

  • Reputation and ranking in Google
  • Popularity and influence on social media sites
  • Content quality, consistency, and frequency

Each website is also individually vetted by Feedspot’s editorial team.

“It is delightful that Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster, after less than one year of publishing history, has been able to make enough of an impact in the online automotive media space to gain entry to Feedspot’s list of top blogs in the category,” said Bill Hayward, Editor & Publisher, Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster.

“As always, I am grateful for the support of the readers who are already enjoying our content, and hopeful that our presence on Feedspot will facilitate our discovery by more enthusiasts who share our passion for maximizing their enjoyment of automotive life and culture—no matter what they drive.”

Monday, October 1, 2018

Waking up to the debate about the efficiency and environmental impact of electric vehicles

I guess I really do eat this stuff for breakfast.

When I awakened this morning, the first things I saw in both my Facebook feed and my email inbox were highly relevant to the ongoing debate on the merits of electric vehicles. The first was a Facebook post featuring photos of a Tesla at a charging station, and the second was an e-mailed press release announcing a partnership between technology company Semcon and hydrogen fuel-cell producer Powercell.

Friday, September 28, 2018

In the mood for something retro? How about a new Fiat 500 1957 Edition?

1957 Fiat 500 ad
Photo: FCA Media website.
It’s hard to keep up with the many flavors of Fiat 500. Clearly, a Fiat 500 is not for everybody. The basic characteristics of the variations that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) markets under the 500 nameplate invite a number of obvious criticisms—too small, too quirky-looking for some tastes, too underpowered.

And for a car that looks so bleepin’ little, they’re actually surprisingly heavy—not a great quality if you’re looking for a small car that you can have fun chucking around.

But, if nothing else, the Fiat 500 lineup adds a lot of personality to an automotive market today that, overall, from a design perspective, at least, is pretty humdrum and samey-samey. For the driver who simply wants to stand out as different or make some kind of a contrarian statement, a Fiat 500 fits the bill quite well.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Vintage car with no Bluetooth? Amazon’s new Echo Auto could be a good solution.

Vintage Plymouth AM car radio
Photo: Tiffany Bailey (Wikimedia Commons).
Amazon announced a new device last week that could expand smartphone connectivity options to those of us who drive older cars that haven’t been upgraded with aftermarket stereos featuring all the fancy-schmancy Bluetooth technology.

As long as your car stereo has a 3.5mm auxiliary input, you’ll be able to plug in the new Amazon Echo Auto, which can then connect to your smartphone through the Alexa app, enabling you to use Alexa voice commands to access features available through your existing phone plan, such as music, navigation, and hands-free calling.

Friday, September 21, 2018

A car that we’re glad exists: Nissan announces pricing for the 2019 Versa Note

2019 Nissan Versa Note
Photo: Nissan Media Newsroom.
With a 1.6 liter, four-cylinder powerplant that makes 109 horsepower, the 2019 Versa Note is not an enthusiast’s dream. It does not exactly qualify as a hot hatch that’ll take you on a thrill ride. That’s in spite of Nissan press materials that seem to be trying to hint in the direction of the hot-hatch vibe, with their reference to the vehicle’s “sporty hatchback design” appealing to buyers looking for “an added level of style to go with a hatchback’s 5-door utility.”

But new cars are expensive today. And with MSRPs for 2019 ranging from $15,650 to $18,360, which Nissan announced on Wednesday, the Versa Note gives you a lot for the money.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Don’t forget: the Dammerman Car Collection goes up for sale Friday at the Saratoga Auto Auction

Dammerman Car Collection
Photo: Saratoga Auto Auction.
If you’re interested in bidding on pristine-quality mid-century American muscle cars, sports cars, or other collector-quality American vehicles of various vintages, you might not want to overlook the second annual Saratoga Auto Auction, which runs this Friday, September 21, and Saturday September 22, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

‘Off-road cruise control?’ Ford’s new Trail Control feature for the F-150 Raptor actually sounds like a good idea—but maybe they should position it a little differently

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor with Trail Control
Photo: Ford Media Center.
By Bill Hayward
If you’re like me, you use cruise control as a means of restraint in higher-speed situations, to try to keep the velocity a little lower and decrease the odds of your driving pleasure being interrupted by red-and-blue lights when you’re on a long roadtrip in your favorite silky-smooth, miles-devouring highway cruiser.

Monday, September 10, 2018

If you're not yet hip to the wonders of diesel culture, steer your cable box to Diesel Brothers on Discovery tonight

Diesel Brothers with Jose Caballero
Photo: Discovery Communications.
According to Discovery Communications, tonight's episode of Diesel Brothers on Discovery Channel and Discovery Go (Monday, September 10 at 10 PM ET/PT) is a big one.

In the episode, the fun-loving, truck-building men of Dieselsellerz, known for crazy online videos and over-the-top diesel builds, will be showing a better side of the American spirit to a Hispanic-American family that, as graphically documented in a smartphone video that went viral, was unfortunately exposed to some of the worst of 'Murican behavior when their truck broke down at a campground.

Friday, September 7, 2018

It’s a little late to announce back-to-school specials, but for a college kid with around $20K to spend, the 2019 MINI Oxford Edition is a pretty cool idea

2019 MINI Oxford Edition 2-Door and 4-Door versions
Photo: BMW Group Press Club.
Cars that are relatively inexpensive when new but still offer some level of an enthusiast-oriented driving experience aren’t exactly plentiful on the market these days.

And now that the industry—in the U.S., at least—seems to think everyone wants a crossover, “cheap sports cars” might become even harder to come by.

But there are a few around, like the Toyota 86 / Subaru BRZ twins and, of course, the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

And then there is MINI.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Lexus previews the 2019 RC Coupe, with official reveal promised for the Paris Motor Show in October

Photo: Toyota USA Newsroom.
Personal luxury coupes may be all but extinct among American automakers, but continuing apace with the category is Lexus, announcing refinements yesterday for the 2019 RC and offering a preview ahead of an official reveal set for October.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Ford says ‘Nothing to report’ on Mustang Mach 1 50th anniversary plans

Photo: Ford Media Center.
So it seems that it’s official: Ford won’t be doing anything in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Mustang Mach 1, which made its debut in 1969.

“I have nothing to report for Mach 1,” Ford spokesman Jiyan Cadiz told Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster, in an email. “As you probably know, we played with the nameplate trim earlier this year. But as far as our current Mustang lineup goes, our focus for 2019 is Mustang Bullitt—celebrating 50 years of the iconic movie and movie car, plus an upgraded Shelby GT350.”

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Be still, my heart: the Jaguar E-Type is coming back—sort of.

Silver Jaguar E-Type Series I roadster
Photo: Jaguar Newsroom
By Bill Hayward
Three days ago, it was officially announced that the childhood dream car that I’ve never owned is making a comeback of sorts.

And I almost missed the press release in my inbox.

But I finally found it, and my heart almost skipped a beat when I read it: Jaguar Classic confirmed on Thursday that they will offer all-electric E-Types for sale, branded as E-Type Zero to emphasize the zero-emissions profile of the powertrain.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Can we talk about size for a moment? Car size, that is?

2nd-generation Toyota Yaris and 6th-generation Toyota Corolla
From top: 2nd-generation Toyota Yaris and
6th-generation Toyota Corolla.
Photos: Toyota USA Newsroom.
Size perception can be very, very relative and subjective. And if there is one thing that can demonstrate that for us, it’s the fluctuations that have taken place in car sizes over the years.

By car size, I’m referring to every dimension: overall and curb weight, overall height, overall width, wheelbase, you name it. And the relative nature of how we perceive car size can apply to all of these dimensions. Just how deceptive and relative our perceptions of car size can be was driven home for me recently, when I realized something about two vehicles my next-door neighbor owns.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

GM’s Mark Reuss at Holden Headquarters: ‘Make no mistake, we’re moving to a driverless future’

Holden engineer Rob Trubiani. Photo: GM Holden Pressroom
So how do you feel about the future of autonomous motoring—or of a so-called “driverless future?”

If you’re reading Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster, chances are you have mixed feelings at best about autonomous vehicles in general. And, looking 10 or 20 years ahead, you’re probably a lot more comfortable with the vision of a world in which you still have at least a choice about whether you or a computer will be in control of your personal vehicles.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

T-Birds go up to 11: in defense of the 11th-generation Ford Thunderbird?

Yellow 2002-2005 Ford Thunderbird convertible
2002-2005 Ford Thunderbird. Photo by IFCARE (Wikimedia Commons).
By Bill Hayward
Although I do remember running across a short news story or two when the new, retro-styled 2002 Ford Thunderbird was about to debut, I have to say that these cars were essentially not on my radar at the time—even less so ever since, until very recently. 

Part of the reason for that, of course, is that at the time I was at a much more of a practical-minded lifestage when it came to vehicle needs. Transportation options like minivans and SUVs were top-of-mind, not two-seater roadsters. It was just this year that I started thinking again about the 11th-generation Ford Thunderbird and getting curious about what I might have missed by not paying attention when it was still in production.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Is Ford actually going to miss the 50th anniversary of the Mustang Mach 1?

Photo by Bill Hayward for Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster.
By Bill Hayward
Fall is just a few weeks away. We’re already deep into end-of-model-year season and the new model-year launch season. The launch of the 2019 Mustang Bullitt edition has been essentially a year-long process, and the Bullitt press cars are out and working their way through the journalistic food chain.

But the model year we are entering is 2019. And 50 years ago, something very big in the history of Mustang happened: the launch of the first Mach 1. 1969 was an important year for Mustang performance packages. In addition to the Mach 1, the Boss 302, Boss 429, Shelby GT350, Shelby GT500 packages were available.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

44 sports cars, convertibles, coupes, and more from the Dammerman collection up for no-reserve auction in Saratoga Springs next month

American sports cars, convertibles, and coupes from the Dammerman collection
Photo: Saratoga Auto Auction
The Saratoga Automobile Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York, announced yesterday that 44 vehicles from the personal collection of the late GE executive Dennis Dammerman will be up for sale with no reserve at the Saratoga Auto Auction on September 21 and 22.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Will the next Dodge Charger be a badge-engineered Alfa Romeo Giulia? Let’s assess the pros and cons

Front view split screen of Dodge Charger SRT and Alfa Romeo Giulia
FROM LEFT: Dodge Charger SRT and Alfa Romeo Giulia.
Photos: FCA US Media Website. 
The untimely loss of Sergio Marchionne is of course tragic—for his family, for FCA, and for the automotive industry.

Yet the true extent of his legacy in transforming the automaker he led may still lie ahead for us to see.

While listening to the most recent episode of the Motorweek podcast yesterday, I heard the panelists discussing a set of related automotive rumors that I had somehow missed: rumors about the design future of the Dodge Charger.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Rolls Royce is taking a selection of their bespoke motor cars on a summer tour of some of Europe’s swankiest leisure destinations

Handcrafted surfboard mounted atop a Rolls-Royce
Photo: BMW Group PressClub.
If you're part of the crowd that uses the word summer as a verb and need an extra thing or two to do as you lounge about in some of Europe’s most swanky leisure destinations this season, you just might have a chance to include Rolls Royce spotting as one of your ways of passing the time. But you'd better move quickly.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Let's all pause for a moment and give the 10 millionth Mustang the moment of honor it deserves

Formation of cars celebrating the 10 millionth Ford Mustang
Photo: Ford Media Center
What can you say about a single American automotive model that forever changed the everyday car owner’s sense of what the driving experience can be, and that has now endured for more than half a century?

On Wednesday, Ford marked a major milestone in automotive history with the production of the 10 millionth Ford Mustang at the Flat Rock Assembly plant in Michigan. Just to reach that production number with one brand, now in its sixth generation, is a momentous achievement.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Should hybrid owners use a special fuel additive? David Kaiser of LIQUI MOLY says "Yes"

Porsche Cayenne plug-in hybrid
Porsche Cayenne plug-in hybrid crossover. Photo: Porsche Newsroom.
If you drive a hybrid, should you be worried about the health of its internal-combustion “backup engine?”

David Kaiser, head of research and development at LIQUI MOLY, an automotive lubricant and additive manufacturing company based in Germany, says you should.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Brother, can you spare 2 million Euros? Then you just might be able to get one of the 99 MILAN RED hypercars that will be produced.

MILAN RED hypercar
Photo: MILAN Automotive GmbH
The MILAN RED, a new hypercar from the Austria-based startup MILAN Automotive GmbH, made its official debut at the company’s first official press conference last Thursday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

One of the most stunning concept cars we've seen all year is... wait for it... a Hyundai

Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept car.
Photo: Hyundai Media Center.
On Friday, one of the most visually stunning sports coupe concepts that we’ve seen in the past year will be on display for the first time at the 40th Annual Concours d’Elegance of America in Plymouth, Michigan, which runs July 27–29.

And that concept car is coming from none other than Hyundai.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Fear the pinch: The market for technology to keep us safe from the hazards of automotive power windows is growing 10 percent per year, report says.

Selected statistics on the global automotive power window anti-pinch technology market.
Infographic: Technavio.
If you’re like me, you sometimes feel a little ambivalent about all the technology that, while convenient and helpful in many ways, can make our automobiles so bleepin’ complex these days. Not to mention that truism that has been long-uttered by those resistant to change that every additional accessory or tech feature in a car is just another thing that can break.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Classic Car Show podcast with Steve Rinaldo and Jim Weber is back. And now I want to buy a Model A Ford and get DNA tests for my cars.

Henry Ford drives the 20 millionth Model A Ford. Photo:
Ford Media Center.
Earlier this week, I was thrilled to find that The Classic Car Show podcast has returned to cyberspace, with new episodes posted on America’s Web Radio.

Back in February, when we published a story on some of our favorite automotive podcasts, I mentioned that I was a little worried about the future of The Classic Car Show, distributed on America’s Web Radio and hosted mostly by Steve Rinaldo, Jim Weber, and occasional guest hosts.

Monday, July 16, 2018

10,000 Lakes Concours, set for Sunday, to feature ’35 Duesenberg, ’71 Hemi ’Cuda, a Batmobile, and more

1935 Duesenberg Model SJ
1935 Duesenberg Model SJ, photographed at the Louwman museum.
Another example will be on display Sunday at the 10,000 Lakes
Concours d'Elegance. Photo by AlfvanBeem (WikiMedia Commons).
Tickets remain available for the 6th annual 10,000 Lakes Concours d’Elegance, set for Sunday, July 22, on the Excelsior Commons along the shores of Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior, Minnesota.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

2017 Ferrari motorsports documentary set for wide video on-demand release July 24

In case you missed the documentary Ferrari: Race to Immortality when it launched with mixed reviews to DVD last fall, you will soon have another viewing option. According to an announcement from Freestyle Digital Media, the film will launch widely to video on demand platforms on Tuesday, July 24.

Auto Enthusiasts Newsblaster will publish additional details about viewing options as we receive them. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the trailer above.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

So which U.S. automaker might be getting ready to make motorcycles with enhanced location-based services?

Dodge Tomahawk concept motorcycle.
Dodge Tomahawk concept motorcycle. Photo: Elambeth (posted to
Wikimedia Commons).
Yesterday, a technology company called Comtech Telecommunications Corp issued a press release boasting about a new $1.9 million contract with a leading U.S. automotive manufacturer to develop a new navigation product.

What was odd about the press release is that the U.S. automaker involved was not named. But the press release did tease one tidbit: it said that the manufacturer will use Comtech’s navigation product “for two of its top vehicle programs, including motorcycles.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Bridgestone confirms continued sponsorship of biennial 1,878-mile race of solar-powered cars

Solar-powered race car at the starting line of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Darwin, Australia.
Photo: Bridgestone media website.
With some motorsports events and venues, you can be confident that nearly every enthusiast knows about them. Even if you’re a newcomer, it won’t be very long before you start stumbling across references to the benchmark events of the sport, like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Monday, July 9, 2018

It’s ba-aaaack! Toyota’s motorsports program makes it official: Supra will return to the track in 2019 NASCAR season

Toyota's Supra build for the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series
Toyota Xfinity Supra. Photo: Toyota USA Newsroom
Toyota announced last week that the automaker’s official racing program will return the Toyota Supra to the track next year, with the debut set for Saturday, February 16, 2019, in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Are 9th- and 10th-generation V8 Ford Thunderbirds underrated?

Red 1992 Ford Thunderbird parked in a crowded lot.
10th-Generation Ford Thunderbird. Photo by Charles01
(posted to WikiMedia Commons).
So yesterday I was making a quick stop at McDonald’s, to grab my daughter a couple of McChickens and myself an Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich and a coffee, when what I eventually realized was a 10th-generation Ford Thunderbird caught my eye.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Meet the new 2019 Buick LaCrosse ST.

A red 2019 Buick LaCrosse ST speeds past an office complex.
Photo: Buick Pressroom
Chevrolet may be moving in the direction of phasing out larger sedans like the Impala, but look on the bright side: we still have the Buick LaCrosse.

Personally, my taste has always run most toward the first-generation Buick LaCrosse, which clearly shared many styling cues with the last-generation Buick Riviera coupe—an example of which I am a proud owner.