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.