December 2, 2016: This week Ford held a giant press conference to introduce the 2018 Fiesta. Interestingly, it isn’t scheduled to go on sale in Europe for seven months, and there was little information as to how the U.S. version will differ from its European counterpart. Speaking of Europe, Volkswagen released its plan to transform the brand in light of the diesel scandal, and the growing trend toward electrification. But is it the right recipe and direction for the brand and company? Mazda’s new CX-9 deftly straddles the sport, tech and luxury segments with a unique and capable mid-to-large crossover with very few vices. But is it enough to break through the clutter, and finally put some sales on the board for the scrappy automaker from Hiroshima? The Mini John Cooper Works Rally is a unique crossover, one designed to compete in grueling events like the Dakar. We take a look under its unusual skin in search of the Mini beneath. Cadillac is returning to endurance racing, this time with IMSA in the Daytona Prototype international class. Read why its uniqueness is pretty much skin deep. Rounding out the racing theme, the Virtual Collection has a pair ofracers with deep NASCAR roots. Both come from Ford, but one was destined for Le Mans, and the other the high banked ovals.