April 22, 2016: Ford announced it will raze and rebuild its research and engineering center, and significantly upgrade its world headquarters campus over the next few years. We take a look at what the changes will bring. Speaking of change, we get together with Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan, DeltaWing designer Ben Bowlby and Acura’s creative director Dave Marek to look at Le Mans in 2030, and what is in store for racing. Honda pulled the wraps off its 2017 Accord Hybrid, which has been missing in action, and revealed a car at the top of its class. It also announced additions to the Clarity FCV fuel cell vehicle family, with a battery-only version and a plug-in hybrid waiting in the wings. After realizing that current rearview cameras and sensors would not recognize his own son, a Harman International engineer created a software-based system that pretty much eliminates the problem. ContiTech creates a lightweight plastic engine mount system for the 2016 Chevy Malibu and strut mounts for the Cadillac CT6. Silverstone Auctions reveals its next big sale: a recreation of the Mercedes 300 SLR that won the 1955 Mille Miglia. And Mercedes and Aston Martin join up with yacht makers to design automotive-themed yachts for the super wealthy. We drive the Mazda CX-3, a small crossover large on style, and Blue Springs Ford Parts produces an interesting infographic comparing the original Taurus SHO with the latest model.
April 8, 2016: We start this issue with an account of the early days inside Championship Auto Racing Teams, the organization that used to run Indy car racing, and why you should never eat a hamburger in Manhattan. Next up is a look behind the mountains of hype surrounding Tesla’s Model 3, and whether this “affordable” battery powered sedan spells the end of internal combustion or the power of positive thinking and showmanship. Then we take a trip to Michigan’s west coast to visit LG Chem’s plant to see how the battery packs for the Chevy Bolt are made, and what we can expect from GM’s modular EV platform. Ford, meanwhile, shows how well-trained technicians are being used to listen for defects in the Focus RS motor. Hitachi and Honda work together on a portable breathalyzer for your car that fits in your pocket. A Chinese company launches plans for the country’s first supercar, but its technology sounds suspiciously familiar… and English. Peugeot announces plans to return to the North American market, and we show how – despite protests to the contrary – Fiat Chrysler could play a role in its return. Plus, we ponder why the sleeker, more sophisticated, and better driving Mazda6 falls short in the sales department to Kia’s Optima.