December 19, 2014: Ford’s Transit 250 High Roof is a big box on wheels, just what you need when have large items to carry. We take the Transit on a long drive to see if its efficiency extends beyond how much it can carry. One person who may need a Transit is Lotus chassis engineering chief Matthew Becker. He’s on his way to Aston-Martin, and should be more than capable of removing the harsh, “bred on the Nurburgring” ride that drives Top Gear’s James May rightly crazy. Speaking of the guys from Gaydon, Becker might just want to take a look at Aston partner Mercedes’ new GLE Coupe for his company car. On the tech front, Ford introduced a new version of SYNC, that does everything it hoped MyFord Touch would do, but didn’t. Jaguar shows a concept of how “clear” pillars would improve driver visibility. And BMW shows a self-parking i3 controlled by a smartwatch. On the lifestyle beat, we preview a neat iPhone 6 case created by a motorcycle designer that needs your help to get kick started. GAZ creates a family of shock absorbers for classic Chevys. And we take a look at some watches your inner Helio Castroneves might desire. Closer to home, or at least to the couch, our own Al Vinikour waxes lyrical about televised police chases.
December 5, 2014: A quick trip to San Diego to drive the 2015 Chevy Trax reveals a compelling, complete and capable small crossover that’s high on content, but low on personality. The same can’t be said of Fiat’s 500X, which combines the cheeky styling and attitude of the 500 hatchback with the underpinnings of Jeep’s Renegade. Mercedes is working on high-tech LED headlights it believes will be more than a match for laser headlights. And while that technology is lighting the way to the future, Volvo has a decidedly low-tech, but effective, solution to determining whether interior odors are acceptable or too strong. We also take a look at the hard-knock life of The Henry Ford’s Le Mans winning Ford GT Mk. IV to see the difference between conservation and restoration. And our own Al Vinikour comes clean with a personal admission, and a challenge to automakers.