October 21, 2016: In one of the most unexpected tie ups, Harrods and Caterham have joined forces to produce the most luxurious Seven ever. Hand-stitched leather, a woodgrain instrument panel, and a gold-painted chassis add a side of decadence to this iconic sports car. Audi, known for its tasteful interiors and tech, hasn’t built a competitor to the Harrods Seven, but its own 7 — the Q7 — gives it a run for the money in the tastefulness sweepstakes. Unfortunately, its focus on tech hits a few speed bumps, and diminishes its soul to the point where it points to the way to the autonomous drones of the future. Technology has its positive side as well, like when it produces a machine that helps Ford keep tons of modeling clay out of landfills. Or when it brings a new dimension to the 2017 BMW 5 Series, a sport sedan that reduces passenger stress while increasing dynamic capabilities. More down to earth is the 2017 Honda CR-V, the fifth generation small SUV that puts turbo power under the hood for the first time. Power also is point of Ford Performance’s upgrade kits for the Mustang. There’s one for the EcoBoost four and three for the V8, each with its own factory approved and backed tuning. Hyundai’s U.K. branch joined forces with a behavioral psychologist to create a Driving Emotion Test that shows women are significantly angrier behind the wheel than men. We share the results. For some, washing and waxing their vehicle is enough to melt away the stress, but choosing the right products to use can induce its own stress and strain. We evaluate the Stoner Car Care Kit by detailing an unusual vehicle that has a long history of hard work and minimal cosmetic attention. This week’s Virtual Collection takes a look at two unusual cars built by a pair of men who were, to say the least, unconventional. The Arnolt Bristol and Muntz Jet may have never set the world on fire, but made it a more interesting place. Finally, we take a quick look at four vehicles that crossed our path and made strong impressions, though not always good.
October 6, 2016: Alternative fuels and power sources play a big role in this issue. First up is a look at the electric vehicle landscape with Navigant Research Senior Research, Energy, Scott Shepard. Though the market for EVs is growing, it is being driven largely by regulation and rebate. Also, Shepard shows how the markets casual observers think are ripe for EV penetration are places where they are unlikely to make major inroads. Which, of course, brings us to two EV concepts that are precursors to production vehicles from their respective companies. First up is the Mercedes Generation EQ, an awkwardly named crossover built on a scalable base, and offering all-wheel drive. It’s followed by the car VW hopes is its ticket out of cheating on diesel emissions purgatory, the VW I.D. Similar in size to the Golf, the long-range EV also is built on a scalable modular platform, but only drives the rear wheels. And, like the original Beetle, the powertrain is in the rear. Not to be outdone, Chevy built the Colorado ZH2, an off-road test platform designed for military use that is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. It shares its fuel cell tech with the Unmanned Underwater Vehicle GM is building with the military, and carries on a long tradition of fuel cell research that dates back to 1966. On a slightly shorter time scale, Civic will offer a standard six-speed manual gearbox on certain turbocharged models of the 2017 Civic Sedan and Coupe. It also debuted the Type R concept at the Paris Motor Show, the first factory-backed Type R ever to make it to U.S. shores for retail sale. Halleluiah! However, if all of this technology has you overwhelmed, our Editor at Large takes a look back at two cars that defined America’s Sixties style and swagger, the Thunderbird Sports Roadster and Buick Riviera. They also provide an answer for their respective automakers as they struggle to reestablish their luxury brands.