November 18, 2016: This week’s L.A. Auto Show launched a lot of new vehicles, most of which were of the crossover variety. First up (alphabetically) is Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio. Based on the Giulia sedan, the all-wheel drive crossover has a sporting nature bred more for the Nurburgring than the Rubicon. Chevy’s Colorado ZR2, however, makes up for any shortcomings the Alfa might have. This über off-road machine has special Multimatic dampers, 31-in. tires, the option of diesel power, and could force Ford to build a “Raptor Jr.” version of the new Ranger. Chevy’s Spark Activ, on the other hand, is a trim level meant to mimic the styling of off-road vehicles. It either proves that crossovers and SUVs are the price of entry in the market, or that the industry is quickly running out of ideas. Then there’s the Ford EcoSport. Built on the Fiesta platform, this Indian-built micro crossover offers the option of all-wheel drive, and is Ford’s late entry into this hot market. Jaguar’s I-Pace Concept previews the British automaker’s upcoming battery powered crossover. Built on a modular skateboard chassis, it is the first of what promises to be many EVs from Jaguar. Mazda used the show to introduce its new CX-5 which is built on a revised version of the current model’s platform. This tasteful update brings the small crossover more in line with the range topping CX-9, which is not a bad thing. Toyota, on the other hand, used the show to debut the production version of the C-HR, a crossover with claimed sports car overtones and (unfortunately) a CVT. Audi showed its new suite of 5s, including the Q5, A5 and S5 Coupe, and A5 and S5 Sportback. Mazda also pulled the covers off its RT24-P prototype that will debut this January at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Jaguar also showed the preview model of its continuation build of the nine XKSS cars lost in the fire at the Browns Lane factory in 1957. Scrupulously detailed, the cars are exact copies of the original, and all are spoken for. In a similar vein, the Virtual Collection looks at a pair of modern recreations of the Porsche 911 RSR. Far from tool room copies, they capture the essence of the original, and mix it with modern technology and individual style. Finally, Aston Martin introduced the latest generation Vanquish S. This tasteful hot rod starts at $294,950.
November 7, 2016: We've made a small but significant change to our rules for the Sta-Bil giveaway. Instead of awarding the prizes to the correct entry with the earliest time stamp, all correct entries will be entered for the sweepstakes, and the winner chosen at random from those entries. As a number of readers have pointed out, this levels the playing field for all entrants. Fortunately, we have yet to receive a correct entry for the contest (It's not that tough of a question!), so everyone who enters has the same chance of winning.
November 4, 2016: For the first time in the five-year history of this website, we’re running a contest. The winner will receive a 32-ounce bottle of Sta-Bil Storage and a $50 Amazon gift code, both from the Golden Eagle Co., makers of Sta-Bil. These are the same people who have created a new way to take care of the fuel system of your classic car, motorcycle, ATV or other gasoline-powered vehicle, Sta-Bil 360° Performance. We take a look at some of the misconceptions that have built up around use of Sta-Bil Storage, and the properties that help the brand’s new product keep the metal fuel system parts free from corrosion. One item you might want to consider for Sta-Bil’s new formula is Mopar’s new kit to help you put a factory fresh modern Hemi in a 1975 or earlier Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth. It’s just one part of Mopar’s effort to help restorers and modifiers build a car with factory approved parts. The other is the creation of a website for restorers that provides technical and parts location assistance by providing access to more than 45 approved Mopar parts licensees and 9,000+ restoration parts. What they won’t have are parts for the newest members of the Virtual Collection, a 1904 Packard race car, a 1929 Stutz Blackhawk, and a house. But not just any house. This 2,000-acre ranch was once the vacation home of Henry Bourne Joy, the former head of Packard. This week we take a look at VW’s Atlas SUV, and why it has taken so long to move from the CrossBlue concept to the production crossover. Slightly smaller, but no less German, is the new British-built Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. Not only does it have an impossibly long name, it’s Mini’s first plug-in hybrid. Next up is Hyundai’s 2017 Elantra Sport, a Jetta GLI for the Korean automaker. It boasts 201 horsepower, a multi-link independent rear suspension, and a reasonable price. Finally, we take a look at Volvo’s plans to move S90 production to China, revamp its global production strategy, and launch a Chinese brand off its smallest platform.