July 31, 2015: It was a week full of travel and new vehicle ride-and-drives. First up is Hyundai’s 2016 Tucson, a vehicle we previewed in the last issue. Will it put Hyundai back in the thick of things and arrest its eroding sales growth, or is it more of the same? Next up are Scion’s latest offerings, the iA sedan and iM hatchback. They’re not exactly what we have come to expect from Toyota’s youth-oriented brand, but they might just be what the doctor ordered. Audi, meanwhile, showed its latest lighting effort: OLEDs. These organic LEDs have great promise, and could bring big changes to lighting and so much more. Our latest Notes of Note have gone to the dogs, the used car lot and the race track, while introducing a new way to keep your expensive wheel and tire package where it belongs — on your car. Stop us if you’ve heard this one. A man goes into a bar, and walks out with a 1959 Cooper Monaco race car! Don’t believe it? You can find all of the details here. And while you ponder that conundrum, Al Vinikour hooks a few cars to his train of thought, and remembers automotive tech and accessories from days past.
July 17, 2015: Renault introduces a new full-size sedan built off a new family of modular platforms that it calls the Talisman. Sleek and handsome, its architecture eventually will replace that of Nissan’s large sedans. Built off this same set of building blocks is the Nissan Rogue, a compact SUV that is fully modern, yet — like mayonnaise — is unexciting. The same can’t be said for VW’s Jetta GLI. It has picked up a raft of improvements, and is one of the best bargains of 2015. Hyundai, meanwhile, pulls the wraps off its new Tucson SUV, and we preview a vehicle some claim could be the new class leader. Ever eager to lead the way, Mercedes shows off the autonomous driving technology coming in the next E-Class. And we stumble across a video that shows what the automotive future looked like in 1948. Al Vinikour takes issue with California motorcyclists who split lanes, and this edition’s Notes of Note looks at free EV charging, a NASA-inspired Mustang, cooling overheated smartphones and more.
July 3, 2015: Recently, FCA chairman Sergio Marchionne has been agitating for a merger. With the release of Alfa Romeo’s new rear-drive Giulia, we take a look at how he could leverage that platform effectively between Alfa, Chrysler and Maserati to secure those three brands and save Fiat. One thing you won’t find on the new Alfas is autonomous driving technology. Nevertheless, we speak with ZF TRW’s top expert to see just how far away we are from self-driving cars becoming reality. Mini also may not have cars that drive themselves, but the brand has the drive to move upmarket, and the latest take on the Clubman is a prime example of what you can expect from “premium” Minis. Audi pulls the wraps off the latest A4, and proves that the current design language is in need of an update. Meanwhile, we pale at the sticker of our test Audi A3, but fall in love despite the cost. Motorway America’s Jim Meachen drives the new Pilot, and gives us his thoughts on Honda’s biggest crossover. We take a look inside GM’s latest Ecotec engine destined for the Chevy Cruze. Lexus goes all Back to the Future and builds a real life hoverboard. And Al Vinikour takes issue with those who grip the steering wheel with two hands.