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Entries in Ford (2)


May 2014

May 30, 2014: Automobile restoration is never easy, fast or economical, but it can be worth the pain when you get a project back on track. Especially when you have help from friends, family and the truly talented. On the new vehicle front, we test Volvo’s twin-charged XC60 SUV. Is a four cylinder enough? Earlier this week, VW announced the new Euro Passat, a car different than the vehicle of the same name Americans get. We take a look at that car and what’s happening behind the scenes with the U.S. sedan. Mini showed its Superleggera Vision concept to the world at Villa d’Este, but is it the car some commentators claim it to be, or something else entirely? Bultaco, the Spanish motorcycle maker, has risen from the dead, and the result is electrifying. Meanwhile, Britain’s National Motor Museum takes time to rearrange its wares and tell The Motorcycle Story. And our own Al Vinikour talks about something from which you can go blind.


May 16, 2014: Is the 2015 VW Golf all it needs to be to support Volkswagen’s stated goal of selling 800,000 VW’s per year in the U.S.? We’re straight back from driving the car in San Francisco with our initial

 impressions. Hyundai also brought the new Genesis sedan to town, touting its new-found handling prowess. But are the ministrations of the best talent Lotus has to offer enough to pull the Genesis even with the established sport/luxury players? We review a new book about American air ace, former Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner, and legend Eddie Rickenbacker. If you’re like us, you won’t be able to put it down. Finally, Al Vinikour looks at the space some drivers leave between the vehicle in front of theirs, and wonders if this distance is the measure of the driver or proof they don’t measure up at all.


May 2, 2014: May has been a month of change, and it’s only just started. Peter Kirwan-Taylor, the chartered accountant who designed the original Lotus Elite died, and Mark Fields took the reins at Ford. Sergio Marchionne, on the other hand, has his own boardroom drama brewing. We take a look at what it may contain. Mercedes showed a Coupe SUV Concept Beijing Auto Show that will soon go into production. Mini showed a small pickup its apprentices and their instructors created that reinforces the need for an affordable, sporty, small pickup. Speaking of pickups, we test the Ram 2500, and ask if its deserving of all the accolades, while GM hires an Italian firm to make custom car covers for its full-size pickups. The General also updated its driving simulator to handle semi-autonomous driving system testing. Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson has launched a new school for beginning riders, and Al Vinikour keeps getting zapped by the sun.



April 2012

April 27, 2012: The Editor had a tough time with this one. After a week or so of what can only be described as insanity, the word leaked out that DRB-Hicom, which got Lotus when it purchased Malaysian car maker Proton, denied it had made any plans to sell the seminal British sports car maker. Yet KPMG reportedly was retained to find a Chinese buyer for the company. After many late hours scouring the Internet, speaking with friends and former colleagues, tracking down leads and working with the folks at AROnline, he wrote a lengthy piece synopsizing the current situation. You won’t want to miss it. (NOTE: The fluidity of the situation at Lotus has required addendums as things change and become more clear. Please keep returning to this story for updates.) On a brighter note, Jaguar introduced two new boosted engines at China Auto 2012 in Beijing. These modular designs — which include a four-cylinder — produce plenty of horsepower, offer greater fuel efficiency, and — joy of joys — supplement the current 5.0-liter V8. Hyundai’s Accent may be the entry-level vehicle in the Hyundai brand, but is it also the one closest to the heart and soul of the Korean automaker? It just might be. Read what we have to say about the littlest Hyundai sold in America. When you’re finished with that, see what our Al Vinikour has to say about the 2013 Ford Escape. Is it a significant step forward, and will traditional buyers like its new Focus-like styling? You be the judge, but don’t forget to follow along to the Hokey Pokey… really. Speaking of judging, Al takes a walk down memory lane, reminiscing about some of the nameplates that have gone to car heaven. See if you agree with his choices.


April 20, 2012: Late April is the perfect time for Spring cleaning, and what better time to take a look at improving your automotive lifestyle? For example, if your furniture is getting old, why not replace it photo chairs, tables, sofas, etc. designed by Mercedes-Benz, and built by an Italian luxury furniture maker? Or maybe you have a strong hankering for a hot rod and an E-Type Jaguar, but can’t afford both. What do you do? Check out our Lifestyle page for a restomod Series I E-Type that fits the bill. On a more serious note, we speak with the folks from interior supplier Johnson Controls to get an inside look at what changes you can expect in in-car interactivity, and how this is tied to consumer electronics and the technical savvy of the car buyer. Which brings us to a new touch pad device from TRW that brings this technology into more cars, with more functionality. And Al? He takes a look at the new naming convention that replaces vehicle names with letters. Confusing? Yes, but he also thinks it borders on criminally stupid. We wouldn’t expect anything less from Mr. Vinikour.


April 13, 2012: For all you enjoying the warm Spring weather, but wondering which two-wheeler should adorn your garage, we welcome back Scott Bowles, The Virtual Rider, to review the Harley-Davidson Switchback. Read his review for the answer to whether a Harley can be considered “practical”. Impracticality is part of the sport coupe ownership experience, but Hyundai’s Veloster marries edgy styling and a tight package with the practicality of three doors and a hatch. And while this sounds like the title for a British comedy starring Hugh Grant, is it enough to make the Veloster more practical without losing any sportiness? Finally, two from Al Vinikour. First his review of Bryce Hoffman’s book on Ford and how it came through the industry meltdown relatively unscathed. This is followed by his Tirade on seat belt design, and the difficulties poorly designed latches can bring. But there’s a surprise: TRW has just introduced a modification to the standard latch unit that could make Al a happy man… Oh what am I thinking. He’ll never be happy!

April 6, 2012: We're taking the week off to celebrate the Easter holiday. Enjoy the time off, and we'll see you back here Friday the 13th!