September 20, 2013: It’s been a week since the Frankfurt Motor Show, and two things stand out in the clutter of concepts and new cars. The first is Ford’s decision to launch a trim level above Titanium for the Mondeo, and the introduction of a lightly disguised new S-Max people mover. Both could have a big impact on Lincoln’s future. The second is Ducati’s 899 Panigale. Need we say more? Next, a recent discussion with a VW insider gives deeper insight into the company’s recent moves, and how it maintains its competitiveness. Despite the seeming non sequitur, there’s a lot of similarities between NASCAR’s Richmond race indignity and Mercedes’ plans to build luxury pickups. Really. Speaking of indignities, TVD friend and Cars In Context TV host John Clor comes to the defense of Ford’s Mustang II with both passion and logic. When it comes to this reviled vehicle will either matter? Also, we spend a week with the Lexus LX 570, and get to the heart of this luxury SUV’s reason for being. We also spend time with Hyundai’s Elantra GT, and come away surprised, just not pleasantly. Plus, Al Vinikour gives us his take on modern, button-festooned steering wheels.
September 6, 2013: Last time, we took a look at the rumors and facts surrounding Ford’s eagerly anticipated 2015 Mustang. This time we look at some of the designs that never made it off the drawing pad
or from clay to steel. Two Toyotas are on the road with us this week. First up is the Toyota Venza, a vehicle that, Toyota says, defies definition. Second is the Lexus GS350 F Sport. Is it a true sport sedan or just a high-resolution digital copy? One thing that’s not a copy is Evanta. This tiny English craft shop builds some of the most desirable recreations around, and a lot more. Speaking of British heritage, the folks at BMH have a couple of new parts for your old MGB. Cars in Context TV is back for another round, this time looking at the death of the small pickup truck and its possible resurrection. Also, two new technologies break cover. This first is a Dutch transmission without any gears that has an interesting origin. The second is a new way to get electricity from waste exhaust heat. Finally, Al Vinikour, as ever, asks a pointed question about a simple problem.