January 24, 2014: Ford made a big splash at the 2014 Detroit show with the first public showing for the 2015 Mustang, and a launch pad for the most radical pickup ever. Though the aluminum-bodied F-150 drew most of the attention, it wasn’t the only thing on display. Chrysler unveiled the new 200S and 200C, Kia and Toyota showed automotive vaporware, and more. After the show, Lincoln launched an updated version of its Navigator SUV that raises more questions about the brand’s future direction than it answers. Confusion also reigned when the rules changes for the 2014 Formula One season were released. We doubt even Sheldon Cooper of TV’s Big Bang Theory would fully understand the revisions. Finally, one thing Al Vinikour understands is professionalism. That’s why he’s written a piece on the unsung heroes of the highway.
January 10, 2014: Just after Christmas, Hyundai management decided that John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America had to go. It was sold as a planned changing of the guard, but was there more to it? Speaking of new faces, a few recently broke cover. Lamborghini pulls the covers off its Huracán, the replacement for the very successful Gallardo. Lotus, meanwhile, shows the oddly named Elise S Cup R, it’s entry-level track car. Elsewhere, Mercedes and Pebble Tech are working together to make your car’s systems part of your smart watch. Chevrolet announced the vehicles it will launch with OnStar 4G LTE, and Harman launched three technologies at this year’s CES. All are interesting. Undoubtedly, not all are Edward Snowden approved. This week we review Ford’s C-Max Hybrid, a small “multi-activity vehicle” that, oddly, has us pining for the Ford Escape! VW pulls the wraps off its Passat BlueMotion Concept, a large sedan powered by a 1.4-liter gasoline engine. Lexus explains how its RC Coupe gets a red that is so vibrant (and expensive to repair), while Al Vinikour alternately praises and curses keyless entry systems over their convenience and foibles.