February 23, 2013: After we sent the issue live, Chrysler revealed official photos of the new Jeep Cherokee. Rather than wait until next week, we thought we’d being them to you now. Click the link to go straight to the story.
February 22, 2013: It’s a big truck issue this week. First we look at the speculation surrounding the next Ford F-150. Will it be the Atlas Concept in aluminum, or will Ford supplement it with a unit-body F-100? Maybe… not. Check out what we hear Ford might have up its sleeve. Speaking of pickups, Al Vinikour takes a spin in the 2013 Chevy Avalanche, a SUV/pickup combination that started fast, but faded quickly. Chris Sawyer, meanwhile, tests the Ford Flex. Part minivan, part SUV, it’s a unique market entry that isn’t quite what the Fairlane Concept promised. Also, we take a first look at Toyota’s new RAV4. It’s a huge improvement over its predecessor, and enough to make folks in Korea nervous. We also review actor James Garner’s memoir, and discover what Steve McQueen really thought about Garner replacing him in the movie Grand Prix. And we round out the week with another Tirade by Al Vinikour. This time he harkens to those days of yesteryear when your car’s interior was as dangerous to your health as a gun-toting maniac.
February 14, 2013: There’s a lot in the Driver’s Seat this week, starting with the new Ram ProMaster. A modified Fiat Ducato, this front-drive cargo van replaces the Dodge Sprinter, and competes head-on with Ford’s new Transit. Continuing with Fiat, the production-ready Alfa Romeo 4C makes its debut at the Geneva Auto Show next month, and we have the details of the carbon-chassis sports car to be built by Maserati. Yes, Maserati. Speaking of carbon fiber, McLaren has released pictures of the P1 supercar’s interior, which is a textile weaver’s dream. Next up is an American diesel… from GM. It’s taken decades to overcome the Oldsmobile V8 diesel debacle, but GM’s finally ready to offer a diesel in an American car. The Cruze Diesel looks ready to take on VW’s Jetta TDI, and exorcise some old demons. Even more shocking (sorry) are the new electric police/security bikes from Zero Motorcycles. Available in Street and Dual Sport versions, they are aimed at the global police, security and military markets. Finally, Al Vinikour writes an open letter to municipalities suffering from the economic downturn. You might not like his ideas, until you realize he says nothing about speeding…
February 8, 2013: Al and Chris are back from Scottsdale where they drove the 2014 Kia Sorento. It my not look different, but nearly everything is new under the skin, including new engines and drivetrains. Al does something unusual this week — a technology piece! He talks to the folks at Energy Power Systems about the “new” technology of lead-acid batteries for hybrids and EVs. Speaking of technology, Chris discovers a new safety system that, in essence, taps the driver on the shoulder to get his attention. Finally, Mercedes-Benz furthers the cause of keeping the public informed about its history by selling a comic book about company founder Carl Benz.