August 31, 2012: It’s Editor Sawyer’s birthday today, but his present came early in the form of a column from race driver and entrepreneur Andy Pilgrim (pictured). The British-born racer joins the TVD staff as an occasional contributor, and reviews a vehicle you might find surprising. We certainly did. Speaking of surprises, we discover tires that can spell. And Osram introduces a low-cost LED solution for front fog lights. Dan Brochstein takes us behind the scenes at the recent Concours d’Elegance of America, and picks a few favorites. Al Vinikour drives the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, and comes back impressed. Former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar sues his former employer while it puts his former company car on the auction block. Editor Sawyer takes a look at the new CAFE standards, and gets a Red scare. And Al Vinikour take aim at the one of the most annoying, exasperating and stupid devices ever fitted to an automobile.
August 24, 2012: The week was filled with travel, specifically out to Laguna Seca where Editor Sawyer attended the U.S. launch of the BMW M5, M6 and Gran Coupé. And while running around the Corkscrew was fun, the real tale was told out on the road. Are these cars road course heroes and rolling ego strokes, or are they capable of dispatching with the daily grind as well as trail braking? The heavy travel schedule also meant Al Vinikour was only able to give us his view of vinyl roofs, a.k.a. bad toupees for cars. White hot in the 1960, 1970s and even the 1980s, these plastic abominations still pop up today. Which is enough to make Al see red.
August 17, 2012: There were two major unveilings at Pebble Beach this week. First up is the new Ferrari F12berlinetta. With more than 700 horsepower and lb-ft of torque, it’s so fast the name ran together. Next up is the latest Range Rover. With an aluminum body/chassis unit, it’s significantly lighter than its BMW-designed predecessor. Ford launched its new Advanced Electrification Center this week, but it only underlines the fact that politics, not demand is driving the market in this direction. Also, Harris Interactive polled drivers from 18 to 66 about in-car connectivity, and the results may surprise you. Ever want to dress up your garage door, but wanted something that was more visually arresting than a new paint color? A company in Munich, Germany has just what you need. Finally, Al tells us why, if you don’t like you child’s driving, you’re to blame.
August 10, 2012: As we were going to press, news broke that Jay Penske, owner of IndyCar’s Dragon Racing team had been arrested along with his older brother on a variety of charges. This comes on the heels of AJ Allmendinger’s problems, and sets a high bar for punishment. This isn’t a story with shades of gray, but of yellow. Al Vinikour features prominently this week. The Editor takes a chance and sends the automotive technophobe to Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission plant to report on the company’s new in-house hybrid transmission. He also spent a week with a supercharged Range Rover (poor baby), and gives us his impressions. Plus, his Tirade take a backwards glance at rearview cameras and their place in the automotive firmament. Editor Sawyer, meanwhile, spent a week with Audi’s S4 quattro sport sedan, but couldn’t quite give it a 5 out of 5 rating. Find out why. Plus, he gives a preview of the lighter, more fuel-efficient 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and the sybaritic 2013 Lexus LS with its sport-oriented F Sport variant.
August 3, 2012: First came word that Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick “resigned” before GM issued a terse press release calling into question Ewanick’s character. It was followed by word that designer Dave Lyon was fired a week or so before heading to Germany to lead design operations over there, and rumors began to fly that the new Corvette isn’t very handsome. We speculate what might be behind this busy but bad week at GM. On a lighter note, we drive Audi’s supercharged A6 quattro. Jump inside to see if it’s everything you could ever want or less than expected. Al drives the 2013 Audi allroad, the first car is seven years to wear that badge in the U.S. BMW adds a new bike to its lineup, the HP4. We take a look. And Al Vinikour asks why automakers can’t design a decent cupholder.