February 21, 2014: The fallout from the vote rejecting UAW representation at VW’s Chattanooga plant continues. A stunning rebuke to what seemed like a sure thing, the vote promises to have long term repercussions here and in Germany, and suggests VW’s plan to sell 800,000 cars in the U.S. by 2018 is in serious trouble. Next month’s Geneva Motor Show, among other reveals, will see the launch of three new small cars. The first is Renault’s rear-engined Twingo, a car that shares its structure and powertrain with the next smart. Peugeot announced its new 108 just before selling a stake in the 204 year-old company to China’s Donfeng. And BMW pulled the wraps off the production version of its 2 Series Active Tourer, the company’s first volume front-driver; a car that may prove snowballs don’t melt in Hell. Al Vinikour, meanwhile, takes a literal look back at the lowly rearview mirror, while Honda pulls the covers off four new motorcycle offerings for 2014.
February 7, 2014: Volvo gambled big on its modular Drive-E family of engines, but are they strong and
frugal enough to compete in the sports sedan segment? Porsche’s first electric, the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton makes its way to the Porsche Museum in unrestored condition. Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Sunbeam land speed record car, on the other hand, arrives at Britain’s National Motor Museum fresh from a major restoration. We drive Lincoln’s MKZ sedan, but come away wondering what the Lincoln brand means. Mercedes introduces a new family van, the V-Class, but don’t expect it to come to the U.S. Bentley expands its home furnishings collection. And Al Vinikour speaks his mind about people who don’t use turn signals properly.