Month: September 2017

What We Did Last Summer: A Wrap-Up of Our 2017 Cars and Coffee Events ""

Cars and Coffee Music Factory

Summer is once again over, and so are our annual Cars and Coffee festivities. For the second year in a row, Car and Driver teamed up with M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, to host four separate Cars and Coffee events at the private racetrack’s facility. A fifth Cars and Coffee was held at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan, in conjunction with the the Concours d’Elegance of America.

Unsurprisingly, each event served as a gathering point for hundreds of car enthusiasts who swapped stories over coffee and fine machinery. Highlights included everything from the all-new, 647-hp Ford GT to a classic right-hand-drive Toyota MasterAce Surf van and everything in between.

Seriously, our Cars & Coffee events brought out a variety of rare and strange cars and trucks that regularly managed to blow our jaded minds. Don’t believe us? Have a look for yourself by clicking through the photo gallery.

Cars-and-Coffee-Music-Factory-REEL

“”

""

Share This:

Porsche R&D’s Former Chief Wolfgang Hatz Arrested in Connection with Diesel-Emissions Scandal ""

Wolfgang Hatz

The Volkswagen diesel scandal first broke in the United States, but it has since occupied an ever-widening global circle. Two days ago, one of the Volkswagen Group’s most prominent research and development experts, Wolfgang Hatz, was arrested—not in America, but in Munich. That’s what several independent sources are reporting, following the lead of the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The prosecutors want to find out what Hatz knew about the “cheating devices” that enabled VW Group diesel engines to pass emissions tests in the lab while reverting to a dirtier, more polluting state of tune in the real world. Hatz, by the way, resigned from Porsche last year after being suspended in the wake of the diesel scandal.

The move signals that the diesel scandal is far from over, despite the unprecedented financial toll—approaching $30 billion—that the VW Group is footing. Quite the opposite: It appears that European courts and lawmakers are embarking on a piggyback investigatory ride, following their North American role model.

Hatz’s arrest reveals that Volkswagen’s political capital seems to have run out, despite its being partly owned by the German state of Lower Saxony. Leading up to the September 24 national election in Germany, various high-ranking politicians have said German customers deserve the same kind of financial compensation that VW’s U.S. diesel customers have received, even though emissions standards and technologies are different on the two continents and even though, in independent emissions tests, many non-German cars have fared far worse than VW Group models.

Among VW’s executives, Wolfgang Hatz is perhaps the most quintessential car guy, and he has an affinity for racing. At BMW and Audi, he spearheaded development of high-revving performance engines. So the brands lose a champion on that front, while other high-ranking VW Group executives with suspected ties to the diesel scandal likely won’t be sleeping well for the foreseeable future.

“”

""

Share This:

2018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Reviewed, Quickly ""

2018-Chevrolet-Corvette-Grand-Sport-Carbon-65-PLACEMENT

Overview: The Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport occupies the slim real estate between the 455-hp Stingray and the supercharged, 650-hp Z06, combining elements of the two. The Stingray’s naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 is surrounded by the Z06’s gnarly bodywork, flared fenders, meaty tires, and wide-track suspension. Think of the Grand Sport as basically equal to the track-ready Z06 in every way save for power. The combination is potent enough to earn it a spot on our 2017 10Best Cars list, and track rats can go nuts and buy a Z07 aerodynamics and handling package very similar to the one available on the Z06, complete with carbon-ceramic brakes, a deeper spoiler, a harder-core suspension tune, and ultragrippy Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires. READ MORE ››

“”

""

Share This:

2018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport – Quick-Take Review ""

2018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 652018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 65 “”

""

Share This:

Volkswagen Extends Six-Year/72,000-Mile Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty to (Nearly) Its Entire Lineup ""

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen will have arguably the most aggressive new-vehicle warranty in the United States when it rolls out its 2018-model-year vehicles. The coverage will span six years or 72,000 miles, whichever comes first, and will be fully transferable to subsequent owners. Called the People First Warranty, it’s an extension of coverage that is currently found on the Atlas and three-row Tiguan SUVs. “We are the people’s car, and we are putting people first,” Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO Hinrich Woebcken said Friday at a media event in Michigan.

The warranty will cover every 2018 model except the e-Golf, which has a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage. The e-Golf’s battery is covered for eight years or 100,000 miles.

The extended coverage for every other model is part of Volkswagen’s strategy to move from a niche player to a higher-volume brand in the United States. Most automakers’ bumper-to-bumper coverage is for three years or 36,000 miles, although there are some exceptions. New Hyundais and Kias come with bumper-to-bumper coverage of five years/60,000 miles, which is transferable, and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is not transferable. This more robust warranty coverage, launched in 1998, has been a key reason the previously fledgling Hyundai brand has gained more of a foothold in the U.S. market.

Volkswagen, meanwhile, has been recovering from the diesel-emissions scandal, which is expected to cost the company $30 billion. The company is still in the process of fixing TDI vehicles that were sold back to Volkswagen as part of a settlement with U.S. consumers; Woebcken told reporters that the process is about 67 percent complete. In the meantime, thousands of VW and Audi TDI models are sitting in some 30 makeshift storage lots around the country.

Despite the scandal, Volkswagen’s new-vehicle sales in the United States have been solid this year, growing 6.4 percent to 220,334 units through August, even as industry-wide sales fell by 2.7 percent. We see no reason why a healthier warranty would get in the way of that momentum.

“”

""

Share This:

Zoom Prime: Toyota and Mazda Team Up for Electric-Vehicle Development ""

Toyota RAV4 EV badge

Amid ratcheted-up plans and global forecasts for electric vehicles, Toyota and Mazda are teaming up to develop EV technology.

A new venture by Toyota (90 percent), Mazda (5 percent), and supplier Denso (5 percent) aims to establish a shared architecture for electric vehicles—including common components “transcending differences in vehicle class and power.” The trio will develop “basic structural technologies for EVs covering a wide range of vehicle segments and types.” Although the release about the new organization, which was given the unglamorous name EV C.A. Spirit, doesn’t call out specifics, it suggests that the companies hope to develop a scalable battery system and a unified tool kit of motors, inverters, and control software—elements that are the very backbone of an electric car.

This builds neatly on a strategic partnership between Toyota and Mazda, formalized in 2015, that licenses Toyota’s hybrid technology to Mazda (for other markets) through at least 2020 and has the companies sharing costs for the Mexico plant that builds the Mazda CX-3 and the Toyota Yaris iA. The new EV venture might not hire many—if any—engineers, as the plan would involve a transfer of some full-time engineers from each company.

From Viability to Profitability

While falling battery costs and advancements in energy density have made electric cars a lot more viable in recent years, they’re not due to be a very significant portion of the market even well into the next decade. Thus, it makes a lot of sense to share development costs. The companies explain in their release that “the huge investments and time required to cover all markets and vehicle segments is a pressing issue for individual automakers when responding to the widely varying demand for vehicles around the world.”

Toyota, Maza, and Denso form JV

U.S. Toyota spokesman Aaron Fowles said the company expects to “achieve innovative and efficient development of technology for basic structure and concepts for EVs” and that the companies involved in this project “plan to utilize this technology to respond rapidly to regulatory and market trends in each country.”

It isn’t the only project that Mazda and Toyota have embarked on together recently; they’re also in the midst of choosing a U.S. location for a mammoth $1.6 billion joint-venture assembly plant that will employ 4000 workers. Fowles emphasized that these two projects are unrelated.

Given Toyota’s finances, hybrid smarts, and engineering resources and Mazda’s prowess with design, dynamics, and innovative ideas (despite its small size), we could see this partnership—to borrow a tagline or two—zooming and going places.

“”

""

Share This:

WheeEV! Honda Has an Electric Sports Car Concept in Its Back Pocket ""

honda-ev-sports-car-tokyo

Hear that sound? It’s in the key of EV, and it’s coming from yet another new pure-electric car called the Honda Sports EV concept. We can’t see it in full just yet, but it is set to make its debut at the 2017 Tokyo auto show.

Honda has put together a solid string of wins lately. The new Accord seems to be another home run, the line of sporty Civics reminds enthusiasts why they fell in love with the company in the first place, and the stylish retro Urban EV concept (shown below) would make the perfect cuddle buddy. In Tokyo next month, Honda hopes to build on the recent success with the debut of a new sports car with an all-electric powertrain. Its exhibition stand will show off the creatively named Sports EV concept, the Urban EV, and the NeuV; the company also will debut the Riding Assist-e self-balancing motorcycle. A celebration of the Super Cub scooter is in store, too, as its production run nears 100 million units and its 60th anniversary approaches.

Honda Urban EV concept

Although there is little information on the Sports EV thus far, it seems the concept will essentially be a sports car version of the Urban EV, since it will utilize the same platform. Honda says the concept has artificial intelligence and supple surfaces with a friendly front fascia, just like the Urban EV.

Although this car likely will debut amid swirling speculation about the possible return of the Honda S2000, it’s doubtful this is at all related. The sketch shows a coupe and not a convertible, for one, and there have not been any indications that the S2K would be electric; it’s also extremely unlikely that it would share a platform with a city car. The Urban EV concept is a retro-modern hatch harking back to the original Civic CVCC and other classic Honda models, and the Sports EV looks similarly influenced by Honda’s pint-size S600 and S800 sports cars of the 1960s. We think that it would make a perfect stablemate to the Urban EV, which Honda has said will reach production in 2019.

The Honda Riding Assist-e motorcycle also will make its world debut at Tokyo in electric form. The Riding Assist bike was first seen earlier this year at CES with a traditional gasoline engine; it features self-balancing technology at low speeds with the help of a gyroscope. Aligning with the company’s (and the world’s) push for less emissions, the techy concept now is powered by an electric motor. Expect more details on these products in time for the Tokyo show at the end of October.

Honda Urban EV concept

“”

""

Share This:

The Hellion: 1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE Owned by Judas Priest Guitarist Headed to Auction ""

1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE1985 Porsche 911 Turbo SE “”

""

Share This:

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Tested: Heavy B ""

In the rarified air above mainstream luxury-brand flagships from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW exist the ultra-exclusive, hand-built sedans from Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, and Bentley, each offering 12-cylinder power, the choicest material furnishings, and indubitable pedigrees. Given these cars’ unapologetic price tags, a normal person might expect them to surpass any off-the-rack Audi A8, S-class Benz, or 7-series Bimmer in every respect. Or at least most respects. Or at least in terms of the luxury features, right? READ MORE ››

“”

""

Share This:

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8S – Instrumented Test ""

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S “”

""

Share This: