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Auto review: The Alfa Romeo 4C's faults make it an intoxicating, endearing ride

Automotive / Automotive News /

Want to buy a new car that's both exclusive and a bargain?

Alfa Romeo has your answer: the 4C Spider.

Where else can you buy a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car built with a carbon fiber monocoque tub for less than six figures? And, oh yea, it's powered by a direct-injected, intercooled, turbocharged 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine that's...Read more

New Teslas will have all the hardware to be driverless cars, Elon Musk says

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tesla announced this week that all cars produced today and going forward will be equipped with the necessary hardware to support fully autonomous driving -- including the upcoming Model 3.

The required hardware includes eight cameras that add up to 360-degree visibility, 12 updated ultrasonic sensors with added sensitivity, and...Read more

Motoring Q&A: A closer look at synthetic oils

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I use fully synthetic oil because it lasts twice as long as the regular stuff and I read that, because it doesn't cause varnish build-up in the cylinder walls, it reduces engine wear. It's my understanding I can use this oil for up to 15,000 miles, though I know the filters need to be changed more frequently, perhaps every 10,000 miles or so....Read more

Under the Hood: Today's turbocharged engines more reliable?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: Many years ago, my wife bought a new Ford with a turbocharged engine. It ran fine for a number of years but then had a major engine failure due to a stuck waste gate. Ever since, I have been a little negative regarding turbocharged engines. Now, however, turbocharged engines are offered by every carmaker, and I do not seem to read much about ...Read more

Auto review: Audi's best-selling sedan gets subtle but significant redesign

Automotive / Automotive News /

Sedans may have fallen out of fashion during the recent crossover craze, but the 2017 Audi A4 is one of the most fashionable four-door sedans out there.

Audi design has been exhibiting sharp lines in recent years, yet differences in Audi's redesigned best-seller are quite subtle, amounting to a slightly reshaped grille and air intakes with new ...Read more

Germany tells Tesla to stop using 'Autopilot' in its sales pitch

Automotive / Automotive News /

Germany's transport minister told Tesla to cease using the Autopilot name to market its cars in that country, under the theory that the name suggests the cars can drive themselves without driver attention, the news agency Reuters reported Sunday.

Autopilot is the brand name Tesla uses to describe automatic braking, lane-keeping and other driver...Read more

Auto review: Porsche makes the 911 Turbo S fractionally better for 2017

Automotive / Automotive News /

Did the best just get better?

Porsche's 2017 911 Turbo S is a faintly measurable fraction superior to the 2016 model. It's so barely better that only a really first-rate driver would even notice.

I didn't notice. To me, the 2017 version of this delicious sports car is virtually identical to its predecessor. Because that needed no improvement ...Read more

Beverly Hills, center of glitz and glam, plans for driverless vehicle fleet

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- The ubiquitous Ferraris and Bentleys and Lamborghinis of Beverly Hills may soon be sharing the road with a new form of auto exotica: robot cars.

City leaders plan to put a robot fleet of mass transit vehicles on its roads as soon as it's practical, aiming to make the wealthy little city of 34,000 a world leader in the early ...Read more

Honda's CR-V, the country's best-selling SUV, gets turbocharged for 2017

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- Honda will come to next month's Los Angeles Auto Show with a new CR-V, which for the first time will be offered in a turbocharged version.

In anticipation, the Japanese car giant revealed images and some details of the 2017 version of the country's best-selling sport utility vehicle.

The fifth-generation CR-V, first launched in ...Read more

Automakers lobby to ease MPG standards despite success in improving fuel economy

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Since embracing tough new fuel economy standards in 2012, automakers have spent billions to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles and have been so successful at meeting tougher regulations they've become victims of their own success.

Over the past four years, automakers deployed new cars and trucks with gasoline direct injection, more...Read more

Greg Gardner: Self-driving technology isn't Detroit vs. Silicon Valley

Automotive / Automotive News /

Among the tenuous notions that have sprouted amid the fervor for autonomous vehicles is that Detroit and Silicon Valley are entwined in a titanic battle for supremacy.

Let's dispel the idea once and for all.

What is occurring is a very positive cross-pollination between two hubs of innovation. It is not a zero-sum game in which one industry ...Read more

Self-driving, electric car future not necessarily cleaner, or cheaper

Automotive / Automotive News /

There's little question that autonomous vehicle development will do more to spur electric vehicle sales than $6-a-gallon gas, but would a surge of EVs on our roadways bring an environmental benefit?

That depends on where you live. In Michigan, and most of the industrial Midwest, the answer is no, according to a study conducted by Stephen ...Read more

How will we know driverless cars are safe?

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Anyone looking for a book about driverless cars -- smart, wide-ranging, nontechnical, easy to understand -- was pretty much out of luck until "Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead" was published in September.

The authors, Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman, have a reputation for clear, succinct writing about emerging ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: When is the best time to change oil in seasonal car?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I'm a snowbird. Each of my cars is driven only six months and garaged for six. I only put about 3,000 miles on each a year. Does it make any difference when I change the oil: start, middle or end of the driving season?

-- J.H., Chicago

A: It is best to change the oil just prior to storing the vehicles. Byproducts of combustion, as well as ...Read more

Mark Phelan: Alt-fuel vehicles aim to win mainstream buyers

Automotive / Automotive News /

Oil prices are low, but interest in alternate energy and fuel efficient vehicles remains high.

From Chevrolet to Tesla, Toyota, Hyundai and Volkswagen, automakers around the world are intensifying development of vehicles that use less fuel and pollute less.

"Fuel efficiency remains extremely important to car buyers," Autotrader senior analyst ...Read more

Under the Hood: Air conditioner smells and a mysterious squeak

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: As usual, your recent column about how to freshen up a stinky air conditioning system was very informative. I'm curious, though, when using Lysol spray to disinfect a foul-smelling system, should I take out the cabin air filter?

I'm not sure where all the ducting goes or what order things are in, but if the Lysol hits the air filter before ...Read more

GM hires 650 workers to add 3rd shift in Spring Hill, Tenn.

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- General Motors is hiring about 650 workers for a third shift at its Spring Hill, Tenn., assembly plant to increase production of the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia.

The third shift will begin in January 2017.

"Spring Hill is demonstrating its flexibility and agility to meet increasing demand for GM's hot products," said Cathy Clegg, ...Read more

Under the Hood: A tricky fix for the ages

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: What is the most unusual problem you have ever run into?

-- Jack K.

A: The situation occurred many years ago when I was a shop foreman at a Pontiac dealership. We had just sold a gentleman a new Pontiac Bonneville that had buttons on the steering wheel to control the radio, CD tracks and so forth. This was prior to the advent of airbags, so...Read more

Auto review: Prime time Prius: Toyota offers a more practical plug-in

Automotive / Automotive News /

Pity the poor Prius!

Toyota brought the ugly-duckling hybrid to market in 2000, and with a combination of smart technology and savvy marketing, it soon became the world's best-selling hybrid.

Four years ago, it became the best-selling car in California -- essential for anyone who wanted good gas mileage, good-guy green credibility and access ...Read more

Polaris doubling down to keep customer loyalty despite recall problems

Automotive / Automotive News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Polaris Industries is on the defensive after a run of fires sparked massive recalls of its ATVs.

Some analysts say the company's profits won't recover until 2020. They note that at least 10 lawsuits have been filed, the stock is down 50 percent from 15 months ago and the company is spending $120 million to fix the problems with ...Read more