Home & Leisure

Aston Martin to build a limited run of DB4 GT 'continuation' cars

Automotive / Automotive News /

Start saving your shillings and get in line: Aston Martin will build and sell 25 units of a "continuation" of its historic DB4 GT race car, and they'll cost $1.9 million each.

The English car company will begin delivering the new DB4 GTs in late 2017 and hasn't released images of the vehicle yet.

But sources at the company say it will be a ...Read more

Michigan law permits cars with no steering wheels

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- The governor of Michigan signed a legislative package Friday that allows cars without steering wheels or drivers to be tested on the state's highways.

The plan is to make the state "the epicenter for driverless vehicle technology," said Gov. Rick Snyder.

Florida already allows testing of completely driverless cars. With the ...Read more

Mark Phelan: 9-speed transmission boosts Chevrolet fuel economy 2 percent

Automotive / Automotive News /

General Motors revealed details this week about a new nine-speed automatic transmission that's likely to become one of its best-selling gearboxes.

"We'll probably eventually see this transmission replace the six-speed automatic," Navigant Research senior analyst Sam Abuelsamid said.

The transmission improves fuel economy about 2 percent in a ...Read more

Auto review: 2017 Mazda3 compact sedan handles crowded class

Automotive / Automotive News /

Mazda makes good cars. But with only six models in the U.S., including the two-seat roadster known as Miata, the marque doesn't get the exposure -- or the dealer network -- of larger makes. Yet few automakers can balance sportiness, fuel economy, style and premium-leaning trim levels as harmoniously as Mazda.

The compact Mazda3 is, on paper, a ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Follow carmaker's maintenance recommendations

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 2009 Hyundai Elantra. The dealership insists I need to replace the timing belt because I have owned it six years. They say it should be replaced every six years or 60,000 miles. I only have 11,600 miles on the car. Should the timing belt be replaced now, or are they trying to scam me? Is there a way to tell when it needs to be ...Read more

Under the Hood: Continuously variable transmission should have no trouble with snow

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I've watched the automotive marketplace from the sidelines and have noticed that many manufacturers are going to the continuously variable transmission, or CVT, as their transmissions of choice. In fact, it seems that most manufacturers have stopped offering manual transmissions entirely.

I live in western Pennsylvania, where we have a lot ...Read more

Chevy Bolt, BMW M2, Chrysler Pacifica win best of year awards

Automotive / Automotive News /

The end of one thing and the beginning of another is a time for reflection, anticipation and superlatives.

That time is now for the auto industry. The newest cars have been road-tested and dealer delivered, just as next year's crop debuts at auto shows.

Just like every city has an auto show, just about every media outlet has an annual ...Read more

Auto review: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio: Bellissimo

Automotive / Automotive News /

There are countless things we do for a thrill: riding waves, roller coasters, animals -- all go beyond the boundaries of safety into the thrilling unknown. So it is with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, an all-new Italian sports sedan that is less extreme than other thrills but so much more stylish.

Just saying Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio...Read more

Falling in love again — maybe: The 2017 Subaru Outback

Automotive / Automotive News /

The first cut is the deepest, they say. You never get over your first love. So it is with me and Subaru.

The 2005 Outback was the first car I ever bought new off the dealer floor. And it broke my heart.

The Subaru capped a succession of well-preserved, low-mileage used cars, diamonds in the rust, starting with a 1951 Chevy panel truck for ...Read more

Mark Phelan: 48 volts power up cars for fuel economy, new features

Automotive / Automotive News /

The tipping point for cars to adopt more powerful 48-volt electric systems may be near as automakers turn to small electrically powered superchargers and other systems to deliver more performance from smaller engines.

"The initial conversion will be driven by the need to make vehicles that are fun to drive," Matti Vint, powertrain research and ...Read more

EPA decides to stick with strict auto emissions rules

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it has decided that automakers have the ability to meet greenhouse gas emission standards that will be in place through 2025 even though the standards will get stricter in the coming years and the auto industry mounted a major lobbying effort aimed at relaxing the standards.

The...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Driver's side air bag always ready to deploy

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I'm driving a 2015 Chevy Cruze. I use a rotating cushion for ease in getting in and out of my car. When I ride in the passenger seat using the cushion while somebody else drives the car, I have noticed the passenger air bag light on the console says it is off. Through trial and error, I found that the rigid bottom of the cushion prevented the...Read more

Your car's backup camera probably came from this Michigan plant

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- If you drive a car with a backup camera, there is a good chance the device was made at a high-tech Michigan plant operated by Magna International, a global automotive supplier.

In many ways, the Magna Electronics plant in Holly, a village about 40 miles northwest of Detroit, is emblematic of today's high-tech automotive manufacturing...Read more

Record number of car buyers 'upside down' on trade-ins

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The wave of easy credit and longer auto loans has left a record percentage of consumers trading in vehicles that are worth less than what the borrowers owe on their loans.

In auto finance parlance, these folks are underwater, or upside down. They already are affecting the market as automakers boost incentives and subprime lenders ...Read more

Under the Hood: Mysterious sounds hard to stop without in-person inspection

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I just read one of your recent columns and wonder if you might be able to help me figure out what's wrong with my 2005 Saturn Ion. The car only has 48,000 miles on it and, for the past six months or so, has been making a knocking noise that sounds as though something's moving around in the trunk. It starts upon startup and continues for the ...Read more

Q-and-A with Ford CEO Mark Fields

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- Most car company executives appear at the annual Los Angeles Auto Show to tout their brand's new vehicles or crow about its balance sheet.

Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields came to town this year to give the kick-off keynote speech at AutoMobility LA, the industry-only portion of the recently concluded massive car show, and didn't...Read more

Consumer group pushes DMV to take action on Tesla 'Autopilot' name

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Department of Motor Vehicles put forth proposed regulations that would, in effect, prohibit Tesla from using the Autopilot name to market its vehicles. That was in September.

Now, a consumer group is telling the DMV to get on with it.

Tesla uses the word Autopilot to describe its driver-assist technology, which,...Read more

Alfa Romeo, Maserati add SUVs to lineups

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- Sport utility vehicles are hot, and Alfa Romeo and Maserati want in on the action.

The two Italian nameplates are trying to raise brand awareness by each adding an SUV to their sports car and luxury car lineups. The hope is to attract new buyers by giving them a vehicle they find more useful than, say, an Alfa Romeo 4C racer or a...Read more

Auto review: Ural Sahara: Third wheel will get you noticed

Automotive / Automotive News /

The Russian-made Ural Sahara looks like a beautifully preserved sidecar motorcycle, a barn find pulled from some remote Siberian grain silo.

But it's actually brand new, and it's made this way on purpose. Rude, rugged and retro, it may be the fastest way on wheels to get attention and make new friends.

The Ural motorcycle company got its start...Read more

Mark Phelan: Los Angeles Auto Show hits and misses

Automotive / Automotive News /

Sport utility vehicles dominate the Los Angeles Auto Show, but not every new vehicle is destined to be a classic.

Fiat Chrysler dominates the show with the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Jeep Compass, but there's plenty else to see at the LA Convention Center -- including some vehicles whose time may have passed, or may never come.

Here are my...Read more