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After decades of dreaming, a mid-engine Corvette is reality

Automotive / Automotive News /

On July 18, Chevrolet will launch the eighth generation of its iconic sports car -- what it calls the "first-ever mid-engine Corvette." Not true.

While the "C8" Corvette will be the first mid-engine version to reach showrooms, it is not the first to be designed, engineered or even green-lighted for production since the model's 1953 launch. So, ...Read more

Under the Hood: Erratic temperature gauge could indicate thermostat problem

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I've noticed an unusual behavior in my pickup when driving it first thing in the morning. The temperature gauge keeps climbing above the usual place (a little less than 200) to about 220, and then it returns to the normal place for the rest of the day. Should I be concerned? It didn't do this before.

-- Paul W.

A: This is unusual. I'd start...Read more

Mark Phelan: These car features could prevent your next crash

Automotive / Automotive News /

Traffic accidents are down, and with them vehicle damage and presumably injuries, thanks to driver assistance systems that are increasingly common on new cars and trucks. That's the conclusion by a variety of experts.

Companies like Volvo and General Motors have gone public with goals of a world with zero automotive fatalities, but what nobody'...Read more

At Tesla annual meeting, Elon Musk softens claims of a robotaxi fleet next year

Automotive / Automotive News /

Less than two months after touting a plan to put driverless taxis on the road, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk on Tuesday walked back the ambitious timetable.

On April 22, just days before Tesla turned to public markets to raise $2.3 billion in debt and equity, Musk had announced at an event called Tesla Autonomy Day: "Next year for sure -- we'...Read more

FCA gets self-driving partner with Amazon backing

Automotive / Automotive News /

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' new partner for developing self-driving vehicles is backed by Amazon.

That partner, Aurora Innovation, is led by some of the leaders in the space, people who led self-driving development efforts at Google, Tesla and Uber.

Now, FCA says it will work with Aurora to integrate the Aurora Driver self-driving platform into...Read more

Auto review: Think sedans are dead? Check out the new Civic

Automotive / Automotive News /

While much of the automotive world is abandoning cars in favor of SUVs, Honda is increasing its stake in coupes and sedans by introducing a refreshed line of Civics and adding a Sport model to the family.

That's a direct appeal to younger buyers, Honda executives said as they introduced the new model. Almost 60% of first-time car buyers ...Read more

What happened to FCA/Renault and what's next for FCA?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and French automaker Renault saw their effort at a merger collapse Wednesday (Thursday in Paris) about a week and a half after it was announced May 27.

That's like being left at the altar after eloping. Even though the marriage appears to be off, the reasons that led to talks in the first place haven't changed, so ...Read more

Under the Hood: Diagnosing car's problem requires careful experimentation

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: My son has 2014 2.0 L Kia Forte. Sometimes it seems to buck/shudder or feel sluggish at certain speeds. On the highway it's fine. He has had full electronic analysis done on the car and has not found a solution or any codes or errors. I've driven it, and it almost feels like it's in too high a gear for the rpm the motor is at. I suspect it ...Read more

Motormouth: Government has not adopted new rule for shatterproof car windows

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I recently saw something online about a new federal standard requires all passenger compartment windows to be laminated shatterproof glass. As a retired first responder (36 years with FDNY), I can recall many times that we had to break a passenger window to remove a victim suffering a medical emergency or a child or even a poor dog in a ...Read more

FCA's head of US sales, Ram trucks files whistleblower suit

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The head of U.S. sales and the Ram truck brand for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company, which he said had retaliated against him because he was cooperating with a U.S. government investigation into FCA's sales reporting.

Reid Bigland, a 22-year veteran of the company and its predecessors ...Read more

FCA withdraws merger offer as Renault board postpones decision

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The Renault/Fiat Chrysler Automobiles merger effort appears to be dead, or at least on hold.

The board of the French automaker, after an apparently marathon-length meeting Wednesday in Paris, announced that it was postponing a vote on the proposal based on a request from the French government. FCA, for its part, said it was ...Read more

GM to test airless, puncture-proof tires on Michigan roads

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- General Motors plans to give car buyers an airless tire on vehicles starting in 2024.

The automaker is teaming with Michelin and this week introduced the Michelin Uptis prototype at the Movin' On Summit for sustainability in Montreal. Uptis stands for Unique Puncture-proof Tire System, GM said.

GM will start real-world testing of ...Read more

GM, FCA strike a deal with Tesla that consumers subsidize

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- General Motors is hedging its bets to meet national emissions standards by turning to Tesla Inc. as insurance of sorts.

People who buy gasoline-powered cars ultimately foot the bill.

GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles disclosed to the state of Delaware earlier this year that they have reached agreements to buy federal greenhouse gas ...Read more

Illinois will hike fee for Teslas, Bolts and other EVs — but to $248, not $1,000: 'They've cut it back from an outrageous number'

Automotive / Automotive News /

It's not quite sticker shock, but Illinois electric vehicle owners will have to pay $248 in annual registration fees next year -- $100 more than what owners of gas-burning cars pay -- as part of the state's sweeping road improvement legislation.

For the growing ranks of EV owners, its a big bump up from the $17.50 per year they currently pay, ...Read more

New BMW and KTM motorcycles are very different, but meet at the same sweet spot

Automotive / Automotive News /

In the titanic battle between German motorcycle giant BMW and its Austrian counterpart KTM, BMW has dominated the big-bike segment while KTM has eclipsed all rivals in the small-bore niches.

BMW's R 1250 GS and GSA remain the machines of choice for touring adventurers who think they may want to do some off-roading, while KTM's SX, EXC and XC ...Read more

Under the Hood: High performance engines require premium grade fuel

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 2015 Infinity Q70. I use premium gas. Do I have to? Is it recommended or is it a marketing trick to pay more? I have always driven Infinitis and have paid for premium. Is it worth it?

They say an Infiniti will run forever if you change the oil regularly. I don't need synthetic oil. Just regular oil is fine. Correct? But what's the ...Read more

Electric car batteries can catch fire days after an accident

Automotive / Automotive News /

When a Tesla Model S crashed into a palm tree and caught ablaze just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last February, firefighters struggled to extinguish the flames and the car reportedly re-ignited multiple times.

Similar stories of electric vehicles bursting into stubborn flames have cropped up from Florida and California to Austria and ...Read more

Auto review: 2019 Honda Passport SUV brings the steak, not much sizzle

Automotive / Automotive News /

"You can complain about vanilla styling, but vanilla is the best-selling flavor of ice cream," an exasperated auto executive once snapped at the 10th question about his midsize sedan's unexciting appearance.

He was right, but I'll take chocolate any day. With dark chocolate chunks, if you're bringing my dessert. Occasionally a little jalapeno, ...Read more

Electric pickups are coming, but does anyone really want them?

Automotive / Automotive News /

There's little evidence that consumers are clamoring for battery-powered pickups, but the auto industry and investment communities can't stop talking about them.

Just this year Amazon and Ford have led investments topping $1.2 billion in Plymouth-based electric vehicle startup Rivian. Rivian's EV pickup program also led to a technology sharing ...Read more

Merger with Renault has potential to make Fiat Chrysler a heavyweight

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler may have picked the best possible partner and future-proofed itself by allying with Renault. Despite that, the deal leaves plenty of challenges and raises new questions.

A week ago, a hungry Chinese or Indian automaker seemed a likelier mate for FCA than Renault. The fear was a rapacious wannabe would make a too-rich-to...Read more