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Auto review: BMW M4 has big grille, big power -- and big identity crisis

Automotive / Automotive News /

Say hello to the 2021 BMW M4 coupe. B stands for “big”: big kidney grille, big proportions, big power, big sticker price.

Big ambition.

Most of it works, but the big news is that M4 is no longer the brand’s premier track rat. That title belongs to the smaller, apex-slicing M2 coupe — a rocket with the same proportions as the 2000 E46 ...Read more


Auto review: No longer a mall rat, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder returns to its roots

Automotive / Automotive News /

Remember the Nissan Pathfinder? You know, the 2012 model, the one that was a true SUV. Its 310-horsepower V-8 could tow your house down the block if necessary. But that changed for 2013, when it was recast from a rugged rock crawler to a suburban road warrior, exchanging its muddy boots and Carhartt jacket for a pair of loafers and a cardigan ...Read more

J. KYLE KEENER/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Mark Phelan: Lexus' new Teammate hands-free driving feature made me put my hands on the wheel

Automotive / Automotive News /

The new "hands-free" driving system from Lexus isn’t really hands free, but that doesn’t mean the luxury brand’s Teammate driving assistant doesn’t work. It does exactly what Toyota wants it to do. What’s interesting is how different that is from what General Motors, Ford and Tesla expect from their driving assistants.

I was the first...Read more

Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Gary Jones, ex-UAW president, gets reduced 28-month prison sentence

Automotive / Automotive News /

The man who led one of America's most storied labor unions during its 40-day strike against General Motors in 2019 has been sentenced to 28 months in prison, a reduced penalty rewarding him for his cooperation in the long-running federal corruption probe of the UAW.

The sentence Thursday morning was an in-person proceeding, a shift from the way...Read more

Ford Motor Co./TNS

Demand soars for Ford's all-electric F-150 Lightning: 100,000 orders placed

Automotive / Automotive News /

Ford Motor Co. hit another milestone with its all-electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning.

The company has confirmed reaching 100,000 reservations since its global debut three weeks ago at world headquarters in Dearborn.

"We're super excited about the demand," Emma Bergg, Ford spokeswoman, told the Free Press on Thursday. "Reservations are getting ...Read more

In need of cash, Lordstown Motors files 'going concern' notice; shares tank

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT — Lordstown Motors Corp. told regulators Tuesday that it needs more money to launch and sustain commercial scale production of its electric Endurance truck — and to make it through the next year.

The Ohio-based electric vehicle startup amended its annual regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission noting its doubts...Read more

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Motormouth: Blinded by the light

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: In response to the reader who complained about sun blindness, I use something called Battle Visors when the sun is low, and they really help. Forget what I paid, but I think around $10.

J.S., Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

A: I searched the Web and found that product, which got mixed reviews. While surfing, I also found a slew of other ...Read more

Ryan Hake/General Motors/Ryan Hake/TNS

GM to build some pickups, SUVs without Automatic Stop/Start feature during chip shortage

Automotive / Automotive News /

General Motors will start building some of its most profitable and in-demand 2021 full-size, light-duty pickups and SUVs without the Automatic Stop/Start feature because of a global shortage in semiconductor chips.

The automaker is also making unprecedented plant upgrades to its full-size pickup plant near Fort Wayne, Indiana. to speed up ...Read more


Segment-buster: Ford unleashes compact Maverick pickup

Automotive / Automotive News /

Putting an exclamation point on its aggressive transition to all-SUV/truck brand, Ford Motor Co. debuted its Maverick compact pickup Tuesday — based on the unibody chassis shared with the Escape and Bronco Sport SUVs.

Slotted below the midsize, ladder-frame, $26,015 Ranger pickup, the entry-level Maverick starts at just over $21,000 including...Read more


GM offers OnStar service to drivers of any vehicle in US, Canada

Automotive / Automotive News /

Drivers of vehicles other than those made by General Motors now have access to OnStar's emergency advisors and additional services.

OnStar, the GM subsidiary that offers subscription-based services such as communications with trained advisors, in-vehicle security, emergency and roadside help, is making its OnStar Guardian mobile app available ...Read more

Roadshow: 2022 Volkswagen Golf R is an even hotter hatch

Automotive / Automotive News /

We should count our lucky stars that Volkswagen even decided to bring the eighth-generation Golf to the U.S. After decimating the affordable German car's lineup for 2022, only two variants remain destined for our amber waves of grain: the hopped-up GTI and the even-hoppier Golf R. The previous Golf R was fun, but it didn't feel like it was ...Read more


Makeover gives 2022 Buick Enclave a bold face and tech galore

Automotive / Automotive News /

In 2008, Buick introduced the elegant, three-row Enclave and heralded a new SUV era for the ailing sedan brand. Fourteen years later, Buick is healthy and it's the Enclave's turn to catch up with its siblings.

The 2022 Enclave gains a major refresh with all-new front and rear fascias as well as state-of-the-art interior tech.

The makeover ...Read more

LiPo Ching/Mercury News/TNS

Do EVs actually have a smaller carbon footprint than gas-powered cars?

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON — A quiet partisan battle is brewing in the nation's capital over government's role in helping the fledgling electric vehicle market off the ground.

As Democrats push President Joe Biden's $174 billion electric vehicle proposal with the hopes of out-competing China and reducing carbon emissions, many Republicans are calling the ...Read more

Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press/TNS

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness off-road capability will amaze owners -- if they ever use it

Automotive / Automotive News /

Subaru just staked out the high ground — literally, a hilltop atop a 40-degree incline of soft, shifting sand — as some of America’s favorite SUVs race to bolster their off-road credentials.

Boasting new skid plates, 0.8 inch more ride height and a tweaked rear differential, the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness hits the trails this summer,...Read more


Auto review: Starter Nissan Versa is roomy, techy (just beware the gerbils)

Automotive / Automotive News /

If I were shopping for my first car today? My Neanderthal tastes haven’t progressed much since I was a 22 year old exiting college in 1984. Back then, I wanted speed, speed, speed. And some hatchback utility.

I bought a used VW Rabbit GTI. I’d do the same today. Cost? About $18,000 with 75,000 miles as I surf the used car ads (the Rabbit is...Read more

Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Ford F-150 Lightning will be 1st all-electric pickup truck to offer full-size spare tire

Automotive / Automotive News /

As the panting and drooling over upcoming all-electric pickups continues to dominate social media chatter among consumers and investors, just about everyone seems to be buzzing about Tesla, Rivian and Ford these days.

Ford revealed the Lightning on May 19 and while details involving the battery and other specs remain elusive, that stops no one ...Read more

J. KYLE KEENER/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Mark Phelan: 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport improves on-road comport, handling

Automotive / Automotive News /

Toyota will add a sporty version of its 4Runner midsize SUV for this fall, with adaptive shock absorbers to improve on-road comfort and handling.

The 2022 Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport also gets body-color accents on the grille, rocker panels and body moldings.

The automaker’s TRD, or Toyota Racing Development, group already creates back-county ...Read more

Delores Johnson/Virginian-Pilot/TNS

Larry Printz: Ineos, a new automaker, looks to fill a niche abandoned by Land Rover

Automotive / Automotive News /

Does the world need another SUV? It just might, if you ask Sir Jim Ratcliff, a 4x4 enthusiast who always loved the Land Rover Defender, a basic, no-thrills British-built SUV that had proved its worth for decades in war and peace, in Botswana and Belgravia.

By 2017, though, the Defender, which had been basically unchanged for decades, was gone. ...Read more


Ford confirms it will launch all-new compact pickup truck called Maverick

Automotive / Automotive News /

It's long been rumored, reported and predicted, and now it's finally confirmed: Ford Motor Co. on Thursday announced the addition of the Maverick, a brand-new compact pickup truck, to its lineup.

Maverick will be available beginning model year 2022. No further details were released Thursday, but the truck will officially debut June 8. The ...Read more

Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Ford posts 4.1% sales gain in May amid tightening inventory

Automotive / Automotive News /

Ford Motor Co. sold 161,725 vehicles last month, up 4.1% from May 2020, when the automotive industry was just beginning to mount a recovery from coronavirus pandemic-related sales slumps and production shutdowns.

Ford's truck sales were down 11.6% year-over-year in May, while SUVs posted a 48.6% improvement.

"Ford sales were up 4.1 percent on ...Read more