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What makes an automobile “American?” An interesting question, probably one none of us has bothered to ponder but with a globalized manufacturing supply chain a typical American Brand like a Ford could in theory be less “American” than Honda or Kia for example.

In a recent study GM and Ford finished first and second that looked at a car’s American make-up. The Kogod School of Business out of American University (coincidence, we think not!) produced the study which is in its fourth year of publication. The meat of the data is derived from the American Automobile Labeling Act (1994) which obliged automakers to provide window sticker information on which parts were U.S. and Canadian assembled (which also included the country of origin for the engine and transmission).

The goal is to provide consumers with a “real” view of how and from where their car was built. GM’s Buick Enclave, Cadillac CTS Coupe, Chevy Corvette, [...]

 

Carbon fiber cars. Sort of futuristic, right? Well, not really. Car parts have been made for years with carbon fiber in European supercars such as Ferrari and McLaren. But notice the keyword here, “supercar.” Carbon fiber is far from being on the cusp of mainstream automobile manufacturing. Carbon fiber material costs and production have declined over previous decades but it is still quite expensive and thus prohibitive when attempting to scale up.

Yet, when you’re charging $100,000 plus per car, and your buyer values carbon fiber and how you make quality use of the technology, then cost doesn’t much factor in. This is probably why Lamborghini’s recent announcement of a new carbon fiber research facility to open in Seattle did not catch many off-guard. The luxury automaker has been using carbon fiber for decades in fact, and the grand opening of this new facility will mark the 30th anniversary of its use of carbon [...]

 

You will rarely hear this blog getting personal. In the sense, you’re not going to ever learn about my Mom’s killer recipe for tuna casserole, Dad’s handy tip for regular oil changes or my sister’s not so handy tip for keeping her computer virus free. But what you will hear from time to time is this blogger’s personal opinion (rather love) for certain things automobile related. And folks, we’ve arrived.

The CR-Z everyone, the Honda CR-Z! This was my car, my ride, my whip as my younger cousin would have referred to it. I had a 2011 Honda CR-Z and it was a complete blast. Which is why I took a punch in the chest earlier this week upon hearing Honda will be discontinuing the CR-Z effective in 2016. Good gracious, this can’t be happening. Yet, it is, and mainly because the vast majority of the world feels either nothing toward this automobile or [...]

Cash back! Woo-hoo, don’t we all love hearing those two words! Cash back from the IRS, your insurance company, and of course via the purchase of a new vehicle. The best cash back programs can save you thousands of dollars off that purchase price. They can also help you save money in the event of limited disposable funds available for a down payment.

So as summer ramps up we have a list of some pretty appealing bonus cash specials that can ascend as high as $4,700. With that said, let’s get to it!

Hyundai Sonata (2016)

A top ranking midsize car, in June you can get $1,500 retail bonus cash off most trim levels at a starting price of $21,750. But the best deal perhaps is with the Sonata Eco at $23,725. With this particular model you’d be eligible for up to $2,750 in retail bonus cash.

Hyundai Velostar (2016)

Hyundai’s compact hatchback, in June [...]

It might seem that we are constantly inundated with tips on how to keep our kids safe around our other prized assets (our cars), but there’s a reason for that. Kids (as well as you and I) have a much greater chance of perishing in a car, driving or stationary, than in a pool, plane, or boat. So let’s talk safety, and more specifically, safety that you and I as adults can control for.

Keep it Locked Up

Locked doors folks, pretty simple, right? You would think so, but in practice, not so much. Especially at home, as during these summer months kids are more prevalent around the house, keeping the car locked with keys in an inaccessible place within the home is key (sorry for the obvious pun). When kids get their hands on keys, doors and windows can open, and the risk of being trapped increases dramatically.

Being Home Doesn’t = Home-Free

Summer [...]

Fuel cells are not a new technology, per se, but direct-ethanol fuel cells are an evolving technology that Nissan is now adopting to leap the infrastructure hurdle. The Japanese automaker has successfully developed a novel method of tapping an onboard tank of ethanol (via a fuel cell drivetrain) instead of pressurized hydrogen. The goal is to deliver a safe and more cost effective ride that will be very user friendly.

The “e-bio fuel cell” as it is internally known will attack a common industry hurdle – how to address the lack of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The Nissan system uses bio-ethanol which comes from corn or sugarcane (traditional, renewable crops). The “e-bio fuel cell” will serve to propel the same vehicles that it has in its fleet as Toyota (the Mirai) or Honda (the Clarity). Hydrogen will be fed through its fuel stack and this will generate electricity to power the automobile. Excess electricity will [...]

So Tesla has squarely fallen on the radar of the entire world. Similar to Facebook, the electric car maker has taken the industry by storm and as with most things, once something is going well, others seek to cash in as well. A few miles from Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto, a Silicon Valley startup with major backing from Chinese investors is ready to challenge Mr. Musk and his cohort.

Atieva, spearheaded by Mr. Peter Rawlinson, a former Tesla lead engineer for the Model S sedan, has said that Atieva’s software is the company’s “secret sauce.” Mr. Rawlinson plans to put oout a premium electric sedan by 2018 which will then open up the floodgates to a pair of luxury cross-overs soon thereafter.  In addition to Tesla, Atieva is also up against three other China-based startups that are working closely with Silicon Valley technologists. In fact, the same Chinese billionaire that is backing Atieva is [...]

The Land Rover Evoque came into play in 2011 in both three and five-door versions. Initially, lower CO2 emissions and fuel economy were the big draw but soon design and styling really began to take shape … and turn heads. The original version was positively received as it had retained the same features, amenities and off-road capabilities of what one would traditionally find in a typical Range Rover vehicle. In its first year alone the Evoque sold 88,000 units.

Flash forward to 2016 and the Evoque is now challenging the BMW X6 and the Mercedes GLE Coupe. This new model is bigger than the Evoque of old but has some snazzy new coupe styling. “Spy” photographs have emerged out of Scotland with the code-name L560. The rear end is rumored to be coupe-like and visually the car would fall in the Range Rover Sport category – a Range Rover Sport Coupe if you will. According [...]

The Porsche Panamera debuted in 2010, a stark departure from the traditional Porsche the world was accustomed to. A four-door, yes, four-door sedan that of course was luxury in every sense of the word and designed by a renowned eye in Michael Mauer. Similar to the SUV Cayenne, the Panamera also upset many Porsche purists as these two vehicles are clearly not two-door sports cars. Ironically enough the Cayenne has become the brand’s best-selling vehicle so despite this departure demand has clearly not waned.

Three weeks ago Porsche released some teaser images of the new Panamera set to come out later this year. Inspired by the 911, a redesigned rear with brand new LED lights and a LED strip that connects the two has loyal followers buzzing. The new version also appears more “rakish” than its predecessors but one glance at the side shows it is quite similar to this year’s model.

Matthias Muller, VW-Group [...]

Car maintenance is real, it’s a pain, and it’s an absolute necessity. If you can do it yourself, fantastic, if you need to pay a third party, fine as well. But it’s the maintenance, the regular check-ups, and the tracking that counts. So when one country rises above to claim the top spot according to car maintenance metrics, we’re all ears.

That country, that proud nation here in 2016 is drumroll please … the U.K.! The 30 million plus cars that are serviced each year in the U.K. are some of the best maintained cars on our planet. British motorists in fact spend an eye-popping 2.1 billion pounds per year on services and repairs.

Looking more closely, we are talking an average of 695 pounds per year taking care of their car, which is 12 percent more than the global average. As a result it should come as no surprise that the U.K. has fewer [...]

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