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The Lotus recipe for unmitigated disaster

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Lotus Evora S Sports Racer

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(September 1, 2014) The Malaysian automotive website paultan.org is reporting that new Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has told the Proton Cars board of directors that Lotus will have two new vehicles around which it will build its future: a D segment performance sedan and an SUV. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is what many believe to be the playbook that led Porsche to become fabulously profitable in the early part of this century.

2015 Acura ILX 2.4



GOLDSBORO, N.C. — There were a number of good things to write about with the Acura ILX entry level luxury car after it arrived on the scene as a 2013 model, but performance and driving excitement were just a couple of its detriments — at least in the hybrid edition we were evaluating. Our conclusion at the time, the ILX won't make our recommended list.

2015 Dodge Challenger



PORTLAND, Ore. — Hybrid and electric cars might be all the rage in the eyes of many new car buyers; but there are still plenty of people who just lust after an exciting car with plenty of power. Fifty years ago, when Ford introduced the original Mustang it started a whole new genre — muscle cars, aka pony cars. For many years the cars in this purely American segment captured the imagination of anyone looking for a more practical alternative to a two-seat sports car.

2015 Chevy Suburban, Tahoe



SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. — There's a reason the Chevrolet Suburban has the distinction of being the longest continuous automotive nameplate in the world. Since the first model rolled into showrooms in 1934 as a 1935 model it has met the needs of Americans who desired a large station-wagon-like vehicle capable not only of hauling large families and their cargo, but doing it in a go-anywhere sport utility vehicle truck.

Vehicle of the Week

2014 Hyundai Tucson — Nimble and efficient



By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Lost in the vast array of new compact crossover products is the stylish, affordable and competent 2014 Hyundai Tucson. Although the Tucson was last redesigned several years ago, it stacks up well against such nameplates as the Escape, RAV4, CX-5, CR-V and Cherokee.

Here's the Thing

Awareness of children dying in hot cars rises dramatically, survey finds

(August 29, 2014) WASHINGTON — A new national survey released today shows that public awareness of the dangers of leaving young children alone in hot vehicles has risen dramatically — by nearly 25 percent — since the start of the summer.

The survey, conducted online from Aug. 8-13 by Public Opinion Strategies, found that 85 percent of the respondents had seen, read, or heard "a lot" or "some" about children suffering from heatstroke in vehicles, compared to 69 percent in a survey released by Safe Kids Worldwide in April.

Clearance deals could push auto sales to biggest August since 2003

(August 29, 2014) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Edmunds.com forecasts that 1,511,438 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in August for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 16.9 million. The projected sales will be a 5.5 percent increase from July 2014, and a 0.7 percent increase from August 2013.

Edmunds.com projects that this month's sales could hit the highest August sales volume since August 2003, when the industry delivered 1,628,365 new cars.

Study finds auto companies face deepening challenges with technology

(August 29, 2014) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — In a climate of high consumer demand for increasing levels of technology in new vehicles audio, communication, entertainment and navigation (ACEN) systems are the most problematic component category in today’s new vehicles, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study released this week.

Inside the Industry

Yamaha releases entertaining English version of 'RevTranslator' app

(September 1, 2014) IWATA, Japan — Yamaha Motor Co. has announced the release of the English-language version of RevTranslator, a smartphone app that analyzes sounds and operating environments to enable engines to "speak" to their owners.

Three museum ‘sinkhole’ Corvettes to be restored

(August 31, 2014) BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Chevrolet and the National Corvette Museum will restore three of the Corvettes damaged earlier this year when they tumbled into a sinkhole that developed beneath the floor of the Corvette Museum here.

Ford kicks off 'You Test' series for all-new F-150

(August 30, 2014) DEARBORN, Mich. — Four lucky truck customers are taking their turn behind the wheel of the all-new F-150, Ford’s toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 yet, to put it through some of the toughest testing to date — their own. Beginning today, the first of four videos in the “You Test” series will show how these customers tested the all-new F-150 at BuiltToughTest.com.

These truck customers were selected from more than 15,000 submissions, in which entrants described how they would test the toughness of the new F-150 pickup. 

Abandoned Car of the Week

International pickup sinks into South Dakota lawn



This 1956 S-line International pickup truck has been retired by Larry's Wrecking Service in Hosmer, S.D. The International Harvester company built pickup trucks from 1907 through 1975. The standard Black Diamond 240 six-cylinder engine in the 1956 truck made 131 horsepower and 208.5 pound-feet of torque.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)