Top Story

Squad of high-performance driving engineers helps make all Ford cars better


(August 16, 2018) DEARBORN, Mich. — Donning a fire suit and helmet, strapping into a 500-plus-horsepower race car and taking it onto a test track to top out at more than 190 mph is part of an average workday for an elite squad of Ford’s high-performance driving engineers.

2018 BMW M5

MIAMI — You’ve no doubt heard the term “sports sedan” used to describe regular family cars that have enhanced performance characteristics, but did you know that the genre dates as far back as the 1930s? I confess I didn’t until I did a “Google” search (Is there any other kind?) and found it was first used in the 1930s to describe “sports saloon” versions of British-made Rover cars.

2019 Hyundai Veloster

AUSTIN, Texas — I first heard about the Veloster back in 2012 when Hyundai initially launched the quirky little hatchback, and the name reminded me of a carnival ride. “Weird name for a car,” I thought. Fast forward to May 2018, when Hyundai fittingly introduced the second generation 2019 Veloster to the media in Austin, a city that takes immense pride in proclaiming itself the weirdest city in the country (although Portland, Ore., takes exception to that claim).

2019 Toyota Avalon

SAN DIEGO — There’s a pretty good chance that if you’re not wearing reading glasses to read this review, don’t read newspapers or have the slightest clue what the letters AARP stand for, then you probably have no idea what a Toyota Avalon is — let alone have exciting thoughts about trading your current ride for one.
That’s because average age of a current Toyota Avalon buyer starts with the number six. But that isn’t stopping the folks at Toyota who aim to knock a decade or so off the median age of the owner by introducing the fifth-generation 2019 Avalon sedan.

Vehicle of the Week

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback — A pleasant surprise

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Toyota has sold more than 10 million Corolla compact cars over the years, bringing peace of mind to countless families — reliable transportation that in addition to dependability offers excellent gas mileage and above average resale value. But for the most part Corollas have been as exciting as — well, let's say, the kitchen refrigerator.

Here's the Thing

An illustration of where the most Honda Ridgelines live In U.S.

(August 16, 2018) There’s a new infographic showing where the Honda Ridgeline is most popular in the USA. The popularity of this unique truck was determined on both a total volume basis and a per-capita basis for the graphic. looked at a two-year window — 2016 and 2017 — to collect the information.

Study: Autonomous vehicle awareness rising, acceptance declining

(August 16, 2018) ATLANTA — In the race for self-driving cars, building consumer trust when it comes to safety is just as important as building the technology. According to findings from the 2018 Cox Automotive Evolution of Mobility Study: Autonomous Vehicles, consumer awareness of driverless vehicles has skyrocketed and the desire for autonomous features is high.

Study discovers states where credit scores affect car insurance the most

By Alina Comoreanu
Senior Researcher, WalletHub

(August 15, 2018) Everyone knows you need auto insurance to drive. It’s the law, everywhere but New Hampshire. We also know that our credit scores dictate what types of credit cards and loans we can get. But most of us are in the dark about to the connection between credit scores and car insurance.

So WalletHub set out to see just how much credit data affects the cost of insurance policies in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Inside the Industry

VW Spektrum Program gives customers 40 custom colors for Golf R

(August 16, 2018) Herndon, Va. — Volkswagen of America  has announced the Volkswagen Spektrum Program for the 2019 Golf R.  The program will allow customers to choose from 40 custom order colors — in addition to the five standard colors — ranging from Nogaro Blue Pearl and Violet Touch Metallic, to Caribbean Green and Copper Orange Metallic.

These options make the Golf R stand out, from the highway to the driveway, while also highlighting the owners’ personality. The cost for one of the custom colors is $2,500.

Polestar software upgrade delivers more rear-wheel torque to Volvos

(August 16, 2018) Volvo Cars has introduced a new Polestar-developed software upgrade that increases torque distribution to the rear wheels of Volvo cars equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD), for more dynamic driving.

The optimization software, developed by Volvo Car Group’s new electric performance brand, Polestar, increases the amount and frequency of torque distributed to the rear wheels, improving steering with enhanced turn-in, better control and engagement when cornering, and improved traction when pulling away, delivering a more engaging drive.

Aston Martin to debut DBS Superleggera, Lagonda Vision Concept in Carmel

(August 15, 2018)  IRVINE, Calif. — Aston Martin kicks off the 2018 Monterey Automotive Week by again opening the doors of "Aston Martin Club 1913," inviting attendees to get to know the Aston Martin Lagonda Group and its leadership team. This year’s theme, “Boundless,” showcases the group’s world expanding beyond automotive, to include products on land, sea and in the air.

President for Aston Martin The Americas, Laura Schwab said: “While people flock to Monterey Week for its history, this year at Aston Martin Club 1913, we’ll give guests a glimpse into what’s next.

Abandoned Car of the Week

A Dodge SUV forerunner

The Dodge Town Wagon and Panel was built between 1954 and 1966 presumably to give the popular Chevrolet Suburban competition. It could be purchased with windows in a passenger configuration or strictly as a panel van. The Dodge Wagon, a forerunner of the modern sport utility vehicle, could be purchased with four-wheel drive. This circa 1960-65 Town Wagon was discovered in New Mexico.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)