Here's the Thing

In defense of the sedan over the SUV — Volkswagen style

By Christopher Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(October 29, 2020) Let me get this out of the way up front: I actually like SUVs. They make a certain amount of sense for people, especially as they — after the minivan delivered the initial blow — killed off the station wagon. Or killed it off with the help of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) legislation, trucking deregulation that put many, many more heavy trucks on the road, and concerns about crashworthiness. Plus, if you want to go off-road, all the better, even though the most off-roading your vehicle will do is when the valet parks it on a dirt overflow parking lot.

Gasoline demand drops to lowest level in four months

(October 27, 2020) Gasoline demand has dropped significantly since the beginning of the month, down from 8.8 million barrels a day to 8.2 million, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. This latest demand measurement is the lowest since mid-June. While the drop isn’t out of the ordinary for this time of year, people tend to drive less in the fall, it is a staggering 14% less than last October. On the week, gasoline stocks increased to 227 million barrels, putting total supplies at a 4 million barrels surplus compared to this time last year.

2021 Bentley Flying Spur First Edition — Stunning, muscular, elegant

By Dan Scanlan

(October 25, 2020) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Stare deep into its headlights and you will see cut crystal tumblers lacking only amber liquid over ice cubes nestled inside. The LED lighting units on the 2021 Bentley Flying Spur evoke those, even before we get to the rest of this 626-hp all-wheel-drive ultra-luxury sports sedan, the third generation of Bentley’s four-door Grand Tourer. This is no ordinary Bentley, if any cars from this venerable 101-year-old maker can be called such.

2022 Maserati MC20 — The pure quintessence of an Italian supercar

By Jim Prueter

(October 24, 2020) SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Over the years there’s been a ridiculous number of car songs — from dusty old favorites like Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally” (“I bought you a brand-new Mustang ‘bout 1965”) to “Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys (“And she’ll have fun, fun, fun, til her daddy takes the T-Bird away”). Then there are songs about GTOs, Hot Rod Lincolns, and Cadillacs.

Revived Fiat 124 Spider both a sibling and a rival to Mazda MX-5

By Paul Borden

(October 23, 2020) Since its inception just over three decades ago, the Mazda MX-5 Miata not only has been the go-to choice for car shoppers looking for an affordable, modern-day version of the classic 1950s-’60s British roadster, for a good part of that time it pretty much has been the only option. But not so much any more.

Nissan turns to young artists to brighten untraditional Halloween

(October 23, 2020) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nissan partnered with local high school art students to celebrate the creativity Halloween brings and introduce them to careers in automotive design. While social distancing guidelines may impact traditional Halloween plans this year, new activities involving cars — such as haunted drive-ins — are becoming more popular. Why not decorate your vehicle in addition to your home for Halloween this year?

2021 Mercedes AMG GLE63S — A Heavenly SUV? It might be this one

By Jim Prueter

(October 22, 2020) Chances are, nothing in the 659-page operator’s manual — properly cached in a leather-bound and stitched folder located in the glove box — will even begin to prepare you for the first time you slip behind the wheel of the 2021 AMG GLE63S, with its 603 asphalt ripping horsepower launched by 627 lb.-ft of toque. The experience? Well, think of the G force of a rocket that’s launching toward Mars.

GMC Acadia wins AutoPacific's 2020 Ideal Vehicle award

(October 22, 2020) NORTH TUSTIN, Calif. — Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. today announced the 2020 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), recognizing vehicles that best meet owners' expectations for the product. The GMC Acadia was named the overall most ideal vehicle and Tesla and Land Rover tied for Most Ideal Brand Overall and Most Ideal Premium Brand. Volkswagen captured the Most Ideal Popular Brand.

How Ford’s next-gen test vehicle lays foundation for self-driving business

By John Davis
Chief Engineer
Ford Autonomous Vehicles

(October 21,2020) Launching a self-driving service is complex. Many different pieces need to come together to create a trusted and scalable self-driving service that provides value to customers and the cities they operate in. At Ford, we are taking a thoughtful approach to how we bring together all these pieces to help shape the future of self-driving vehicles. One important part of this service is the vehicle, which will allow us to stand up our self-driving business.

Gasoline demand, supply and imports decline along with gas prices

(October 20, 2020) Gasoline demand, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), back tracked for the week ending Oct. 9, decreasing from 8.90 million barrels a day to 8.58 million barrels a day. Lower demand, even as total domestic stocks decreased by 1.6 million barrels to 225.1 million barrels and imports fell to their lowest rate since Sept. 18, has contributed to pump price decreases for the majority of the country.