February 2015

2016 Honda Pilot: No longer the box it came in

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Dri

(February 21, 2015) Honda pulled the wraps from the 2016 Pilot at the Chicago Auto Show, and more than a few in the audience were confused. Where was the big, round-cornered box on wheels? What was this oversize CR-V doing on the stand? Why is Honda selling the car with two autom
atic transmissions, one a six-speed, the other a nine-speed? [Adding one gear to the outgoing five-speed, and making it standard only on the lower trim levels suggests the nine-speed’s extra cost would have placed the base Pilot models at a disadvantage when compared to its competition.] How can it be bigger when it looks so much less bulky?

Volvo says it will have self-driving cars ready by 2017

(February 20, 2015) Volvo Cars presents a unique, complete system solution that makes it possible to integrate self-driving cars into real traffic — with ordinary people in the driver’s seat. As the Drive Me project enters its second year, Volvo Cars is moving rapidly towards the aim of placing 100 self-driving cars in the hands of customers on selected roads around Gothenburg, Sweden, by 2017.

2015 Ford F-150 debuts with snow plow option

(February 20, 2015) DEARBORN, Mich. — The all-new 2015 Ford F-150 is the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever, and it’s also the only light-duty truck with an available snow plow prep kit for every cab — Regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew.

Using more high-strength steel in the frame and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in the body helped make the new F-150 as much as 700 pounds lighter.

Ford and Petty's Garage team up to build 627-horsepower Mustang GT

(February 20, 2015) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford and Petty’s Garage are teaming up to build a new 627-horsepower Mustang GT — a limited-edition fastback inspired by the popular Petty’s Garage Mustang GT on display at last year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas.

Sharing yard space

A 1952 Cadillac and a mid-1980s Lincoln Continental share space in a yard littered with old motorized stuff in North Carolina.
(Photo by Ralph Gable)

Subaru Boxer engine production hits 15 million

(February 19, 2015) Production of Subaru’s horizontally-opposed  "Boxer" engine has reached 15 million units since the engine was first developed 49 years ago. The Boxer engine has become synonymous with Subaru vehicles all over the world, and remains one the hallmarks of a brand which continues to tread its own path when it comes to engineering.

Range Rover Sport Hybrid tows Airstream 2,500 miles in Arctic cold

(February 19, 2015) WHITLEY, UK — Land Rover has teamed up with Airstream on an adventure to the Arctic Circle to demonstrate the capabilities of the new Range Rover Sport Hybrid. The world’s first premium diesel hybrid towed the 5,500-pound travel trailer 2,500 miles to Land Rover’s cold-weather test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, then on to the Arctic Circle.

Infiniti QX30 concept crossover will debut at Geneva Motor Show

(February 19, 2015) HONG KONG — Infiniti today provided the first full glimpse of the QX30 Concept, which will have its world premiere at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show. The crossover concept hints at a future premium compact vehicle and gives a strong indication of the brand’s commitment to this segment.

Pushing design boundaries, the QX30 Concept combines the sleek lines of a coupe with the distinguishing features and higher stance of a crossover. Looking poised for action, yet fluid, it promises to deliver effortless capability with style.

Chevrolet Volt owners got their say in next-generation model

(February 19, 2015) DETROIT — To Sam Miller-Christiansen, his 2014 Chevrolet Volt is the best car he has owned. And he was willing to tell anyone, including the team developing the next-generation Volt.

“I said that if they could improve the overall EV range, it would make one of my favorite cars even better,” Miller-Christiansen said. “To my amazement, they’ve done it.”

Chevrolet City Express powers small business

(February 18, 2015) DETROIT — Small businesses across the country are beginning to add Chevrolet’s all-new 2015 City Express cargo van to their fleets. According to the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, U.S. small businesses account for 99.7 percent of employer firms. According to IHS Automotive, total small business registrations have increased each year since 2009 with a cumulative 41 percent increase when comparing 2009 to 2013.