May 2016

Remember the Ridgeline: A first drive of Honda's 2017 pickup

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(May 17, 2016) SAN ANTONIO — I'm not the kind of guy who dwells on the past, but history does interest me. As a one-time Texan, I'm particularly partial to tales of the Lone Star's yesteryear. So, when Honda included me on its media introduction of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline in San Antonio, I didn't need to give it much thought. They had me at “Ridgeline.”

Subaru tells owners: Stop driving new Outback and Legacy until inspection

(May 16, 2016) DETROIT — Subaru has announced that about 52,000 2016 and 2017 model year Legacy and Outback vehicles may have a steering problem, and advised owners to discontinue driving them until they can be inspected.

The company is recalling the cars and SUVs and also has told dealers to stop selling them until they’re repaired. About 22,000 of the cars have been sold in the U.S., with the remainder still on dealer lots, Subaru says.

Ford sales in Europe continue to rise in April

(May 16, 2016) COLOGNE, Germany — Ford’s total vehicle sales in April in its European 20 traditional markets were the best of any April since 2009, with passenger car sales at their highest since 2010, and commercial vehicles achieving their peak April sales since 1993.

Ford total vehicle sales rose 6.3 percent to 113,400 vehicles, with market share down 0.3 of a percentage point at 7.6 percent, and flat for year-to-date at 8.1 percent.

Nissan and Nissan Arc Ltd. develop method to boost battery capacity

(May 16, 2016) YOKOHAMA, Japan — Nissan Motor Co. and Nissan Arc Ltd. have announced joint development of an atomic analysis methodology that will aid in boosting the performance of lithium-ion batteries, and ultimately extend the driving range of zero-emission electric vehicles.

The breakthrough was the result of a combined R&D effort between Nissan Arc Ltd., a Nissan subsidiary, Tohoku University, the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

Audi autonomous research car 'shows social competence'

(May 16, 2016) Audi proclaims its latest research car, the Audi A7 piloted driving concept “Jack,” has not only learned how to autonomously perform all of its driving maneuvers on the expressway, but has learned how to show consideration for other road users. “Jack exhibits a driving style that is adaptive to the given situation, safe and especially interactive — a research car with social competence," Audi says.

Going green has never been better

By Jim Prueter

(May 15, 2016) It isn’t sexy, nor sporty and definitely absent any measure of cachet yet the Toyota Prius has become ubiquitous on American roads and byways with well over a million of them sold. Eight million have been sold worldwide.

EcoBoost evolution: Greater efficiency, double the injectors, more speeds

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(May 15, 2016) About the only thing that Ford’s second generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 keeps from its predecessor is the bore spacing and deck height of the outgoing motor. That’s because this makes it possible to build the new engine on the same line as the outgoing version, with no major changes in plant or equipment. Where the new engine differs the most from its predecessor, however, is in its fuel injection system.

FCA recalling 32,267 SUVs over shift interlock problem

(May 14, 2016) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is voluntarily recalling an estimated 32,267 SUVs in the U.S. to address the potential for a certain wire-harness terminal to lose its electrical connection.

If this condition occurs, the vehicle’s shifter may become locked in “PARK” or “NEUTRAL” once the vehicle is brought to a stop. An investigation by FCA US traced the cause to supplied wiring harnesses, some of which may have been incorrectly crimped.

Volkswagen unveils five-car enthusiast event fleet

(May 14, 2016) HERNDON, Va. — With the summer enthusiast season just around the corner, Volkswagen of America, Inc. has unveiled its enthusiast show fleet for 2016. Featuring five models from the brand lineup, these special show vehicles are inspired by the diverse interests of Volkswagen enthusiasts.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider takes off with two new online videos

(May 13, 2016) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Fiat brand marks the return of the all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider with the debut of two new videos, “Free Like a Bird” and “No Blue Pill Needed.” The videos will live on the brand’s YouTube, Twitter and Facebook channels, with additional content across its digital and social channels, including Instagram.