August 2016

New 2017 Honda Civic hatchback arrives this fall in North America

(August 15, 2016) TORRANCE — Arriving this fall in North America, the 2017 Civic hatchback is the latest addition to the much-heralded 10th-generation Honda Civic lineup, joining the 2016 North American Car of the Year — the Civic Sedan, and the Civic Coupe that launched earlier this year.

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

CARMEL, Calif. — The completely redesigned 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class marks the 10th generation of the German automaker’s most popular model. To save you the suspense of waiting until the end of the review, I’ll tell you now: The new E-Class is nothing short of fantastic and lives up to its billing as “The world’s most intelligent luxury sedan.” Heck, I’d go so far as to say it’s the most intelligent vehicle on the planet, period.

Lexus takes on the performance barons of Germany with GS F

By Jim Prueter

(August 14, 2016) Lexus is the latest auto manufacturer to throw itself into the rarified segment of high-performance luxury sedans. Notable warhorses in this class include the 605-horsepower Audi RS7, the 557-horsepower Mercedes-Benz AMG E 63, the 640-horsepower Cadillac CTS-V, and, arguably the best known and class leader of the assemblage, the 575-horsepower BMW M5.

Ford's market share, sales volumes up in July in Europe

(August 13, 2016) COLOGNE, Germany — Ford posted its best July total vehicle sales since 2009, best July passenger car sales since 2011 and best commercial vehicle sales since 1993 in its 20 traditional European markets. Ford total vehicle sales in the Europe 20 markets rose 5 percent to 105,200 vehicles in July, with Ford’s market share up 0.5 percentage points to 8.1 percent for the month.

Summertime tire testing — Hot, wet and tired

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(August 13, 2016) “The everyday driver is an accidental performance driver.” It was one of those statements that sticks in your mind because it strikes a chord of truth. How often, if ever, do most drivers get a chance to push their vehicle hard enough to see what it will do, and do so in a controlled setting?

Volkswagen sales down just .9 percent worldwide in first seven months

(August 12, 2016) WOLFSBURG, Germany — Despite its massive diesel engine cheat scandal, Volkswagen reports its car brand delivered 3.37 million vehicles worldwide from January to July, almost matching the prior-year level of 3.4 million. Volkswagen says that represents a nine-tenths of one percent decline in the first seven months of 2016 compared to 2015.

VW says 449,100 vehicles were handed over to customers in July.

Study finds Gen-Xers favor 365-horsepower Ford Explorer Sport

(August 12, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Professional Gen-Xers don’t always drive SUVs, but when they do they drive Ford Explorer Sport, according to a new vehicle customer study by MaritzCX. Data from the study shows the vehicle has the highest percentage of Gen X buyers of any non-luxury SUV in the United States.

With its 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine mated to a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, Explorer Sport delivers 365 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 350 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,500 rpm.

A car lover's personal paradise — Automotive stone sculpture

(August 12, 2016) With more than 200 rare motor vehicles to be on display at The Quail : A Motorsport Gathering on Friday, Aug. 19, during the annual Pebble Beach car week — it just may be Kellen Silverthorn’s 12-piece exhibit of automotive stone sculpture that will make the biggest impact.

The exclusive display, with each of his pieces sculpted from single blocks of the finest quality marble, will incorporate timeless classic automotive forms from seven car-producing nations and will be making its international debut amidst a field of otherwise noted rolling artistry.

BMW introduces a plug-in hybrid 7 Series — The 2017 740e xDrive

(August 12, 2016) WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — The pioneering character of the new BMW 7 Series model range is in the spotlight once again with the introduction of an intelligent drive concept. The BMW eDrive technology based on the knowledge gained from the development of BMW i cars has arrived in the luxury class and adds outstanding sustainability-led qualities to the new BMW 7 Series.

Turn the radio up! Ford's dual FM radio receivers bring music to your ears

(August 11, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Immortalized in numerous songs about summertime and freedom, car radios have long been an integral part of driving. In fact, 93 percent of Americans listen to radio weekly, more than TV or smartphones, according to Nielsen’s Audio Today: Radio 2016 report.