January 2018

Mini Cooper Countryman gets plug-in power as hybrid model for 2018

By Paul Borden

(January 25, 2018) The Mini Cooper is not yet at the stage where it needs to be upgraded to the “MAXI” Cooper, but it seems to be moving in that direction. Launched in 1959 as a trend-setting, two-door sub-compact that was 120.25 inches long — not much more than the wheelbase for many large vehicles — and weighed in at just over 1,300 pounds, the Mini now is available as a four-door wagon that is four feet longer and weighs in at twice the original hardtop’s heft.

Nissan Design Europe marks 15 years of success

(January 25, 2018) LONDON — Nissan Design Europe, the brand's world-class creative hub and starting point for some of today's most popular and innovative models, this month celebrates 15 years at its current home. The studio officially opened its doors for business on Jan. 25, 2003, in the Paddington area of London.

New BMW 8 Series Coupe undergoes vehicle dynamics testing in Italy

(January 24, 2018) With the presentation of the BMW Concept 8 Series, BMW already offered a close-to-series glimpse at the design of their new luxury segment sports car. The dynamic qualities of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe are now also clearly manifesting themselves. A close-to-series prototype is currently undergoing intensive testing on a high-speed proving ground in Aprilia, Italy.

The tests serve in particular to optimize the vehicle’s driving dynamics on surfaces with a high friction coefficient and mark yet a further decisive stage on the way to the launch of the new BMW 8 Coupe during 2018.

Limited edition Range Rover SV Coupe to debut in Geneva

(January 24, 2018) MAHWAH, N.J. — Land Rover has announced the introduction of an all-new full-size luxury SUV coupe. The Range Rover SV Coupe will be a dramatic and desirable addition to the Range Rover model portfolio featuring a seductive body design and a supremely refined interior.

Hydrogen fuel cell makes inroads with 3,000 sales of Toyota Mirai

(January 24, 2018) PLANO, Texas — Move over polluters, the Toyota Mirai, one of the  world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, has surpassed 3,000 sales in the Golden State. Having reached this new milestone, Mirai makes up a large percentage of all hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the United States.

Bugatti builds titanium brake caliper from 3-D printing

(January 23, 2018) WOLFSBURG, Germany — With its Veyron and Chiron super sports cars, Bugatti has established a position as a pioneer for new technical developments and innovations in the extreme performance sector of the automotive industry over the past few decades and has set breathtaking performance data and records.

Now the Development Department of the French luxury brand has achieved a new coup. For the first time, the Bugatti developers have succeeded in designing a brake caliper that can be produced by 3-D printing.

Subaru unveils new series of 'Dog Tested' television ads

(January 23, 2018) CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Continuing its tradition of creating popular pet-focused ads, Subaru of America, Inc. has launched all-new “Dog Tested. Dog Approved” advertising spots. The four spots showcase the Barkleys, the adorable family of Labrador and Golden Retrievers, who recently helped to launch the all-new Subaru Ascent.

In the newest “Dog Tested. Dog Approved” spots, the Barkleys will take on everything from driving lessons, to the first day of school and even a doggy-run car wash.

Mullin Museum expands Citroen exhibit with new vehicles

(January 23, 2018) OXNARD, Calif. — The Mullin Automotive Museum has expanded its internationally acclaimed Citroën exhibit with the addition of three vehicles from the French automaker: a 1931 C4G, a 1975 CX2200 Berline, and a 1971 SM Bonneville Racecar. The cars represent the newest component of the museum’s “Citroën: The Man, The Marque, The Mystique” exhibit, which celebrates the quirky yet wildly innovative manufacturer.

Ford Ranger lives again after being left for dead in 2011

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(January 23, 2018) The original Ford Ranger was sent out to pasture in 2011 after years of being mildly updated but basically neglected. Every last ounce of profit was pulled from the small pickup, and the decision finally was made to drop out of the segment and redirect buyers to less pricey versions of the F-150. The segment, claimed Ford, was dead.