February 2018

2019 Volkswagen Jetta moves to VW's modular transverse architecture

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(February 3, 2018) Though the current Volkswagen Jetta is old, it was the first to, stylistically at least, not look like what it was: a Golf with a trunk. Nevertheless, it was closely related to that car, borrowing the bulk of its underpinnings from the fifth-generation Golf. And as the Jetta seemed to live in some automotive form of suspended animation, the rest of the VW lineup (save the Jetta-based U.S. Passat sedan), moved to VW’s modular transverse architecture, or MQB.

Toyota posts biggest monthly sales gain in nearly four years

(February 2, 2018) Toyota posted its biggest U.S. sales gain in nearly four years in January advancing nearly 17 percent. It was the company's biggest monthly jump since May 2014 with 167,056 vehicles sold.

“We are off to a great start with strong customer demand for light trucks, including RAV4, Highlander and 4Runner, setting best-ever records for January,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, Toyota division.

Rare Vincent Black Lightning sets record for motorcycle auction sale

(February 2, 2018) LAS VEGAS — The nearly $1 million sale of a rare Vincent Black Lightning has set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a single motorcycle at a public auction. Going under the gavel at $929,000 at a Bonhams auction held at the Rio Hotel and Casino, the unrestored Vincent bested the previous sales record set in 2015 when a 1915 Cyclone, once owned by the actor-rider Steve McQueen, went for $775,000.

Subaru continues winning string — Another record sales month

(February 2, 2018) Subaru has reported 44,357 vehicle sales for January, a 1.1 percent increase over January 2017, and the best January in the history of the company. These results continue the company’s sales momentum from 2017 where Subaru achieved nine consecutive years of record sales and exceeded 647,000 annual sales — a first in company history.

January marked the 47th consecutive month of 40,000+ vehicle sales for the automaker.

Is it vehicular sadism?


By Al Vinikour       al@motorwayamerica.com

Just who determines where to position a vehicle’s ignition switch? I’ll tell you my suspicion…a Transformer, that’s who. No one with opposable thumbs and a normally-articulated wrist could have been responsible.

If you’re old enough to require a fiber supplement you probably remember when ignition switches used to be located on the dashboard – most often on the left side. Some of them even had lights. There was only one way to insert the key but yet a bat could see where it went.

FCA set to deliver thousands of Pacifica Hybrid vans to Waymo

(February 2, 2018) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced an agreement to supply thousands of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo to support the launch of the world’s first driverless ride-hailing service. FCA previously delivered 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans, adapted for self-driving, to Waymo during the second half of 2016 and an additional 500 in 2017.

2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet — Living the dream with the top down

By Jim Prueter

(February 1, 2018) The A5 is an attractive version of Audi’s A4 sedan and is available as a coupe, four-door Sportback, and a Cabriolet, tested here. The A5 Cabriolet is available in a choice of two trim levels: base ($49,600) and the performance-oriented S5 version ($62,300). Both trim levels are luxury drop tops with an attractive exterior and a formal interior.

Vintage race cars, motorcycles, dragsters to unite at Mazda Raceway

(February 1, 2018) MONTEREY, Calif.  — The second annual Spring Classic on May 18-20 is shaping up to be a can't-miss event for fans of vintage motorsports. Road racing on two and four wheels and drag racing will all be celebrated this year at Mazda Raceway.

Race cars from the '70s, '80s, and '90s will roar back to life on the iconic Monterey County-owned 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course.

Toyota recalls 49,000 vehicles over airbag issue

(February 1, 2018) PLANO, Texas — Toyota Motor North America, Inc. has announced that it is conducting a safety recall in the U.S. of approximately 49,000 Model Year 2016 Prius and Lexus RX vehicles and Model Year 2015 – 2016 Lexus NX vehicles.
The involved vehicles have air bag systems where an open circuit could be created over time.  If this were to occur, the air bag warning light will illuminate and the side and curtain shield air bags and/or front air bags may not deploy. 

Steven Tyler turns back hands of time in new Kia Stinger Super Bowl ad

(February 1, 2018) With the unstoppable Steven Tyler behind the wheel, turning back the hands of time is as easy as pressing the start button in the all-new 2018 Stinger in Kia Motors’ Super Bowl ad for the highest performing and most anticipated model in the company’s history.