AAH #357 – Alfa Giulia: Are You Ready For A Performance Sedan?

December 1st, 2016 at 2:30pm

Audio-only version:

It’s been years of waiting, but the Alfa Romeo brand is finally starting to take shape. Dealerships have had the 4C for a while, but now they’re welcoming the brand’s first sedan, the all-new Giulia. Join host Gary Vasilash from the site of its North American media drive in Napa Valley, California as he and guest co-host Tim Stevens from Roadshow by CNET, talk to the team behind Alfa Romeo. In addition during the news portion of the show, Gary and Tim are also joined by two colleagues as they discuss the hopes for this new performance sedan.

SPECIAL GUESTS:
01:04Reid Bigland, CEO, Alfa Romeo
17:05Richard Cox, Director, Alfa Romeo North America
27:34Fabio Di Muro, Vehicle Line Director, Alfa Romeo

38:36 - PANEL: Gary Vasilash, AD&P; Tim Stevens, CNET; Rebecca Lindland, KBB; Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver

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AD #1998 – Audi Creates Lunar Rover, EPA Races to Beat Trump, Cadillac Returns to Prototypes

December 1st, 2016 at 11:53am

Runtime: 7:47

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- EPA Races to Beat Trump
- Distracted By Bright, Shiny Discounts
- Triple Dutch Bus
- Ford Reveals New Fiesta
- Cadillac Returns to Prototypes
- What’s Kia Up To?
- Fly Me to the Moon
- Used Car Gold Mine

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AD #1997 – GM Will Lose $9,000 on Every Bolt EV, Tesla Fighter Picks Arizona for Plant, Reducing CAFE Could Hurt Industry

November 30th, 2016 at 10:45am

Runtime: 7:12

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- GM Will Lose $9,000 on Every Bolt EV
- Akio Toyoda Takes Over Toyota’s EV Efforts
- Lucid Motors Chooses Arizona for Factory
- London to Ban Diesel Buses from 2018
- Ford Develops Windy Tech for Vans
- Elaine Chao Selected as Secretary of Transportation
- Reducing CAFE Could Hurt Auto Industry

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AD #1996 – RV Sales Running Strong, VW to Build All-Electric Bulli Van, Prez Trump Could Give Industry Regulatory Relief

November 29th, 2016 at 11:46am

Runtime: 6:45

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- RV Sales Running Strong
- Volvo Truck Pulls Paraglider Up Mountain
- Meet the New Ford Fiesta
- OEMs Team for EU Charging Network
- Porsche Sets Lofty Sales Goal for Mission E
- VW to Put All-Electric Van Into Production
- President Trump Could Give Regulatory Relief

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AD #1995 – Daimler Makes Big EV Investment, BMW Uses Autonomy in Production, Formula 1’s New Champion

November 28th, 2016 at 11:53am

Runtime: 7:51

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Mercedes Makes Massive EV Investment
- BMW Uses Autonomy in Manufacturing
- Infiniti Measures Brainwaves to Design Cars
- Toyota Watches Ions
- Formula One’s New Champion
- NAFTA Critical to Health of Auto Industry

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Seat Time: 2017 Bentley Bentayga – Ne Plus Ultra Amongst Luxury SUV’s

November 25th, 2016 at 10:00am

Bentley Bentayga, Iceland, July 2016Photo James Lipman / jameslipman.com

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.


Reviewer:
John McElroy
Vehicle: 2017 Bentley Bentayga
Price: $275,180

Final Impression:

I knew that Bentley achieved everything it wanted with the Bentayga when I drove up to the main entrance at the Greenbrier, one of the poshest resort hotels in the world. People stopped and stared. Suddenly the Benz’s, BMW’s and Range Rover’s parked out front looked somewhat pedestrian, even mundane. I overhead one woman breathlessly ask, “Who’s in the Bentley?”

You want instant rock star status? Get a Bentayga. But you better bring a rock star income along with you, too. The one I drove had over $43,000 in options, which in itself is enough to buy a decent luxury car. But for those who have this kind of disposable income, the Bentayga gives get something very special for your money.

Bentley Bentayga, Iceland, July 2016Photo James Lipman / jameslipman.com

Bentayga by Mulliner 01Let’s start with the interior, which I think is the most impressive aspect of this car. It’s arresting, truly one of those open-the-door-and-take-your-breath-away designs. Bentley is masterful at choosing the perfect types of leathers and colors. And accents and contrasts. And textures and smells. It just makes you want to inhale deeply with every breath and run your hands over every surface.

Even more, it has a wonderful combination of modernity sprinkled with old-school touches. For example, it bristles with the latest in electronic interfaces but retains the damped organ-stop vent controls that Bentley used for most of the last century. From the quilted leather accents to the large burled walnut veneers that run through the tops of the doors and across the face of the dashboard, it gets awfully close to being garish but stops just in time to look impressively opulent instead.

As you look at the Bentayga’s silhouette you realize that it exhibits proportions not seen on any other SUV. It has a high belt line with chunky fenders. It has a chopped front overhang, but a stretched rear overhang. And the back lite is set at a faster angle than the windshield. In other words, there’s nothing else in the market that is shaped like it.

Bentley Bentayga, Iceland, July 2016 Photo James Lipman / jameslipman.com

Untitled-1This was not done purely for aesthetic reasons. The shape of the car provides rear seat passengers with plenty of room at the same time it provides decent luggage space.

To drive home the “sport” aspect of this sport utility vehicle, it has a pronounced curve at the leading edge of the rear fenders, reminiscent of the haunches of a jungle cat ready to leap at its prey. And just in case the haunches don’t drive that point home, all you have to do is tap into its 600 horsepower W-12 engine. I’ve never felt 5,000 pounds of steel, glass and aluminum rocket forward so quickly.

The Bentayga is currently in a class of its own, but will soon share the road with a couple of cousins. The next generation Porsche Cayenne and the upcoming Lamborghini Urus will share the same VW AG MLB platform. Though each has its own unique personality they could vie for the same class of customers. That might muddy the waters from a sales standpoint.

For now though, the Bentayga has the market to itself. And it has made an impression that extends well beyond the 1%-ers it’s aimed at. When driving down the highway I noticed a number of people whip out their cell phones to shoot a video of the Bentayga as it whistled past them. That was a new experience for me. I’ve never seen people shooting a video of a car that I was driving. And I test drive a lot of different cars.

It’s amazing how people the world over are turning away from traditional sedans to buy an SUV instead. It’s even more amazing to see this happen at the upper crust of the luxury segment. And that tells me the Bentayga will probably end up being the best selling Bentley ever.

 

 

 

AD #1994 – New Jeep Grand Wagoneer Cancelled, VW Axes U.S. Diesels, BorgWarner Electrifies Business Strategy

November 23rd, 2016 at 11:51am

Runtime: 8:23

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Jeep Grand Wagoneer Cancelled
- VW Axes U.S. Diesels
- Mercedes May Drop U.S. Diesels
- New Hybrid Pick-up Truck
- BorgWarner Electrifies Business Strategy
- You Said It!

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AD #1993 – Average Car Age on the Rise, Qoros Testing Out Cam-Less Engine, Self-Driving Cars Headed to Boston

November 22nd, 2016 at 11:35am

Runtime: 6:34

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Average Age of Cars on the Rise
- Qoros Testing Camshaft-Less Engine
- nuTonomy Signs Autonomous Deal with Boston
- BMW & Baidu End Autonomous Partnership
- Multimatic’s Amazing Shock Absorber Technology

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AD #1992 – New Bronco Being Engineered Down Under, Mazda Finally Launches Diesel, 2016 Headed for U.S. Sales Record

November 21st, 2016 at 11:43am

Runtime: 8:16

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- 2016 Headed for U.S. Sales Record
- Bronco, Ranger Have Aussie Accents
- Johnson’s 7th Heaven
- Chinese Jet Car
- Mazda Finally Launches Diesel
- Ford EcoSport North American Updates

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AD #1991 – VW Could Cut 30,000 Jobs, GM to Sell Pick-Up Trucks in China, Buick Reveals Own Version of the Volt

November 18th, 2016 at 11:51am

Runtime: 8:08

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- VW Reaches Deal to Cut Jobs to Save Money
- Buick Velite Concept
- Chevy Silverado & Colorado Headed to China
- New Jeep Compass Details
- Toyota Shows Production C-HR
- Toyota Testing Fuel-Cell Semi
- Subaru VIZIV-7 Concept Hints at Future
- Designing Interiors for the Future

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