AD #1950 – McLaren Denies Apple Rumors, ZF Develops 4-Wheel Steer for Pickups, New Player Emerges in the EV Game

September 22nd, 2016 at 11:47am

Runtime: 7:40

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- McLaren Denies Apple Rumors
- Vacuum Maker Sucks Up Aston Martin Developer
- EV Startup Says It’s Better Than Tesla
- How Clean Are EVs?
- ZF Develops 4-Wheel Steer for Big Pickups
- NHTSA Adopts SAE Autonomous Definitions
- Classic Car Market Cooling Off

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AD #1949 – Volkswagen Hit by Barrage of Lawsuits, Investors Line Up to Buy Takata, You Said It!

September 21st, 2016 at 11:50am

Runtime: 9:14

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- VW Hit by Barrage of Lawsuits
- Investors Line Up to Buy Takata
- Auto Insurance Targeted by Disruptors
- Happy Anniversary Peter Schreyer
- You Said It!

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AD #1948 – NHTSA Says Computers Are Legally Drivers, Uber Sets Up Shop in Detroit, The Proper Way to Announce Price

September 20th, 2016 at 11:49am

Runtime: 7:48

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- NHTSA Sets Federal Guidelines for Autonomous Cars
- Level 3 vs. Level 4 Autonomy
- Uber R&D Headed to Detroit, Not Silicon Valley
- The AAA Says Americans Waste Billions on Premium Fuel
- Honda Sets Up New Motorcycle Website
- GM Averts Canadian Strike
- GM Shows the Proper Way to Announce Price

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AD #1947 – Golf Alltrack to Plug VW’s SUV Gap, DARPA Teams Up With Pratt & Miller, GM Faces Strike From Unifor

September 19th, 2016 at 11:27am

Runtime: 8:28

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- GM Faces Strike From Unifor
- VW Suspends Audi Executive
- Golf Alltrack to Bridge VW’s SUV Gap
- DARPA Teams Up With Pratt & Miller
- Waze Adopts INRIX Parking Data
- How Elio Keeps Its Price Low

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AD #1946 – Tesla Getting Into More Supplier Battles, German States Sue VW, Lexus Spider Web Seat

September 16th, 2016 at 12:17pm

Runtime: 8:38

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- Tesla Battles Suppliers
- German States Sue VW
- Why Hyundai Wants Luxury Brand
- Volvo is Wagon Its Tail
- Lexus Spider Web Seat
- IDSA Design As a Change Agent

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AAH #347 – Here We Go With Elio

September 16th, 2016 at 11:41am

Audio-only version:

NEWS TOPICS:
00:50Elio Motors
22:423D Printing
29:01Doctor Data
37:20 – VW Full Line Drive
46:04Google & the Michigan Legislature
48:14 – Ford demos Autonomous Fusion to Journalists
51:51 – Otto – Uber’s Autonomous Semi

SPECIAL GUEST: Jeff Johnston, VP, Engineering Elio Motors

It’s got three wheels, one door and is made from pure imagination. Even though it sounds like a Willy Wonka invention, this is a real car.  The brainchild of engineer Paul Elio, the E-Series is a two-seat, 84mpg vehicle that’s road ready. But the question is, when will it be customer ready?

PANEL:  Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Lindsay Brooke, SAE; Chris Paukert, Roadshow by CNET

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Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

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Seat Time – Shattering The Minivan Stigma With Styling: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

September 16th, 2016 at 8:30am

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

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 Chrysler Pacifica
Price: $48,455 as tested

Final Impression:

Minivans have a problem. Even though they are one of the most practical vehicles you can buy, most people would not be caught dead driving one. They don’t want the stigma of being branded as a soccer mom or a baseball dad, even though that’s exactly what they are. That’s a key reason why minivan sales are half of what they were 20 years ago.

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But maybe Chrysler has cracked the code of how to get rid of that stigma. The new Pacifica looks nothing like the boxy Town & Country it’s replacing. That’s largely thanks to the jaunty angle of the D-pillar, and the wraparound look of the backlite and taillights. It looks more like a premium CUV than a minivan, especially in profile.

The stigma issue also explains why Chrysler enlisted the help of comedian Jim Gaffigan for its Pacifica television ads. His wry sense of humor (he can’t seem to remember his kid’s names) is aimed squarely at dads to convince them that it’s cool to drive a minivan.

The striking styling is more than skin deep; the interior is gorgeous. Or it least on the top-of-the-line Limited model it is. Sumptuous is a word that comes to mind. Every surface seems to be wrapped in leather or some kind of soft-touch material. The styling lines and color combinations are soothing, inviting and decidedly upscale. Lower-level models look good, but use a lot more hard plastic.

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The Limited version I drove came with the “Uconnect Theater and Sound Group” option which transforms the middle seats into a multimedia entertainment center. It features seatback video screens, HDMI outlets, USB ports, Blu-Ray and DVD players, a 115 V power outlet, wireless headphones, remote control and a 760 W amplifier. The option costs $2,795 which is awfully pricey but probably worth every penny for anyone traveling with kids. Maybe not just kids. On one long drive I found myself back there playing solitaire on one of the video screens.

Chrysler continues to have an edge on its competitors with its Stow ’N Go seats that fold into the floor. On the Pacifica the rear row can be electrically operated. No more full body stretches to reach into the back. No more tugging on straps or latches. Even the valets were impressed to see it in action, and they see everything.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The Pacifica drives as good as it looks. It’s noticeably quiet inside partly thanks to the use of noise cancellation.It provides good command-view seating, all-around good visibility and does not feel overly bulky when you’re trying to park it.

On the open road its 3.5 L V-6 provides plenty of power. I was stunned to see it deliver 27 miles per gallon traveling 80 miles an hour on a long highway drive. That’s partly due to its 9-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler has had a lot of problems with this transmission in other models and there were a couple of times where I thought it shifted funny. If they offer an extended warranty, I would take it.

Even so, I’m impressed by the Pacifica. Chrysler closed the quality gap considerably to the Toyota Siena and Honda Odyssey, especially with the interior design. But you pay for what you get. The Limited model that I drove came with a sticker price of $48,455. That’s a lot of money for a family hauler, even though it’s quite competitive with comparable Siena and Odyssey models.

Now I can’t wait to see how it sells. If the styling truly does shatter the stigma the Chrysler Pacifica could bring a lot more soccer moms and baseball dads back into the segment.

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ATW #2028 - International Design

September 15th, 2016 at 4:00pm



Amko Leenarts, Global Director, Interior Design, Ford/Lincoln; Kevin Kerrigan, SVP, Automotive Office, MEDC; Marc Greuther, Chief Curator and Curator of Industry and Design at The Henry Ford. Topic: Design.

Autoline THIS WEEK doesn’t usually have a live audience but then it’s not usually taped in front of the Industrial Designers Society of America conference held recently in Detroit, Michigan.

Joining John McElroy to discuss using “Design as a Change Agent” is Amko Leenarts the Global Director of Interior Design from Ford; Kevin Kerrigan from the Automotive Office of the Michigan Economic Development Authority; and Marc Greuther, the Chief Curator at the Henry Ford.

AD #1945 – Carbon Fiber Production Costs Cut in Half, Top Ten Brands in China, Lidar Prices Falling Fast

September 15th, 2016 at 11:15am

Runtime: 6:48

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Ford Autonomous Car to Get Unique Body
- Lidar Prices Falling Fast
- Carbon Fiber Costs Cut in Half
- Designing Trucks for Platooning
- Top Ten Brands in China

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AD #1944 – BMW & VW Expand Charging Network, Dealer Creates Service Assembly Line, Ford Bullish on Autonomous Cars

September 14th, 2016 at 12:02pm

Runtime: 5:34

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Household Income Jumps, So Could Sales
- Ford Bullish on Autonomous Cars
- Dealer Creates Service Assembly Line
- On-the-Go H2O
- Ford Reduces Focus Complexity
- BMW & VW Expand Fast-Charger Network

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