AD #1559 – Mercedes Stretches the S-Class, PSA Profitable, Buick’s New Ad Goes to the Dogs

February 18th, 2015 at 12:00pm

Runtime: 7:54

- That’s O-Kei with Me
- Mercedes Stretches the S-Class
- Peugeot-Citroen Profitable
- Executive Changes at Infiniti, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler
- A Pain in the UAW’s ACE
- New IndyCar Can Really Break Wind
- Bark for Buick

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AD #1558 – Lights Creating Brand Identity, Wagons on Comeback? Ferrari Slides from Top Brand

February 17th, 2015 at 11:58am

Runtime: 8:05

- Lights Creating Brand Identity
- Station Wagons Making a Comeback?
- Ferrari’s Brand Image Takes a Hit
- Chevy Charts Camaro Horsepower
- How Nissan Murano Got Its Bold Looks

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Seat Time: 2015 Bentley Flying Spur

February 17th, 2015 at 10:52am

Bentley Flying Spur

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
Manufacturer: VW AG
Make: Bentley
Model: Flying Spur
Type: 4-door sedan
Competitors: Rolls-Royce Ghost
Price: Base MSRP $195,100. Price as tested $253,865
Made in: Crewe, England
Drivetrain: 4.0 L V8 wtih 8-speed automatic transmission and AWD
EPA Ratings: 14 mpg city/24 highway/17 combined

Final Impression:
Bentley Flying Spur InteriorI have a hard time getting myself to simply call the Flying Spur “a car.” A vehicle of this magnitude and heritage is more appropriately referred to as a “motor car.” It offers a comforting blend of traditional features and nostalgic trappings, fully modernized for the present day.

And talk about presence. More than 17 feet long, over 7 feet wide and nearly 5 feet tall, its sheer size alone will turn heads. Add to that its classic proportions and it’s safe to say this car has few peers on the road today.

Thanks to a self-leveling air suspension and continuous damping control the ‘Spur seems to breezily float down the bumpiest roads. But there’s nothing like 120 inches of wheelbase and more than 5,300 pounds of mass to make any car ride smoothly. Even if it just had steel springs and hydraulic shocks it would ride well

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AD #1557 – Honda’s CEO Under Fire, OEM Ranks By Employment, Strikes Disrupting Production

February 16th, 2015 at 12:06pm

Runtime: 7:13

- Honda’s CEO Under Fire
- Is Apple Developing the iCAR?
- Hyundai Jumps Into CV Segment In U.S.
- Strikes Disrupting Production
- Mazda’s Diesel Woes
- Car OEM Ranks By Employment

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AAH #274 – Nissan Murano Rolls the Design Dice

February 13th, 2015 at 3:29pm

Audio-only version:

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*PROGRAMMING NOTE: Starting March 5, 2015, Autoline After Hours will begin broadcasting at its new time, 3PM ET/12PM PT/20:00 GMT*

UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- We nominate ourselves to the GM Board
- Life Beyond Fuel Cells

SPECIAL GUEST: Chris Reed, Overseas Chief Vehicle Engineer, Nissan Murano
- Murano gets a sexy makeover inside and out

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Joann Mueller, Forbes.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Henkel

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AD #1556 – GM Shakes Up Development, Pilot Makes World Debut, Kia Trail’ster Concept

February 13th, 2015 at 12:53pm

Runtime: 8:08

- GM Shakes Up Development Process
- Chevy Bolts Into Production
- Toyota Avalon Refresh
- Kia Trail’ster Concept
- 2016 Kia Rio Debuts
- Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV
- Honda Pilot Makes World Debut
- Ridgeline Sketch Released
- Acura RDX Takes a Bow
- Nissan Soups up 370Z Roadster

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Nissan LMP 1 Race Car Experiments with Flybrid Power

February 12th, 2015 at 4:51pm

by John McElroy

Nissan-LMP-1-Main-Art

Nissan LMP 1 (left) and Nismo Global Motorsport Director Darren Cox (right)

I managed to snag a telephone interview with Darren Cox, the Global Motorsport Director at Nismo, about the Ben Bowlby-designed Nissan LMP 1 which will race at this year’s 24 Hour of Le Mans.

Cox said that Nissan is doing this car because it wants to associate itself with breakthrough engineering. It wants to make a big statement about its innovative capabilities and is using motor racing to make that statement. This ties in with Nissan building advanced production vehicles such as the Leaf and GTR. And it shows that Nissan’s involvement in motor racing is very comprehensive, with its GT Academy helping to identify young driving talent all around the world.

Surprisingly, the LMP 1 is being developed in Indianapolis. “The racing infrastructure around Indy is as good as it is in the UK or in Cologne,” Cox says. This program is being developed very quickly and they were able to round up a group of highly-talented Indy guys who essentially had a lot of off-season free time on their hands between October and April. Even so, despite the LMP 1 effort being based in the US, “This is a global project backed by Carlos Ghosn, it’s a NISMO project.” He notes that in addition to the Americans there are 25 engineers from Japan and a sprinkling of Brits, including Mr. Cox himself.

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AD #1555 – Kirobo Returns to Earth, Tesla Posts Mixed Earnings, VW Buys Fuel Cell Tech

February 12th, 2015 at 12:01pm

Runtime: 8:44

- VW Acquires Fuel Cell Tech
- Japanese Carmakers Team Up on Fuel Cell Stations
- Toyota’s Kirobo Returns to Earth
- Chrysler Develops Safer Brakes
- Chevy Refreshes 2016 Equinox
- Ram Shows Fresh Face
- Tesla Posts Mixed Earnings
- You Said It!

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Seat Time: 2015 Toyota Prius

February 12th, 2015 at 7:00am

2012_Toyota_Prius_029

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
Manufacturer: Toyota Motor Corporation
Make: Toyota
Model: Prius
Type: Sedan
Competitors: Ford C-Max, Honda Insight
Price: Base MSRP $28,435; price as tested $36,564
Made in: Tsutsumi, Japan
Drivetrain: 1.8-Liter 4-cylinder, with permanent magnet synchronous motor, nickel-metal hydride battery, and CVT
EPA Ratings: 51 mpg city/48 highway/50 combined

Final Impression:
2015_Prius_Persona_004Driving this car made me not like it. And the longer I drove it the worse it got. That took me by surprise. I had very much looked forward to my drive in a Prius, which I hadn’t tested in years.

Now before you think me a hybrid-hating hard-core car enthusiast, my prior impressions of this generation Prius sedan were always very good. I have friends and family who own Prius’ and love them. My expectations going into this test drive was of getting into the world’s best-selling hybrid honed better by years of Toyota kaizening. Well let me tell you.

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AD #1554 – BMW Unveils 2 Series Variant, EyesOn Annual Poster, Investor to Rob GM Piggy Bank?

February 11th, 2015 at 11:53am

Runtime: 7:04

- BMW Mixes Wagon with Crossover
- Kia to Show D-Segment Concept
- NASCAR Hall Failing to Bring Visitors
- Wearables the Next Big Tech?
- EyesOn Design’s Annual Poster
- Just What GM Doesn’t Need

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