AD #1265 – The i3 is Definitely a BMW, PSA Out Head Hunting, First Look – Ram ProMaster

November 25th, 2013 at 11:53am

Runtime: 9:18

- The i3 is Definitely a BMW
- Honda Unveils MC-β in Tokyo
- Yamaha MOTIV.e
- PSA Out Head Hunting
- Nissan Shuffles Its Execs
- Ron Burgundy Disses the Durango
- VW Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is
- First Look – Ram ProMaster

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Welcome to a brand new week of Autoline Daily. Well, actually a shortened week, with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday here in the states. But for now, let’s get on with the program.

THE i3 IS DEFINITELY A BMW
One of the raging debates in the industry is whether or not the BMW i3 is truly a BMW. I just got back from test driving the i3, and I’m not going to hold you in suspense. This car drives fantastic. With its command seating position and lots of glass area, you get a panoramic view of everything around you. Thanks to a super low center of gravity, what with the batteries mounted in the floor, the i3 has go-kart like handling, yes, even with those skinny little tires. And while it may not look that fast as measured by a stopwatch, by the seat of your pants if feels really quick. Best of all, it has aggressive re-gen, so when you lift off the throttle, the car slows quickly enough that you don’t have to use the brake pedal in most situations, including stop and go driving, or even flinging it through the twisty bits. Now that alone is a different driving experience. We’ll see if the i3 sells any better than the slow selling electrics that are out there, but don’t let anyone tell you that this is not a true BMW.

HONDA UNVEILS MC-β IN TOKYO
Speaking of EV’s, there were a couple of micro EVs unveiled at last week’s Tokyo Motor Show. The Honda MC-β is a funky looking 2-seater concept. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery, has a top speed of about 43 mph and a range of almost 50 miles. Honda plans to test it in Japan to see how it fits the needs of people living in large cities.

YAMAHA MOTIV.e
The other micro EV concept is from Yamaha called the MOTIV.e which was styled by Gordon Murray Design. You know, Gordon Murray of Formula One fame. The body of the two-seater is made of lightweight plastic panels. The EV is powered by an 8.8 kWh battery pack and a 33 horsepower electric motor which believe it or not produces 660 lb.ft. of torque. But despite that power, it only has a top speed of 65 mph.

PSA OUT HEAD HUNTING
As we’ve been reporting for several years, Peugeot and Citroen are in deep trouble. Now PSA, their parent company, is starting to look for a new CEO to replace Phillipe Varin, who’s 61 and will step down next year. Who might their turn to? You remember Carlos Tavares, the COO over at Renault, who was unceremoniously dumped when he publicly stated he would love to become CEO at GM or Ford? Yep, they’re talking to him even though he’s only 2 years younger than Varin.

NISSAN SHUFFLES ITS EXECS
Meanwhile, big changes at Nissan’s operations in the U.S. First some background. CEO Carlos Ghosn laid down the gauntlet when he declared he wanted Nissan to capture 10% market share in the U.S. But so far it only has 8% and that’s only up 0.1 points so far this year, so we knew big changes were coming. Nissan recently put Jose Munoz as chairman of Nissan North America, and he just shuffled the deck. Most notably, Bill Krueger, who had been running manufacturing and purchasing was moved over to JATCO, the subsidiary of Nissan that makes transmissions, notably its CVT’s. And Sue Brennan who had run the giant manufacturing operations in Smyrna, Tennessee, abruptly left Nissan without so much as a toodle-oo. Nor did Nissan thank her for her years of service and that suggests to me that this ended rather badly.

JUST SPELL MY NAME RIGHT
Those Ron Burgundy ads for the Dodge Durango featuring comedian Will Ferrell are generating more controversy. When the comedian appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late-night show, in his character as Ron Burgundy he flat out called the Durango a “terrible car” and that after driving it just “four feet”, it “cracked in half.” Some industry observers think that Dodge executives must be squirmingly uncomfortable with comments like that. Me? I bet they love it. It’s free publicity. And you know that old Hollywood saying, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. I bet it generates even more interest in the Durango, who’s sales shot up 52% since those ads started running.

VW PUTS MONEY WHERE ITS MOUTH IS
Volkswagen isn’t slowing down in its pursuit to become the number one automaker in the world before the decade is over. Bloomberg reports that the company will invest $114 billion over the next five years to develop new vehicles and upgrade factories.

CORVETTE SWAG WINNER
And we would like to send out a special congrats to Ed Carpenter of Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He was the randomly chosen winner from our email subscription list of all this Corvette swag. And if you would like subscribe just head over to our website at Autoline.tv and click the subscribe icon in the right column. You will get a daily email keeping you up to date and informed on everything that’s happening at Autoline. And congratulations, Ed!

FIRST LOOK – RAM PROMASTER

(Today’s overview of the Ram ProMaster is only available in the video version of the show.)

And that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching and I invite you to join us again tomorrow.

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81 Comments to “AD #1265 – The i3 is Definitely a BMW, PSA Out Head Hunting, First Look – Ram ProMaster”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    I want to be the random winner when they give away an 85 Ferrari 308GTSi QV…with up to date service of course!

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The base price of the i3, presumably without the scooter engine, is $41,350. It is much more interesting than a Leaf or Fusion EV, so I’d think it would sell reasonably well at that price, for an EV.

  3. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Sorry John,it’s not ‘Dodge’ getting into ‘big commercial vans’….it’s Ram ;}>

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Meant Focus EV. They don’t sell a Fusion EV.

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #1 Tony,
    That one is on my wish list too. Then all I’d have to do is grow a mustache, move to Hawaii and become a private eye. :)

  6. ColoradoKid Says:

    So who in the ___ was ever in any doubt that the i3 … or its soon to be revealed ICE and Hybrid siblings would be anything BUT a BMW ?

    Seriously … did the BMW MINI teach those wingnuts nothing ? ( the BMW MINI was initially intended to be a BMW until BMW’s marketing whizz kids figured out the MINI name they’d purchased earlier would be a better way to go with the first FWD BMW )

    But …. will the i3 sell ? Initially … much like the Leaf / VOLT ( which is a Hybrid hiding under the pretense of being an EV of any kind … and who’s sales have been well and proper scuppered by GM’s insistence of marketing it as an EV ) / TESLA S etc …. yeah … I’m sure it will .

    But like all of the above … once the novelty has passed …. the early adapters have adapted … and those who just gotta have the newest tech toy have purchased one …. sales will fall into the abyss …. just like every other past – present – future EV available …. because ….

    The majority of car buyers

    DO NOT WANT EV’S of any kind shape or form

    And … errr ….. BMW …. knows it … which is why there’s all those ICE and Hybrid variations of the i3 …. just waiting in the wings …;-)

  7. ColoradoKid Says:

    #1 – 288 GTO …. the ultimate … 308 variant [ of sorts ]

    But … in all honesty if I were to place another ‘ F ‘ word in my garage … it’d have to be a 456

  8. HtG Says:

    Just Me?

    Does anyone else look at the i3 and see the old BMW Dixie? Look at those skinny little tires, why don’t ya?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1928_BMW_Dixi_Heritage_Motor_Centre,_Gaydon.jpg

    CK, I’m also going to be watching what kinds of regulatory preferences those i3 get in Europe. Like city access and parking.

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 8 – Good catch !

    And the answer to your impending inquiry is ….. Lots !!!!

    ( lets face the facts … BMW’s only doing the EV i3 to meet the current EU and German regulations and mandates )

  10. Bradley Says:

    Is there anything to be read into the lack of the Porsche Flag in the stock footage of VW?

    I am sure diluting and “Me Too’n” Porsche is all about helping VW dominate the world.

    Will the BMW i3 be sold across the United States? Or will it only be offered to land owners in California? :)

  11. GM Veteran Says:

    I have seen numerous press reports attributing the big increase in Durango sales to the Ron Burgundy ads. Those reports never mention the fact that Durango production was reduced to favor the Grand Cherokee as it was updated for the 14 model year well in advance of the Durango. Now its Durango’s turn. The newly updated 14 model saw a BIG increase in production and voila, now its selling much better. I think its much more due to dealers having inventory than the insipid Ron Burgundy ads. This generation of Durango sold well right out of the gate in 2011, surprising some in the industry. The only thing holding it back was lack of production (Jeep being the dominant brand in that plant). Since adding an extra shift, there is now enough production capacity to start to address the demand. We’ll see how far the sales climb. Ron helped by generating additional attention, but I hardly think those ads are responsible for the sales increase alone. The one thing they have done is to create a lot of press for Dodge ad executives!

  12. Bradley Says:

    #11

    What is your opinion on “Epic Split” by JCVD and Volvo? Just hit over 50 Million hits today.

    I could care less about the Durango. However, the Ron Burgundy ads have forced me to pay attention.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8, Will wire wheels be an option an the i3?

    From what I’ve read, the i3 will initially be sold only in some parts of California, and in the NYC area. It will probably be sold nationwide, after the initial demand is met in those “launch” areas.

  14. RonE Says:

    From what I read about “Ron Burgundy” dissing the Durango was all positive. Will Ferrell was in character when the comments were made and Ram management saw the humor in it. It’s like being insulted by Don Rickles and it’s very funny.

  15. HtG Says:

    Corvette, not the swag

    My local dealer’s website reports that they have two C7s ‘in transit.’ One is a manual Z51 3LT for about $73K, discounted about 500 dollars for lessees. The other is an auto car at about $68K with the same discount.

    I don’t see any dealer markup, just like this dealer did at the Volt introduction.

  16. Lex Says:

    Nissan needs to drop the Juke and remodel the Versa sedan. Both these vehicles are in very competitive segments were Nissan could see growth. The new Versa Note is an attractive econo-car that is way under powered at 109hp.
    A larger 1.8 or 2.0 engine would attract buyers.

    Maybe the idea of keeping the old Rogue alongside the new larger Rogue with the same name is not such a good idea. The current Rogue fills an important space in Nissan’s lineup. The New Rogue will only steal sales away from the Murano and Pathfinder. The two model sharing the same name only causes confusion in the minds of consumers. The other vehicle needing a redo is the Quest. I would take the styling of the Versa Note and enlarge it into a Minivan with AWD as an option.

    A paratransit (wheelchair accessible)version of the NV200 might also be a way to attract new customers to the Nissan Brand. The low loading height would make it ideal to transport wheelchair bound individuals.

  17. Lex Says:

    I saw a new 2014 Cherokee on the road this weekend and thought that I was following a Ford Escape. Very similar rear styling. The side view was gooding looking. However when we passed the front the concensus was that the front end was very ugly and unappealing. Jeep needs to redo that from end in a hurry. Sorry Jeep, until you redo the nose of the Cherokee it is off my shopping list for this Spring.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve seen two Cherokees on the road, and something about the back got my attention enough that I checked to see what it was, even though it looks fairly generic. I thought the front looked ok, much better than in the photos were were seeing a while back. I’ll ask my sister what she thinks of it. She actually buys such vehicles.

  19. Lex Says:

    Sue Brennan will most likely end up at one of the three domestic OEMs. Good Luck Sue!

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    i3 availability

    As was reported on ALD a few weeks ago the ‘ initial ‘ demand for the i3 EV caught BMW by complete surprise and so availability will be limited to just a couple of markets in the US and Canada until they can ramp up production to meet the demand

    Wisely though BMW is not seeing this as a long term trend and acting accordingly

    Lesson to GM . ALWAYs underestimate the demand for a new product .. allowing the market to determine the demand ….. and then react accordingly if demand is higher than initial realistic expectations . Then … if demand exceeds supply … be sure NOT to over react either …

    Ahhhhhh…. Business 101 . A class obviously either skipped – passed over … or slept thru by the majority of ALL automotive business decision makers these days

  21. ColoradoKid Says:

    17 …. and then they need to redo that fact that its a bloody goram POS FIAT/Alfa Romeo underneath as well !!!!!

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16,
    I would except Braun to do a wheelchair version of the NV, but so far they don’t, only Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda vans.

    http://www.braunability.com/wheelchair-vans/

  23. Phil H Says:

    Will the Ram Promaster be available with a diesel in the future? I would have thought the majority of Fiat Ducato’s would have been equipped with the diesel in other markets. Isn’t that a major benefit of the Sprinter vans in North America? I’m surprised there was no mention of this in Sean’s report.

  24. Lex Says:

    PSA the parent of Peugeot and Citroen produce vehicles mostly for the European Market. How are these brands going to survive in a depressed European automotive market?

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Initial demand for C7′s is high. The dealer nearest me has none in stock, and the dealer where I was reprimanded for touching one a week ago had only a “sold” one.

  26. ColoradoKid Says:

    Bradley – 10

    a) And the answer is ….. The ‘ Borg ‘ ( VW-Audi as well as Porsche /Lamborghini / Bentley / Skoda / SEAT / Bugatti et al ) are coming … resistance is futile [ especially with all Angie's support behind them ] … you will be assimilated

    ;-)

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    24 … and all bets are it’ll taper off as rapidly if not faster once the initial sales and interest have been satiated

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21, We need to wait and see how it drives. Initial reports are that it drives pretty well for a vehicle in its segment. Here is one report. Yeah, time will tell how it holds up.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/09/19/2014-jeep-cherokee-review-first-drive/

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26, Don’t bet on it. It’s a great car for the price, and the upcoming versions will be even better, for those who are really in a hurry.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    fat tires are over-rated IMO. More expensive, wear out quickly and unevenly, poor MPG’s and besides the thrill of riding on skinny tires, when it’s wet, like the car has a mind of its own and you just “suggest” where you want to go.

  31. Lex Says:

    Kit Gerhart – 22,

    How much is the cost of the Braun system above and beyond the cost of the typical minivan?

    I see either the NV200 or Transit Connect as good paratransit vehicles. A rear motorized door could lower down as a one piece (drawbridge)ramp for easy access for loading and unloading.

  32. John McElroy Says:

    #23 While there is no mention of it in Sean’s report, the Ram ProMaster will be available with a 3.0 liter 4-cylinder diesel in the American Market.

    http://media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?id=13803&mid=432

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31,
    I don’t know the prices, but the Braun conversions aren’t cheap. Yeah, the NV and Transit Connect might be better candidates for a less “elegant,” and less expensive conversion.

  34. HtG Says:

    30 I can give you a driving lesson, Pedro. Put a little pressure on the brake pedal to get the nose down and the front will grip. Of course now you may lose the rear. Now practice releasing the pedal and make the car rotate.* Do it a few times and you’ve got yourself some fun.

    Just no way on earth those canny BMW engineers could have though of this. Nope.

    *gas pedal is similarly connected to the car.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30,
    …and for those in the great white north, skinny tires are much better in the snow.

  36. ColoradoKid Says:

    24 – Seriously ?????

    YOU ! An adult … reprimanded for having so much as ‘ touched ‘ one of their precious C7′s ?

    Had that been me I’d of shown the idiot what finger I was hiding behind my hand …. told him point blank where he could shove his precious C7 … as well as not to expect me to ever darken his dealerships doorstep ever again … for any reason ….. and then dragged my greasiest hand right across the snout of his C7 … just to drive the point home

  37. John McElroy Says:

    Kit, Lex – Don’t forget that Braun already did a wheelchair accessible version of NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow. Although no mention of how much the conversion will cost.

    http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/channels/us-united-states-nissan-cv-nv200-taxi/releases/video-report-taxi-of-tomorrow-with-accessibility-options-now-on-stage-at-the-new-york-international-auto-show

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG when I used to live up north, I’d go to an empty lot after the snow had turned to ice and do some “drifting” when I got my first FWD car, would love to let the tail end loose and have some fun that way, snow tires with chains up front, plain tires in rear.

  39. ColoradoKid Says:

    35

    Actually … thats very ‘ old school ‘ thinking and a complete and utter myth

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/go/car-culture/exploring-the-trucks-of-iceland

    Appropriate wide tires with proper inflation rule in the snow and ice

  40. ColoradoKid Says:

    38 – snows all around and ‘ handbrake ‘ turns …. thats how ya’s drifts FWD ( and AWD ) in the snow …. Yeeeee Haaaaaaaw !!!!

  41. HtG Says:

    35 also, less rolling resistance with skinny tires. Maybe this lets them use a softer compound. less unsprung weight with small skinny wheel/tire combo. And the low CG let’s you use softer springs and still control roll.

    Hey, where’d I hear this formula before? MMMMMiata

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    # 25 Kit, its not like you had gone to Hooters, or a Gentleman’s club and touched the offerings. What a pretentious a-hole dealership that must be, we have a high end dealer in town that only sells very expensive exotics and I won’t even set foot there, I would most likely get kicked out, like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

  43. HtG Says:

    42 You’re giving me ideas, Pedro. I’m going to try to resist trying to get ejected, but starting to roll around on the floor.

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    They tell you to inflate tires for better mpg’s and handling and yet when it comes to handling the rain, forget about, I find most all season radials suck and I live in a one season climate, but summer tires are just not avail in my size and if they were, they’d cost twice as much as the crap I get now.

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    Do you suppose now other oem’s will start offering skinnier tires as well? for the sake of saving the environment? Nah, more money to be made by selling these things, I recall in the early 70′s my Plymouth Valiant had 70 series tires and those were considered kind of wide back then.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36, 42
    I didn’t get violent, but I told them what I thought. I also emailed GM through the Chevy web site, and got a prompt reply, a direct phone number, and a request to call a “representative,” which I did. They asked if it was ok for them to contact the dealership in question, and I said, “hell yes,” or something similar.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35, 39
    If the snow is soft enough that the tires will mostly sink into it, even with wide tires, the skinny ones will work better because the tires aren’t “plowing” snow to move through it. I’m talking about normal cars, either RWD or FWD. Yeah, things would be somewhat different with 4WD trucks with huge tires with very aggressive tread.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45,
    I had a ’74 Duster which I ordered with the optional low-profile E70-14 tires. It’s hard to even find 70 series tires now. Even my Prius has 65 series.

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    That would have been a great Bruce Wayne moment, “Oh, I think I can touch it, I just bought the car”

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38,
    I liked doing that with power and brake together with front drive cars. Now, you can’t do that with some cars, because of the “brake over-ride,” or whatever they call it. I never used snow tires on FWD cars, just “all season” ones.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    When snow was deep, them chains gave me excellent traction, never got stuck anywhere, stopping was another matter.

  52. HtG Says:

    Don’t Text On Me

    NY state will put 32 tall SUVs on the highway to nab texters. Let’s hope some stops get publicized to the point of scaring our children. It sounds like just highways are subject, since I rarely see state police on local roads.

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/25/5143876/ny-puts-state-troopers-in-unmarked-suvs-to-catch-texting-drivers

    The other day I had to drivemin front of some kid reading his texts. Yep, baseball cap on backwards. It’s nauseating.

  53. HtG Says:

    46 what a story, kit. Retired GM engineer gets dissed by local dealer while checking out C7

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey, you toucha my Vetta, I breaka your face!

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe the salesman at that dealer didn’t like the MINI that I arrived in.

  56. T. Bejma Says:

    With all the talk about Corvette’s I forgot to tell you guys that 2 weeks ago I got to thrash a pair of Z51′s in Austin, Texas at a GM event to get people into our cars outside the dealer environment.

    Basically confirmed what every review is saying – This is an amazing car that is very easy to live with and when you want to open it up, it is a beast! It sure put a lot of smiles on people’s faces, both drivers and riders…

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    56, Did you get to try out both a manual and automatic?

  58. HtG Says:

    GreenTG, here, TB. Anything out of the ordinary about the crowd that came for the event? Was it connected to the F1 race?

  59. T. Bejma Says:

    #57

    No, unfortunately no manuals in this fleet. With sticks we end up getting a lot of people that “know” how to drive a manual but end up toasting the clutch so they are avoided.

    #58

    Not associated with the race. We were at a large supplier of ours on one day and at our Customer Call Center the other. Had everyone from a young little Hispanic woman that could really drive to a bunch of guys that were literally afraid of it.

  60. HtG Says:

    It’s embarrassing how emotional I can get about everything Corvettes mean. I’ll be quiet.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    59, Yeah, I guess it would make sense not to have manuals at an event like that. There would be too many people who say they know how to drive a manual, but they don’t really.

    With the automatic, if you use the paddle thingys in “manual mode,” and have it in, say, 4th gear at 60 mph, will it stay in 4th if you floor it, or does it downshift whether you want it to or not?

  62. C-Tech Says:

    Fun in the snow? Try an AWD Chrysler 300 with a Hemi (preferably the dealer’s demo). Its a hoot in fresh snow.

    Most wheelchair accessable vehicles use a modified side door for better access. I’ve even seen a converted PT Cruiser. From what I understand, the major costs are the ramp sytem and rewelding the floor.

  63. HtG Says:

    Fool in the Snow?

    When I was a teenager, I pulled the handbrake at about 30mph on a snowy highway. To see what would happen. The car spins.

    Almost earned my Darwin award that day.

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    My scariest experience ever while driving was an old Ford Econoline delivery van, no snow tires, no load had just snowed and the temp had dropped quickly so the snow turned to ice. NOT FUN!

  65. Ziggy Says:

    John,
    I have to disagree with you about your comment on publicity, I think Tesla would rather not have the bad publicity right now of some of their cars catching fire.

  66. pedro fernandez Says:

    I just changed my ignition wires and plugs and put them back in the wrong order, LOL what a putz! Went online to get the right order to install the wires and it gave me 3 different visual charts for the same car,(even though it has only one type of engine)

  67. HtG Says:

    I’d like to know which Chrysler exec could imagine for one second that Conan’s audience isn’t hip to Ron Burgundy. Would they sit for a studio interview with the man in red?

    Leno’s audience? OK, maybe a few people in low oxygen zip codes.

  68. T. Bejma Says:

    #61

    Kit – if you leave it in manual mode, it will stay in gear until redline.

    One of the fun things I did with drivers (if I liked them ;-) ) was to have them put in manual, downshift paddle to 2nd gear and then at about 35 mph – PUNCH IT!!! and then hold it until about 60 mph (I didn’t time it, but I am sure it it was under 2 seconds). Do this in Auto mode and it is fast, but shifts at about 4K rpm. Too bad, because it has some REAL power from 3K to 6K that you only see in manual mode.

  69. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: When in doubt about the firing order,it might have it stamped somewhere on the block.Also,when changing out plug wires,just do ONE at a time.It’s real hard to mess that up ;}>

  70. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA it was stamped by the distributor but not at the holes where the plugs go, I just got 2 wrong and it still ran but poorly.

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    68,
    If it will stay in a higher gear in manual mode, even if you floor it, that would be a huge advantage to me. If you can accelerate “fast enough” in a higher gear, I’d rather do that, rather than have it downshift. That is part of what I like about manual transmissions.

    Another part of what I like about driving a manual, is that I like driving smoothly, using my skills. While the auto rev matching on the C7 is cool, I wouldn’t want to use it, except to check it out. I see that the default is for the auto rev match to be off, which is as it should be, at least to me.

  72. HtG Says:

    I guess the rev matching makes the car more approachable. Personally, I prefer fearing the beast. But who can really drive today’s uber powerful cars without some assistance?

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m used to driving low powered manual transmission cars, which are easier to drive smoothly than big engine manual transmission cars. The rev matching “assistance” on the C7 is cool, and easy to do with today’s technology, but I wouldn’t want to use it. I’d just want to get good at driving the car smoothly without it.

  74. T. Bejma Says:

    Oops…

    More trouble for the Ford Escape getting it’s 7th (!!!) recall…

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/ford-recall-escapes-oil-fuel-leaks-21015222?source=email_rt_mc_body&app=n

  75. pedro fernandez Says:

    Another Ford turkey just in time, Ford will have a black Friday indeed! Escape is what those owners will want to do from that vehicle.

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    At least they are recalling them, rather than fighting it, but yikes!!, seven recalls in two model years, and in addition to fire risk, there are cracked heads, probably a $3000 repair bill after they are off warranty.

  77. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m wrong, it is 7 recalls in one model year, albeit and extended model year.

  78. Tony Gray Says:

    #73: Actually I used to enjoy beating the dickens out of my 83 AMC Alliance because you HAD to drive it flat out all the time to keep up with traffic!

  79. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ford keeps getting little slack from the auto media because of the no bailout and Mullaly, but all of a sudden they are becoming America’s most unreliable, most recalled brand, even Chrysler is getting ahead of them.

  80. aliisdad Says:

    Glad to hear the Ram van will have a diesel; that was my question, too…This is a good time to be a van buyer with all the new offerings coming!
    After my experience with Dodge van, would
    probably not consider one, though!!
    However, it is really a FIAT product and has
    been pretty much proven in Europe.. Same is
    true for Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter
    vans, as well..
    John, I really do enjoy your programs and appreciate that you cover a variety of cars and trucks as well as “insider” news…Huge fan!!!

  81. James Says:

    As someone who has owned cargo vans from Ford, GM and Dodge over the past 20+ years – Ram blew it on the Promaster for this contractor. Its over 7 ft tall and wont fit in my garage. Too bad, I like a lot of the features and am getting tired of nearly a decade of driving the Express vans